Acclaimed Kerala film director Kamal, who is also the Chairman of the Kerala State Chalachitra Academy, has criticised how the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has denied permission to exhibit three films at the upcoming 10th International Documentary Short Film Festival that begins in Thiruvananthapuram next week.
The three films that have been denied permission to be screened include 'The Unbearable Being of Lightness', a 45-minute long documentary that tells about the Rohith Vemula incident, 'March March March', a 19-minute short film that shows the JNU agitation, and 'In The Shade of Fallen Chinar', a 16-minute film that shows the lives of a group of young Kashmiri artists who are university students.
"This is some sort of a cultural emergency that is now prevailing in the country and we are facing it here," Kamal told IANS.
Kamal said the process in this festival is that once the films are selected to be screened, then they see if the films have a censor certificate.
"What we do as organisers is, then we apply for an exemption to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry for all those films that do not have a censor certificate. In all, at the five-day festival which is starting on June 16, there are 210 films, of which around 170 films did not have the censor certificate.
"We were surprised that all but these three films got the exemption," said Kamal.
He said that he has been told that this is the first time in the history of this festival that films have been denied the exemption.
"Now the only way out is for the director or the producer to approach the legal system," added Kamal.