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Indian Panorama jury votes in S Durga's favour

Indian Panorama jury votes in S Durga's favour

In another unexpected intrusion on the part of the CBFC (Central Board of Film Certification), Sanal Sasidharan's controversial film "S Durga" has again been denied permission to be screened at the IFFI (International Film Festival of India).

In a letter dated November 28, the CBFC board said that the certification of the film directed by Sanal Kumar Sasidharan will be re-examined, citing issues regarding the title of the film.

No "S Durga" screening at IFFI as CBFC has ordered a re-examination of the film, writes festival director Sunit Tandon to director Sanal Saisdharan, PTI reported. This, the board argued, "has totally different implications" and "effectively undermines and defeats. the very objective of title registration and changes effected thereby".

However, in view of the CBFC order on the re-examination of certificate, the film can not be exhibited till the issues are resolved, he said.

The jury meeting to screen the film was first scheduled for 6 p.m. on Monday, but was later suddenly moved up to 5 p.m. Bouncers and armed police personnel guarded the jury members, who watched the 1.25 hour-long film, even as they discussed the film threadbare for the rest of the duration.

"The Court has said, that the jury should see the censored version and the film should be screened at IFFI 2017". The letter further accuses the producer of deliberately violating the rules of the Cinematograph Act. "Till then, you may not exhibit the film", the Thiruvananthapuram censor board wrote to the film's producer Shaji Mathew. He emphasized on the centrality of such spaces for students, saying, "This is the place where students will come, watch films...they have access to filmmakers ...that kind of space is being squeezed out and this has been steadily happening..."

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"We have been informed by IFFI that the film will be screened at 6 pm on Monday", the jury member said on the condition of anonymity.

The Best Actor (Female) award went to Parvathy T.K. for her portrayal of a nurse who wages a battle for the release of her husband held hostage by the rebel army in war-torn Iraq in Mahesh Narayanan's Malayalam film Take Off. It is a fact.

He said, "My film is produced by the Films Division so can I really withdraw?" They want a straight jacketed meaning and that will never happen...

Sanal said there is nothing he can do right now. We can quash the order. whatever. It is an unusual procedure, totally illegal. But in this whole episode, the ministry seems to be sending a message that you have to bow down to their demands and it is not just about my film, even Nude (directed by Ravi Jadhav) was dropped. To this Sanal responds, "If IFFI is sitting around waiting for the Festival to be over without showing my film, then it would amount to contempt of court and I'll take legal action against the I & B ministry and the Government accordingly".

While it is often said that freedom of expression is under threat, do you feel the same way having gone through this ordeal? The director had moved the Kerala High Court after the movie was pulled out from the IFFI by the ministry.

Earlier in the day, Sanal claimed that a majority of members of the Indian Panorama jury voted in favour of his film screened after watching its censored version last night.


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