‘S Durga’ could’ve hurt religious sentiments: Govt
New Delhi: With a controversy brewing over IFFI jury chair Sujoy Ghosh quitting over the exclusion of films ‘Nude’ and ‘S Durga’, the government said permission had been denied for the screening of ‘S Durga’ at the Mumbai Association for Moving Images (MAMI) fest in October.
Sources said on one hand, while ‘S Durga’ maker Sanal Kumar Sasidharan had moved the Kerala high court against non-inclusion of his film in IFFI, it was customary for any uncensored film scheduled to be screened at the festival to seek an exemption certificate from the ministry.
Film ‘Nude’, official sources said, was rejected because certain post-production work on the film was “not technically complete”.
Ghosh’s resignation is seen as a mark of protest and comes close on the heels of the I&B ministry dropping ‘Nude’ and ‘S Durga’ (the original title was ‘Sexy Durga’) from the Indian Panorama section of the festival that begins in Goa on November 20.
The two films were turned down by the ministry after being selected by the IFFI jury. ‘S Durga’ was eventually played at MAMI festival after being given a U/A certificate by CBFC, which suggested a change of title to ‘S Durga’ and the deletion of “vulgar” words from the film.
Sources said the ministry had communicated its decision in writing to deny permission to ‘S Durga’ on September 19. Sources also said that while the IFFI director had submitted ‘S Durga’ in the feature and non-feature films categories respectively, it had been conveyed that ‘Nude’ and ‘S Durga’ should be replaced with two other films.
Official sources also refuted charges that the government was being selective in its approach to approving films. “The NDA government was the one that amended the Panorama guidelines to allow uncensored films to be screened at IFFI,” the source said.