The Mumbai Academy of Moving Image on Monday announced its decision to not screen any Pakistani films this year at the Mumbai Film Festival, which begins on October 20, reported ANI. "Given the current situation, the Jio MAMI 18th Mumbai Film Festival with Star has decided to not programme Jago Hua Savera as part of the Restored Classics Section," organisers said in a statement. More than 180 films from 54 countries will be screened across Mumbai during this eight-day event, which will conclude on October 27.
The decision was made after NGO Sangharsh Foundation filed a complaint at a local police station on Saturday against the screening of the movie. "We don't have objections to any other films, but just don't show any films from Pakistan," President of Sangharsh Foundation Prithvi Maske said. "Due to the tension and outrage among Indians against Pakistan and Pakistanis after the Uri attack, organisers of this event are more likely to flare the outrage by telecasting this Pakistani film..." the NGO said in its complaint.
Jago Hua Savera, a classic directed by Pakistani director AJ Kardar and written by Faiz Ahmed Faiz, features Indian actors, musicians and technicians. The black-and-white art film from 1959 is based on a novel by Manik Bandopadhyay and features Indian actress Tripti Mitra and musician Timir Baran, along with Pakistani actors and British technicians. The restored film has been screens at various film festivals, including at Cannes in 2016.
The movie is not the first to face such a backlash amid deteriorating relations between India and Pakistan since the September 18 militant attack on the Indian Army camp in Kashmir's Uri sector. On October 14, the Cinema Owners and Exhibitors Association of India announced that they will not screen Fawad Khan-starrer Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, which releases on October 28, and Shah Rukh Khan's Raees, which has Mahira Khan.
The COEAI's move follows the Indian Motion Pictures Producers Association's ban on Pakistani actors and technicians working on projects in India. This came days after Raj Thackeray's Maharashtra Navnirman Sena gave Pakistani actors a 48-hour deadline to leave the country. Several members of the film industry, including Salman Khan, Om Puri, Radhika Apte, Karan Johar and Anurag Kashyap have expressed their dismay over the call to ban Pakistani actors in India.