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Last Updated Friday October 30 2020 09:54 AM IST

Fresh twist seals S Durga's fate at IFFI

G Ragesh
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Fresh twist seals S Durga's fate at IFFI

Panaji: Malayalam film S Durga will not be screened at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) as the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has sought 'reexamination' of the film.

The CBFC on Tuesday issued a notice to Shaji Mathew, producer of the film, saying the certification agency had received complaints from the IFFI jury over the title of the film.

"We have received complaints from the jury at Goa that the title of the film on the title card is shown as "S### Durga" (where the # means rectangular white boxes) which has totally different implications and are effectively undermining and attempting to defeat the very basis of the title registration and changes effected thereby," the letter issued by Prathibha A, regional officer, CBFC, Thiruvananthapuram, says.

The letter says that the U/A certificate was issued for the title S Durga and deletion of some abusive words in Malayalam.

The fresh order means that the film will not be screened at the ongoing IFFI despite seven of the 11 members of the Indian panorama jury voting in favor of it after watching the censored version on Monday night.

All tricks, says director

Reacting to the development, director Sanalkumar Sasidharan said the government was playing all sorts of trick to stop screening of his film at the IFFI. He said he would file a contempt petition against the IFFI officials for not complying with a Kerala High Court order that the film should be screened at the IFFI after the Indian Panorama jury watches its censored version.

Not jury's decision

Meanwhile, a jury member on condition of anonymity said that only a couple of the panel members had raised an issue over the title. He said all the jury members were not aware of the decision to write to the CBFC against the title.

Earlier in the day, S Durga director Sanal Kumar Sasidharan had said a majority of members of the Indian Panorama jury had voted in favor of the Malayalam film being screened at the festival, which ends on Tuesday.

The jury watched the censored version of the controversial film Monday night.

The film was dropped from the final IFFI list by the Information and Broadcasting ministry. On November 21, a day after the festival began, the Kerala High Court ordered that the film be screened at the November 20-28 festival.

Sasidharan, who had moved the court, told PTI that seven jury members were ready for the screening of the film but four people on the panel, with three new additions, didn't give their approval.

"I got to know that seven of the members were in favor of the screening of 'S Durga', but three new members on the panel as well one of the old members opposed the screening," Sanal said.

The three new members Sudhir Chaudhary, Satish Kaushik and Vivek Agnihotri -- were put on the jury after jury chairman Sujoy Ghosh and members Apurva Asrani and Gyan Correa resigned in protest over the exclusion of S Durga and Nude from the festival.

Filmmaker Rahul Rawail was appointed new chairman of the Indian Panorama section.

The ministry tried to obtain a stay order on the Kerala High Court's decision but it was denied by the court.

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