International Film Festival of India (IFFI) director Sunit Tandon on Tuesday refused to comment on the Kerala High Court’s direction to screen Malayalam film S Durga at the ongoing 48th IFFI, saying it would not be appropriate for him to do so.
After repeatedly avoiding media queries through the afternoon on the subject, Tandon evaded mediapersons seeking a comment from him vis-a-vis S Durga, which — along with Marathi film Nude — was dropped by the Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry from the screening schedule at the Indian Panorama, despite the jury’s approval.
“It is not appropriate for me to comment,” Tandon told reporters.
Asked whether the festival would be screening S Durga as directed by the Kerala High Court, Tandon said: “I cannot say anything.”
The Kerala High Court on Tuesday ruled that the certified copy of the film should be screened at IFFI, one of the most prestigious film festivals of the country, after S Durga director Sanal Sashidharan approached the court over the controversial dropping of his film from the festival’s screening schedule.
S Durga along with Marathi film Nude was dropped from the Indian Panorama section of the ongoing IFFI by the Information & Broadcasting Ministry without consulting the jury members. S Durga was earlier titled Sexy Durga. The film stars Rajashri Despande and Kannan Nair and follows a north Indian girl named Durga. Reportedly, the film had no screenplay or a written story and was entirely shot in a night.
Director Sanal Kumar Sasidharan had earlier told indianexpress.com, “The film is established and known internationally as Sexy Durga. In India, people are free to interpret S Durga in whichever way they like. The agitation against it is nonsensical and I’ve clarified several times that my film has nothing to do with religion. There is nothing against Durga. Anyway the film is very established, even if you make it S Durga, A Durga, B Durga, the film will remain Sexy Durga.”
(With inputs from IANS)