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S Durga director Sanal Kumar Sasidharan slams IFFK, organisers hit back

The chairman of the Kerala State Chalachitra Academy hit back at the S Durga's allegations on the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK).

Photo: Kazhcha Film Forum


After S Durga director Sanal Kumar Sasidharan on Tuesday hit out at the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) for its 'bad shape', the organisers of the festival questioned his changed opinion.

Filmmaker Kamal, chairman of the Kerala State Chalachitra Academy, said he fails to understand the sudden change of opinion by Sanal, whose film was in the news regarding its exclusion from the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) last month.

Sanal, in a Facebook post on Tuesday, turned critical towards IFFK, saying it is high time to have a thorough and impassioned discussion on the Kerala State Chalachitra Academy and its activities.

"It has become a nonsense organisation forgetting its aims. How many more years it can run the IFFK on controversies? Film festivals are not festivals actually, they are platforms of discussion, discovery and redefining concepts. IFFK needs to see mirror and understand its bad shape now," wrote Sanal. The filmmaker went on to start a protest festival for independent cinema, Kazhcha Indie Film Festival which concluded on 11 December.

We will look for good films which are rejected: Sanal Kumar Sasidharan on future of KIFF

Reacting to the outburst, Kamal told IANS that until last year, Sanal had no complaints about the Academy and IFFK. Kamal said, "Suddenly this year, he speaks differently and says the exact opposite. I have only one thing to say to him — he is free to have his opinion and in Kerala there are others also who have an opinion. My job as chairman is to see the Academy and its activities are run as per rules and regulations."

He said, "S Durga was included in the ongoing edition of the IFFK, but Sanal himself withdrew it. Let him best not have a feeling that he is not just the only independent filmmaker around. There are several others also. Look into the films that have been selected for the ongoing IFFK. It includes films from more than 50% independent filmmakers and none of them has a problem."

The chairman of the state's Chalachitra Academy added, "We are willing to screen his film provided he gets a censor certificate or a directive from the court. We have nothing against him." 

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IFFK Kazhcha Indie Film Festival