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IFFI 2017: Sujoy Ghosh resigns as head of Indian Panorama jury

The I&B Ministry had replaced Nude and S Durga from the list of 42 selected films under the Indian Panorama section of the upcoming festival in Goa. 

Shriram Iyengar

Days after the news of the replacement of Sanal Sasidharan's S Durga and Ravi Jadhav's Nude from the roster of films selected to screen under the Indian Panorama section at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) broke, director Sujoy Ghosh has resigned as the head of the section's jury.

IFFI 2017: Indian Panorama jury shocked by removal of films, demand explanation

Director of films like Aladin (2009), Kahaani (2012), Kahaani 2 (2016), among others, Ghosh confirmed his resignation from the post to the daily, Indian Express, but refused to elaborate on it. 

Ghosh headed the 13 member jury panel which cleared S Durga and Nude to be screened at the festival. However, the information and broadcasting ministry put out a list on 9 November which excluded these films. Following the decision, several members of the jury accused the ministry of overriding their decision, without consulting or informing them. So far, the ministry has not responded to the accusation. 

IFFI 2017: Director Ravi Jadhav slams I&B ministry for removing film Nude

S Durga has already won critical acclaim at several international film festivals, including the Hivors Tiger at the Rotterdam Film Festival in 2016 and the Special Jury Mention in the India Gold section of the recently concluded Mumbai Film Festival. Directed by Sanal Sasidharan, the film details the misogynistic view of society from the point of view of a couple eloping in the middle of the night.

Ravi Jadhav's Nude was selected to open the Indian Panorama section at IFFI, has been replaced with Vinod Kapri's Pihu. 

IFFI 2017: I&B ministry removes S Durga, Nude from Indian Panorama line-up

The decision to remove both films has been met with consternation by the film fraternity. Screenwriter Apurva Asrani, part of the IFFI jury, tweeted, "#SexyDurga & #Nude are among the best of contemporary cinema. They both present a powerful & empathetic portrait of women in today’s India."

Actor-director Jitendra Joshi put out a tweet suggesting that he will not be attending IFFI 'despite his film being a part of the festival' in support of the two filmmakers who have been excluded. 

The Akhil Bhartiya Marathi Chitrapat Mahamandal (ABMCM), an association of members from the Marathi film industry, also issued a statement condemning the move, saying, "To condemn a film (Nude) simply based on its title or content, is very unjust". The association also called for an inquiry against the ministry for this move. 

The line-up of the Indian Panorama section includes 26 feature films and 16 shorts. The 48th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) is set to begin on 20 November and will conclude on 28 November.

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