IFFI 2017 won't screen S Durga, cites certification issues

Atom Egoyan

Atom Egoyan

The film that was earlier titled Sexy Durga was granted U/A certificate after the CBFC asked for several modifications and deletions. In a fresh twist to the S Durga saga, IFFI director Sunit Tandon said the film could not screened at the festival which closes on Tuesday.

"We have been informed by IFFI that the film will be screened at 6 pm on Monday", the jury member said on the condition of anonymity.

Atom Egoyan conducts a Master Class at IFFI 2017
Atom Egoyan conducts a Master Class at IFFI 2017

The letter further cites that the filmmakers have "prima facie deliberately violated rules". In this connection, I am directed to uniform you that the above film will be re-examined under the provision of the Cinematograph Act, 1952 and Cinematograph (Certification) Rules, 1983. To this Sanal responds, "If IFFI is sitting around waiting for the Festival to be over without showing my film, then it would amount to contempt of court and I'll take legal action against the I & B ministry and the Government accordingly".

Kala Chalachitra Academy Chairman Kamal said that S Durga will be screened as a mark of protest and political resistance against the Centre's move to prohibit the film's screening at IFFI. The directed received a letter from the Central Board of Film Certification saying the CBFC received complaints from the jury regarding the title of the film on the title card that was shown to them.

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The officer claimed that the way the film's title was projected in the print shown to the festival jury on Monday night was different from the version verified by the board's cut verification committee.

However, with the CBFC deciding to re-examine the certification of the film, it will not be screened at IFFK either, Sanal said.

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It's do-or-die for the Sexy Durga director. Interestingly, a film need not have a censor certificate to get screened at a film festival, but the ministry's exemption is mandatory. The film, which revolves around a nine-year-old boy with Polio getting isolated by his family in the mountains of Balochistan, was to be featured in the foreign languages section at the 48th edition of the film festival.

It was later selected by the Indian Panorama jury for competition at IFFI, one of India's most coveted film festivals.

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The decision comes on the very day that the prestigious IFFI is set to conclude in Goa.

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