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Filmmaker Rahul Rawail, who claimed he was told by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry about dropping Marathi film Nude from International Film Festival of India (IFFI), has now replaced director Sujoy Ghosh as the jury chief of the government-sponsored fest.
Ghosh resigned from the position of the head of Indian Panorama jury of IFFI, which begins today after the ministry pulled out Nude and Malayalam film S Durga, both of whom were selected by the jury. Following his resignation, two other members – Apurva Asrani and Gyan Correa, also stepped down. All three expressed disappointment over the fact that the ministry didn’t intimidate them about its decision, which came just weeks before the festival.
Rawail confirmed his appointment to indianexpress.com over a text message, as he is busy attending the opening ceremony of IFFI.
Rawail was the first one from the jury to come out in the media and say that the ministry did inform him of its decision to drop Nude. The director had added that he suggested the Ministry to inform its decision to the then chairperson and other members, which it finally did not.
The 48th edition of IFFI begins today amid the controversy that erupted with the removal of Nude, initially supposed to be the opening film, and S Durga, a film that has won accolades at several international festivals but only ruffled feathers back home for its title, which the ministry claimed would offend religious sentiments.
Sanal Kumar Sasidharan’s Malayalam movie S Durga highlights the patriarchal set-up in Kerala through the eyes of an eloping couple and the horrors they endure on the way. On the other hand, Marathi film Nude, which has been helmed by National Award-winning director Ravi Jadhav, traces the life of a woman who secretly works as a nude model for artists in Mumbai.