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Mumbai Film Festival cancels screening of Pakistani film Jago Hua Savera

Organisers forced to cancel screening of Jago Hua Savera after NGO filed complaint against it.

Mayur Lookhar

The Jio MAMI 18th Mumbai Film Festival with Star has decided not to programme 1958 Pakistani drama Jago Hua Savera as part of the Restored Classics Section, according to an official statement from the organisers. The film has been removed from the programme list.

Directed by AJ Kardar, Jago Hua Savera was selected as the entry from Pakistan for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 32nd Academy Awards in 1960.

The move was prompted by a complaint filed by members of Indian NGO Sangarsh at Amboli police station demanding that the Pakistani film should not be allowed to be screened at the Mumbai Academy of Moving Arts (MAMI) Festival.

The outfit has accused the MAMI organisers of playing with the sentiments of the people of India at a time of heightened tension with Pakistan following the Uri terror attack.

“The organisers of this event are more likely to flare the outrage among people by screening this Pakistani film in their film festival. This will just not be acceptable as it will give rise to more tension and outrage among the people,” read the letter written by the organisation’s president Prithvi Mhaske to the Amboli police in Mumbai.

Speaking to news agency PTI, Mhaske openly threatened the organisers of consequences if the film is screened.

"If the organisers do not stop the screening, my workers will stall the screening of the film," Mhaske told PTI.

Following the threat, the organisers have decided against holding the screening. 

The film was co-produced during the days of undivided Pakistan (now independent Pakistan and Bangladesh) and shot in Dhaka. It tells the tale of life in a small fishing village where everyone dreams of having their own boat.

The film was to be screened at the Restored Classics Section chaired by filmmaker Kiran Rao.