Solidarity with Kunjila: Filmmaker Manimekalai hits out at Kerala Chalachitra Academy

Kunjila and Leena Manimekalai
Kunjila Mascillamani being dragged away from the venue of the 3rd Women's International Film Festival in Kozhikode on Saturday. Leena Manimekalai (right).

In support of director Kunjila Mascillamani, filmmaker Leena Manimekalai has decided to never co-operate with the Kerala State Chalachitra Academy alleging 'systemic nepotism'.

Manimekalai expressed her solidarity with Kunjila, who had protested -- at the venue of the 3rd Women's International Film Festival organised by the Academy in Kozhikode -- for snubbing her film 'Asanghadithar'.

Kunjila's protest and the subsequent removal from the venue by the police had prompted several film personalities to offer their show of support. Director Vidhu Vincent had marked her protest by pulling out of the festival.

Manimekalai posted on her Facebook page that she was glad to have not accepted the "screening invitation for Maadathy - An Unfairy Tale from the same festival". Maadathy is Manimekalai's latest feature that was recently screened at Yale University.

Manimekalai, who called Kunjila's movie the "first ever original feminist film that has been made in Malayalam" has told the Kerala Chalachithra Academy to shut down the festival for not screening it.

"In fact, I have decided not to ever show my films at the festivals organised by Kerala Chalachithra Academy (IFFK, IDSFFK, and IWFK) because of its systemic nepotism and disrespect to local filmmakers," Manimekalai wrote.

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