While media reports stated on Wednesday that Marathi filmmakers were planning to boycott the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), directors of the selected films have clarified that they will participate, and it is not their prerogative to withdraw the films. This is in light of Ravi Jadhav’s Marathi film, Nude, being dropped from the festival in Goa.
The nine Marathi films include Kaasav; Ventilator, directed by Rajesh Mapuskar and produced by Priyanka Chopra; Kshitij: A Horizon by Manouj Kadaamh; Kachcha Limbu by Prasad Oak; Maza Bhirbhira by Yogesh Soman and Vivek Wagh; Redu directed by Sagar Chhaya Vanjari; Muramba by Varun Narvekar; Gajendra Ahire’s Pimpal; and Deepak Gawade’s Idak.
Director Sunil Sukthankar of Kaasav said that the statement of the boycott was misconstrued. “We are in no position to make that decision about Kaasav since we have not entered it on our own. It’s by default in the festival since it is the winner of the Golden Lotus National Award. However to express our solidarity, we would want to be a part of the protest. Currently, we are in the process of decision making,” he says. The film’s producer Mohan Agashe also confirmed that they have not taken a decision yet.
Other filmmakers too are yet to finalise their plan of action. “Yes there have been talks of a protest but what form it will be, is unclear. However dropping the film from the festival or boycotting it is not going to happen,” says Ahire.
Actor Prasad Oak, whose directorial debut Kachcha Limbu is also a part of the nine selected films, says, “Ravi (Jadhav) is the actor of my film. If I decide to boycott and withdraw the film, won’t it be a double injustice to him?”
Varun Narvekar, director of the film Muramba, says, “Actually the way media is projecting it is as if those who have not boycotted the festival are not sympathetic to Jadhav. It is not true. So far I&B ministry hasn’t said it officially. Someone told me that Manohar Parrikar said it at a press conference on Wednesday that it was due to certification and film completion issues. But even that is not clear.” Meanwhile, lead actor Jitendra Joshi of Ventilator took to social media to declare that he would be boycotting IFFI in solidarity with Jadhav.