IFFI jury chief Sujoy Ghosh resigns

Sanal Sasidharam

Festival screenings attract audiences of committed cinema-watchers and offer space for experimental and independent films, like Nude and S Durga, whose aesthetics may not have a wider appeal. He refuted it saying, "I sent a screener to the Directorate of the film festival three months ago and we were ready with a DCP of the complete film but no one asked for it". Jadhav also plans to write to the ministry, too for Nude being removed from the list of films to be screened at IFFI. Following the announcement, a few members of the jury have criticised the Ministry's decision stating that they were not informed about the change. The ministry's role in the conduct of the IFFI certainly does not include deciding on the films to be screened.

In the midst of the controversy surrounding the resignation of International Film Festival of India (IFFI) jury chairman Sujoy Ghosh, IFFI steering committee member Vani Tripathi Tikoo defended the decision to drop two films from the event and said the decision was made to protect the "sensitivities and physical safety of viewers". "However, the important thing is that 19 other films have also been chosen whose filmmakers have worked extremely hard to tell some very relevant stories and we need to champion these films along with the films that have been so unfairly left out", he asserted. "If the ministry has taken this reason I am sure there must have been a valid reason".

I&B Ministry released the final list on November 9 and had taken off these two names, which were recommended by the jury.

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The film, a road movie that follows the horrifying experience of two hitchhikers, a man and a woman, at the hands of two men in the dead of the night, won the Hivos Tiger Award in the International Film Festival Rotterdam 2017.

Rajesh Kumar Singh, a member of the preview committee that selects entries from the Indian Panorama section for the worldwide competition at IFFI, took up the issue of the two films on Twitter. "I respect Sujoy's decision as chairperson, his actions speak volumes, more than words can say". "I have applied for a censor certificate today and am also planning to move the Bombay High Court, asking for an explanation from the ministry for dropping Nude", he said. This was the inaugural film in the Indian panorama.

The national award-winning director also said that it is hard to accept that a selected film is removed from the festival without any explanation, "My film was chosen for this, you can't take away my right".

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