Ravi Jadhav and I Are Going to Court: Sanal Sasidharan
Sanal Sasidharan, director of <i>S Durga </i>and Ravi Jadhav, director of <i>Nude, </i>whose films were unceremoniously dropped from IFFI.
Sanal Sasidharan, director of S Durga and Ravi Jadhav, director of Nude, whose films were unceremoniously dropped from IFFI. (Photo Courtesy: Twitter)

Ravi Jadhav and I Are Going to Court: Sanal Sasidharan

Malayalam filmmaker Sanal Sasidharan, who should be devoting all his time to the post-production work of his new film, is running in and out of his lawyer’s office. He has taken the I & B Ministry and the IFFI (International Film Festival of India) to court for the seemingly cursory rejection of his film S Durga.

“It is very important for me to create an atmosphere of transparency in us Indian filmmakers’ workings with the Government. Otherwise, how do we know that what has happened to my film and to Ravi Jadhav’s film at the IFFI won’t happen to other filmmakers? How can we make films under a cloud of suspicion, hostility and uncertainty?”
Sanal Sasidharan, the director of S Durga.

He is determined to take this fight to the finish, a battle for creative freedom for filmmakers across India. Sasidharan goes on to say, “They (the IFFI authorities) now say my film was rejected because I had submitted an uncensored version of the film. But this is a norm when films are sent to film festivals.”

Very often, it is too early to procure censor certification for films that are sent to film festivals. Uncensored versions are customarily shown at festivals. “If the I & B ministry had a problem with screening an uncensored version of my film at IFFI, why didn’t they say so? They have not said anything to me. I only hear various explanations and allegations in the media.” added Sasidharan.

Sasidharan’s problem is not so much the fact that his film was so summarily rejected. It is the lack of information about the change.

Stills from <i>S Durga</i> and <i>Nude</i>.
Stills from S Durga and Nude.
(Photo Courtesy: Twitter, altered by The Quint)
“Neither Ravi Jadhav nor I were informed about our films being pulled out. I’ve filed a writ petition in the Kerala High Court . It comes up for hearing on Thursday.”
Sanal Sasidharan, the director of S Durga.

His contention is that he doesn’t trust the judgment of the people who decide what goes or doesn’t go into festivals. “The person helming the I & B ministry is according to me, not qualified to decide the merit of our cinema. I don’t mind my film being rejected. But I need to be told why it is being rejected, and not just told anything. Please give a valid reason.”

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