In­dian film fes­ti­val drops Pak­istani movie af­ter threat of dis­rup­tion

The Myanmar Times - - The Pulse -

AN In­dian film fes­ti­val dropped a Pak­istani drama from its pro­gram yes­ter­day af­ter protesters threat­ened to dis­rupt the screen­ing – the lat­est movie to fall foul of height­ened ten­sions be­tween the nu­clear-armed neigh­bours.

Or­gan­is­ers of the MAMI Mum­bai Film Fes­ti­val said they would not show the 1959 clas­sic Jago Hua Sav­era (The Day Shall Dawn) fol­low­ing a com­plaint from an In­dian NGO called Sang­harsh, which means strug­gle in Hindi.

Sang­harsh had said it was in­ap­pro­pri­ate to show the film, which was Pak­istan’s of­fi­cial Os­cars en­try in 1960, fol­low­ing an at­tack by mil­i­tants that killed 19 In­dian sol­diers in Kash­mir.

“Given the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion, the Jio MAMI 18th Mum­bai Film Fes­ti­val with Star has de­cided not to pro­gramme Jago Hua Sav­era as part of the Re­stored Clas­sics Sec­tion,” or­gan­is­ers of the fes­ti­val said in a state­ment.

The move comes af­ter a group of In­dian cin­e­mas said last week that they would not screen any films fea­tur­ing Pak­istani artists in protest at the raid on an army base in In­dian Kash­mir last month.

The ban by In­dia’s Cin­ema Own­ers and Ex­hibitors As­so­ci­a­tion (COEA) ap­plies to sin­gle screen cin­e­mas in four states and is likely to af­fect the forth­com­ing re­lease of movies Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, Dear Zindagi and Raees.

The ban came as Hindu na­tion­al­ist groups pile pres­sure on the mak­ers of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (This Heart is Com­pli­cated) to drop Pak­istani ac­tor Fawad Khan from the ro­man­tic drama.

The fringe but noisy right-wing group Ma­ha­rash­tra Navnir­man Sena has threat­ened to stall the Oc­to­ber 28 re­lease of the movie.

In­dia blames Pak­istan for the raid on Septem­ber 18 which saw the In­dian army re­spond with “sur­gi­cal strikes”.

Fol­low­ing the mil­i­tant at­tack the In­dian Mo­tion Pic­ture Pro­duc­ers As­so­ci­a­tion, which rep­re­sents a num­ber of Hindi film in­dus­try em­ploy­ees, passed a mo­tion ban­ning Pak­istani artists un­til re­la­tions be­tween New Delhi and Islamabad im­prove.

MAMI runs from Oc­to­ber 20 to 27. Jago Hua Sav­era, a black and white film, tells the story of a fish­ing vil­lage near Dhaka, now the cap­i­tal of Bangladesh.

Photo: AFP

A tourist takes pic­tures of flow­ers left in mem­ory of Jia Jia.

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