'Religious sentiment not behind dropping of Sexy Durga from IFFI'

Religious sentiment not behind dropping of Sexy Durga from IFFI
New Delhi: Amid continuing row over feature films Sexy Durga and Nude, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting sources said that certainly there is no new reason over the omission of the two films from the screening list of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa. Even the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI) had denied permission of screening Sexy Durga for 19th Mumbai Film Festival in the month of September and so the Kerala Film Festival, it claimed. Highly placed sources in the ministry said, "Hurting religious sentiments is not the prime issue for the objection, even the Regional Officer of Thiruvananthapuram found Sexy Durga provocative and objectionable."
Moreover, on September 19 while the producer Shaji Mathew submitted the feature film the CBFC also recommended for 'Excision' and 'Modifications' for the grant of U/A certificate—first, the title Sexy Durga should be changed and the vulgar words would be deleted. The Final DVD along with other documents was submitted by the producer on October 10 and U/A censor certificate was also issued for the film by CBFC, Thiruvananthapuram.
However, according to sources the Regional Officer also felt that the Sanal Kumar Sasidharan's film violates the Guideline 6 of the CBFC—provocative and disrespectful of certain faiths or religion. Hence, stressing on the points the Indian Panorama Feature Film Jury kept the film in waiting list.
Meanwhile in the recent development, many of the 13 members of the feature films jury of the Indian Panorama section are learnt to have sent individual mails to the ministry expressing unhappiness over the alleged move to interfere with their list. The jury, headed by director Sujoy Ghosh, had viewed 178 films to choose 20 for the festival, beginning on November 20. But following the controversy filmmaker Ghosh also resigned.
The incumbent NDA government amended the Panorama Guidelines to allow uncensored films for IFFI for the first time and whenever these are screened at festival, permission has to be taken from the I&B ministry with exemption certificate, ministry guidelines say.
On the other hand the Ravi Jadhav's Marathi film Nude deals with the lives of women who act as models for artistes—was also not technically complete, the ministry sources said.
Simontini Bhattacharjee

Simontini Bhattacharjee

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