Filmmaker Sujoy Ghosh has resigned as head of a jury at the 48th International Film Festival of India (IIFI)
His move came after two films — Sexy Durga and Nude — were excluded from the Indian Panorama programme.
The 13-member Jury for Feature Films, led by Ghosh, reportedly included both the movies in their recommended list, but neither made it into the final cut approved by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
Asked if he has resigned, Ghosh said: “Yes, but I can’t say anything more than that right now.”
The jury included industry veterans such as Nishikant Kamat, Nikkhil Advani, Apurva Asrani, Ruchi Narain and Gyan Correa, some of whom have expressed disappointment over the ministry’s move.
Sexy Durga, which will release in theatres as S Durga, is a Malayalam film by Sanal Kumar Sasidharan, while Nude is a Marathi movie by Indian National Award winning director Ravi Jadhav.
Sasidharan’s movie was earlier barred from being screened at the Jio Mami Mumbai Film Festival as the Information and Broadcasting Ministry concluded it “may affect the law and order as it hurts the religious sentiments”.
Sasidharan wrote in a Facebook post on Tuesday: “I was thinking about the unfortunate things happening in our country. This government is ruthlessly capturing all the spaces of artists in an autocratic way. It is supporting extreme groups in destroying artistic freedom and freedom of expression for stupid reasons.”
Jadhav said he was shocked to read a news report about the exclusion of his film Nude, which the jury had recommended as the opening film.
“Don’t go by the name,” he said about his film, which is a sensitive tale about a nude model who poses for painters.