Two more members of the selection committee of the Indian Panorama section of the 48th International Film Festival of India have resigned. The decision follows the Information and Broadcasting Ministry’s move to override the committee’s final selection and drop Ravi Jadhav’s Marathi film Nude and Sanal Sasidharan’s Malayalam movie S Durga without consulting the members.
“I stand with the chairperson of the jury,” Asrani said. “We’ve had a responsibility towards some very sincere films, and somewhere we have failed them. My conscience won’t allow me to participate in the festivities in Goa. However, I wish all the other films good luck. Each one of them has been made with a lot of love and no controversy should take away from that.”
On November 9, Smriti Irani’s ministry dropped the two films from the Panorama section. The 13-member jury was reportedly unaware of this decision. On Tuesday, Sasidharan filed a writ petition in the Kerala High Court against the Ministry.
An unnamed government official told The Hindu that it was following “due process” in dropping the films. Jadhav’s Nude was incomplete at the time of submission, the official claimed. “Even the scroll detailing cast and crew of the film was not there,” said the official. Jadhav responded that he was willing to screen the “complete” film at IFFI if the ministry permitted it. The filmmaker released the movie’s teaser on Tuesday. The trailer has a UA rating.
Filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri, who is the chairperson of the IFFI preview committee, defended the ministry. He told Mumbai Mirror, “If Sujoy and Apurva are within their rights to resign and Sanal to move court, then even the ministry is within its rights to choose 20 of 22 films selected by the jury. Nude came with the rider from the jury itself that it was an incomplete film. So I don’t understand what the controversy is about.”