November 26, 2017
Indian Panorama jury members on Sunday said they are yet to
hear from IFFI officials on the screening of Sanal Kumar Sasidharan's film "S
Durga", a day after he submitted its copies to festival Director Sunit Tandon as
directed by the Kerala High Court.
Ruchi Narain, one of the jury members for the Indian Panorama section of the 48th International Film Festival of India, told IANS that she had not been informed by IFFI officials about a screening for the jury members yet.
"There has been no intimation from IFFI yet. We are waiting for them to contact us," Narain said.
The last few days saw a standoff between the makers of Malayalam film "S Durga" and the festival authorities over screening of the controversial film, which was one of the two films to be dropped from the screening schedule of the Indian Panorama section.
Three members, including the head of the jury panel Sujoy Ghosh, resigned in protest against the dropping while six jury members wrote to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry raising concerns over the move.
After Sasidharan petitioned the Kerala High Court, the court directed IFFI to screen the film after its censored version was screened for the jury.
An appeal by the Ministry to stay the direction was rejected by the High Court on Friday.
Narain said after the court order she was one of the first jury members to write to IFFI seeking to know when the film will be screened for the jury.
"I am in Mumbai now. But if IFFI wants me to be in Goa for the jury screening, I am willing to go," Narain told IANS.
Another jury member, on the condition of anonymity, told IANS that he too had not been informed by IFFI about a jury screening.
Sasidharan told reporters here that it was unfortunate that the festival authorities were dragging their feet.
"They are actually treating us like dogs," Kumar said, adding that he was asked to wait for an hour and a half for merely submitting the film copies to the IFFI Director on Saturday.
IFFI spokesperson Manish Desai said it was up to the festival authorities to schedule a screening for the jury.
The festival, which kicked off on November 20, will end on Tuesday (November 28).