Panaji: Calling Malayalam film “S Durga” one of the best Indian films of the year, IFFI Steering Committee member Anand Gandhi on Thursday said that it was the responsibility of the festival authorities to screen the controversial film.
Even though some films cause anxiety, discomfort and challenge privileges, they hold a window to the future and must be acknowledged, Gandhi, a director, told IANS at the 48th International Film Festival of India here.
“If I was on the jury, I would also strongly recommend the film considering I really feel that this is one of the best films made in this country this year.
“I really think inclusiveness there would mean including the expert opinion and taking it seriously,” Gandhi said, when asked if the organisers were not being inclusive in spirit by dodging the issue of screening the film, despite the Kerala High Court on Tuesday directing the IFFI hosts to screen Sanal Kumar Sasidharan’s “S Durga”.
“I really think the festival should address this and redress this urgently. Everybody concerned with the festival including all of us should make this festival inclusive and by inclusive it doesn’t mean non-curated of course,” the director of National award-winning film “The Ship of Theseus” said.
The makers of the film have claimed that both IFFI Director Sunit Tandon as well as the Union Ministry for Information and Broadcasting have been ignoring them over the issue of screening the film at the festival despite orders from the high court.
“S Durga” and Marathi film “Nude” were controversially dropped by the I&B Ministry from the screening schedule at the Indian Panorama section, despite the jury’s approval.
Gandhi claimed that there is a need to be responsible towards films and filmmakers.
“We need to be extremely responsible towards films and filmmakers, who are taking us towards the future and this future may not always be comfortable, not always be causing us great discomfort, may cause us anxiety even, but that is the whole point of art.
“The whole point of art, cinema is to challenge our notions, to challenge our privileges, to make us question, to make us course correct.
“And hence it is extremely important for a film of this calibre and I have seen the film. I stand by the filmmaker’s desire to be at a festival of this calibre. It is our biggest international film festival and there is a mutual relationship there.
“The filmmaker has shown the desire, has shown his part of the social contract by offering his insights, his ideas and his worldview to the platform and in turn the platform has to honour that social contract it has towards its artistes and its filmmakers,” Gandhi said.