News Malayalam

IFFI 2017: Festival's responsibility to screen S Durga, says steering committee's Anand Gandhi

Gandhi asserted that though some films cause anxiety and discomfort and challenge privilege, they hold a window to the future and must be acknowledged.

Anand Gandhi at IFFI 2017 (Photo: Shutterbugs Images)


Calling Malayalam film S Durga one of the best Indian films of the year, IFFI steering committee member Anand Gandhi said yesterday that it is the responsibility of the festival authorities to screen the controversial film.

"Though some films cause anxiety, discomfort and challenge privileges, they hold a window to the future and must be acknowledged," Gandhi, a filmmaker, told IANS at the 48th International Film Festival of India in Panaji, Goa.

"If I was on the jury, I would also strongly recommend the film considering I really feel that this is one of the best films made in this country this year. I really think inclusiveness would mean including the expert opinion and taking it seriously," Gandhi said when asked if the organisers were not being inclusive in spirit by dodging the issue of screening the Sanal Kumar Sasidharan film despite a Kerala high court order to do so.

"I really think the festival should address this and redress this urgently," the director of the National award-winning Ship Of Theseus (2013) said. "Everybody concerned with the festival, including all of us, should make this festival inclusive and by inclusive it doesn't mean non-curated, of course."

The makers of S Durga, previously titled Sexy Durga, have claimed that both IFFI director Sunit Tandon and the Union information and broadcasting (I&B) ministry have been ignoring them on the issue of screening the film at the festival.

S Durga and Ravi Jadhav's Marathi film Nude were controversially dropped on the I&B ministry's orders from the screening schedule of the Indian Panorama section at the festival after the jury chose both films.

Gandhi said the festival has to be responsible towards films and filmmakers: "We need to be extremely responsible towards films and filmmakers, who are taking us towards the future and this future may not always be comfortable, be causing us great discomfort, may cause us anxiety even, but that is the whole point of art... to challenge our notions, to challenge our privileges, to make us question, to make us course-correct. Hence it is extremely important for a film of this calibre and I have seen the film."

Showing his support for Sanal, Gandhi said he understands the filmmaker's desire to be a part of festivals like IFFI. "I stand by the filmmaker's desire to be at a festival of this calibre," he said. "It is our biggest international film festival and there is a mutual relationship there. The filmmaker has shown the desire, has shown his part of the social contract by offering his insights, his ideas and his worldview to the platform. In turn the platform has to honour the social contract it has towards its artistes and its filmmakers."

Related topics

IFFI Censorship