Sexy Durga director Sanal Kumar Sasidharan has slammed the move of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to remove two films which were selected by the jury, from the list of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI).
Calling the act "unprecedented in history," Sanal told TNM that this has never happened before.
"It's something we've never heard of," he said.
Sanal's Malayalam film Sexy Durga and Rajiv Jadhav's Marathi film Nude were taken off the list of films to be screened at the 48th edition of IFFI by the I&B Ministry.
Previously, Sanal had to struggle before Sexy Durga was certified with a U/A. The film got the certificate after the title was changed to S Durga and as many as 21 audio mutes were made.
The films had been selected by a 13 member jury and the Ministry allegedly did not consult anyone before dropping the films.
In a Facebook post, Sanal, who has won global acclaim as a filmmaker, said, â€śIt is a shame that, no one from the Kerala film fraternity or any film activists or any Malayalam media makes any comment against the arbitrary removal of two films from the list of Indian Panorama by the I and B ministry."
The post reads: â€śEven some of the jury members have made public statement against this injustice. Where has gone our so called intellectuals now? Where is your slogans for the right to freedom and expression?.â€ť
Sanal had bagged the Kerala State Award for Best Filmmaker in 2014 for Oraalppokkam. The film had also won the prestigious FIPRESCI and Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema awards for the best Malayalam film at the International Film Festival Kerala.
Meanwhile, filmmaker Sujoy Ghosh who was the jury head of IFFI has stepped down from the post.
Reacting to the news, filmmaker Ruchi Narain, who is one of the jury members, told TNM that she is surprised and dismayed by the Ministryâ€™s move.
â€śI'm surprised and dismayed. Both the movies are both stunning cinematic experiences which the audiences of the film fest would have loved. It is quite surprising and disappointing that the movies were removed. We, the jury, worked very hard to select movies. We are all working filmmakers and film professionals. We spent three weeks, worked eight hours day. We set aside time, a lot of energy and emotion for the selection process,â€ť she said.
However she declined to comment on Ghosh's decision to quit.