Movie censorship

‘S Durga’ makers move Kerala High Court challenging censor board’s decision to suspend certificate

After the certification was withdrawn on November 28, it was barred from being screened at the state’s film festival.

The makers of S Durga on Wednesday moved the Kerala High Court, challenging the censor board’s decision to suspend its certificate, reported The New Indian Express.

The petition, filed by director Sanal Kumar Sasidharan and producer Shaji Mathew, comes ahead of the International Film Festival of Kerala, which will be held from December 8 to December 15 in Thiruvananthapuram.

Kerala Minister for Culture and Cinema AK Balan on Wednesday told reporters that S Durga could be screened in the state-sponsored festival only if it gets clearance from the court. The event had scheduled a special screening of the movie as a mark of protest against its controversial exclusion from the International Film Festival of Goa in November.

In the petition, Sasidharan and Mathews said they were “deeply aggrieved with the illegal, arbitrary, high-handed and malafide manner” in which the Central Board of Film Certification had rejected its certificate on the concluding day of the International Film Festival of Goa on November 28.

The censor board had suspended S Durga’s certificate, saying it would have to re-examine the film because of a technicality over its title. The decision was made despite a Kerala High Court order directing authorities to screen the Malayalam film at the festival.

The board had cleared the film in October, changing its original title Sexy Durga to S Durga. The organisers of the film festival in Goa had informed the censor board ahead of its screening that the title card of the movie bore the name S### Durga instead of just S Durga, which allegedly violated the Cinematograph (Certification) Rules. This ultimately led to the suspension of the film’s certificate.

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S Durga (2017).
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