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Goa film fest jury head Sujoy Ghosh resigns after Centre drops ‘S Durga’ and ‘Nude’ from event

The Information and Broadcasting Ministry left both movies out of the Indian Panorama section of the festival, reportedly without consulting the jury.

After the Information and Broadcasting Ministry dropped Ravi Jadhav’s Nude and Sanal Kumar Sasidharan’s S Durga from the 48th International Film Festival of India, director Sujoy Ghosh has resigned from the post of the festival jury head, The Indian Express reported on Tuesday. The festival will be held in Goa from November 20 to November 28. Meanwhile, Sasidharan has decided to move court against to protest his movie’s exclusion.

“I am approaching court. I am filing a case today,” Sasidharan told The Indian Express.It will be against the DFF [Directorate of Film Festivals], ministry and the festival director. There will be a bunch of respondents.” The Directorate of Film Festivals, set up by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, organises International Film Festival of India.

On November 9, the Union ministry left the two movies out of the final list of 26 feature films for the festival’s Indian Panorama section, reportedly without consulting the 13-member jury headed by Kahaani director Ghosh.

When asked if he was stepping down over the ministry’s decision, Ghosh reportedly told PTI, “Yes, but I can’t say anything more on that right now.”

The movies had been shortlisted from among 153 features and the jury had unanimously recommended Nude as the opening film for the section. Jury members included filmmakers Rahul Rawail, Gyan Correa, Satarupa Sanyal, Nishikant Kamat, Nikkhil Advani, Apurva Asrani, and Hari Viswanath.

The ministry has replaced Jadhav’s Nude, a Marathi movie about a nude model in Mumbai, with Vinod Kapri’s Hindi film Pihu as the opening movie of the festival. Jadhav, who has widely acclaimed movies such as Natrang (2009), the National Film Award winning Balgandharva (2011) and Balak-Palak (2013) in his filmography, expressed his disappointment over the ministry’s decision in an interview with Scroll.in. “I am really disappointed, and I am 100% sure that they [the ministry officials] have not seen the film and have merely gone by its title,” the director said. “We have handled the subject aesthetically and sensitively.”

Sanal Kumar Sasidharan’s S Durga (previously titled Sexy Durga) was earlier dropped from the competition category in the International Film Festival of Kerala. The Malayalam film is a commentary on the deeply-rooted misogyny and gender disparity in Kerala and has won praise at several international film festivals.

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