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Last Updated Sunday October 25 2020 04:36 PM IST

Save Democracy: 'S Durga' makers stage protest at IFFI venue

G Ragesh
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Sexy Durga protest Sexy Durga director Sanal Kumar Sasidharan and actor Kannan Nayar staged a protest outside the main venue of IFFI. Photo: G Ragesh

Panaji: Malayalam filmmaker Sanal Kumar Sasidharan staged a protest on the campus of the 48th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) on Tuesday fed up over the silence of the organizers on the screening of his film S Durga.

Sanal, along with his lead actor Kannan Nayar, resorted to protest after the authorities refused to screen the film even after the Indian Panorama jury voting in favor of it for a second time late on Monday. The festival will come to a close on Tuesday evening.

Sanal and Kannan stood outside Inox Complex, the main venue of the festival, holding a poster that read "Save Democracy", designed similar to his movie posters.

Sanal said the IFFI officials were making a mockery of judiciary by not complying with the Kerala High Court order that mandate that the film be screened at the festival after the jury watches its censored version.

Seven of the 11 jury members who watched the censored version of the film on Monday have voted in favor of screening the film. Suresh Heblikar, Nishikant Kamat, Satarupa Sanyal, Nikhil Advani, Hari Viswanath, Ruchi Narain and Sachin Chatte, recommended that the film be screened for its "artistic, cinematic and social content."

Copies of a statement issued by them dated November 27, 2017, were distributed during the protest.

On Monday, acting head of the Indian Panorama jury Rahul Rawail said that the jury's decision would be formally conveyed by the Union Information and Broadcasting ministry to the Kerala High Court.

The Sanal Kumar Sasidharan-film was dropped from the screening schedule of the 48th International Film Festival of India, along with another film Nude, triggering controversy.

After Sasidharan petitioned the Kerala high court, the Court directed IFFI to screen the film at the festival, after a censored version of the movie was screened for the jury.

An appeal by the Information and Broadcasting ministry to stay the court direction was also rejected by the high court on Friday.

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