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IFFI 2017: Why not, says festival director Sunit Tandon when asked if S Durga can still be slotted

The film does not figure in the schedule for the second and final half of the festival, but the Kerala high court has ordered IFFI to screen it.

Photo: Shutterbugs Images

Mayur Lookhar

The schedule for the final four days of the 48th International Film Festival of India is out, but it has no mention of Sanal Kumar Sasidharan's S Durga.

A single judge of the Kerala high court had on Tuesday ordered the Union information and broadcasting (I&B) ministry to screen the film at IFFI.

The ministry appealed against the order yesterday, but a division bench of the high court today did not stay the order while admitting the petition.

Shortly before this news filtered in to Goa, we spoke to IFFI director Sunit Tandon who was quite reluctant to talk. “You know it all," Tandon remarked when told that a high court division bench was hearing the ministry's appeal and asked if he had any update.

With the schedule for the final four days announced and printed, is there still a slot available for S Durga? “Why not?” Tandon said and headed off to his office.

S Durga lead actor Kannan Nayar said, "The court has ordered the jury to see the censored version of the film and take a final call. I’m carrying a censored copy with me, but so far no one has asked for it. I spoke to Sunit Tandon, but there was no word from him.”

Lead actress Rajshri Deshpande was awaiting a meeting with the jury when we spoke to her. She, too, said the court had asked the jury to watch the censored version and decide.

"Earlier, the jury had seen the uncensored version," she explained. "The censored version has no visual cut, just some 20 audio cuts. We had a brief discussion with a few members and expressed a few points."

Deshpande said the film's team has nothing against the jury or the festival. "Some of the members are my friends," she said. "They didn't have any problem with the film earlier, and we are hoping there won't be any now. I just hope a final decision comes tomorrow and our film is screened."

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