{ Page-Title / Story-Title }

News Malayalam

IFFI 2017: We don’t need the undeclared Emergency going on right now, says Lijin Jose

The filmmaker expressed dismay at the lack of protest at IFFI against the targeting of films and filmmakers.

Photo: Facebook/Lijin Jose

Sukhpreet Kahlon

Speaking before the screening of his film, 8½ Intercuts: Life And Films Of KG George, at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), director Lijin Jose expressed happiness at being able to make a film on one of the living legends of Malayalam cinema.

Mincing no words on the controversy around the screening of the Malayalam film S Durga at the festival, he said, "We had one declared Emergency, we don’t need the undeclared Emergency going on right now."

Asked his views on the stifling of creative expression in the case of Padmavati and S Durga, he said, “It’s very evident. It’s no more a secret what’s happening over here. On the one side the state decides what you should see, even in a film festival, and that’s really sad. On the other side the state is sponsoring whatever is happening with Padmavati.”

Expressing dismay, the filmmaker said people were protesting against both these films without even knowing the actual content! “Maybe it’s a stupid film after all! At least you can wait to watch it before criticizing it?”

Seeing the current situation in the country as “dangerous”, Jose expressed alarm that people were getting away with inciting violence against filmmakers. He spoke of his own response to the overruling of the IFFI jury's selection to pull two films out of the festival, saying, “Once a jury is appointed, you need to respect its decision.”

Jose said he was ready to pull his own film out of IFFI in protest but was advised to look for strength in numbers and watch the response of other filmmakers, especially Marathi directors. Though Jose spoke to several filmmakers, he did not find support from most quarters and so decided to articulate his opinion at the festival.

He also spoke of his dismay at the lack of protest at the festival on this issue: “The protest that has happened here is insufficient. We need more.”

Lijin Jose’s documentary attempts to understand the works of the revolutionary filmmaker KG George by revisiting some of his most important films and revealing details about the filmmaker's thought processes and work through extensive interviews and discussions with stalwarts in the Malayalam film industry.

The screening of his film received an enthusiastic response from the audience though the screening was plagued by some technical issues that the festival team was unable to resolve.

Related topics

IFFI Censorship