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NEW DELHI/ PANAJI: The curtain came down on the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa without the film ‘S Durga’ by Kerala filmmaker Sanal Sasidharan being screened despite a Kerala high court order as the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) rejected the film hours before the event ended.
CBFC stepped in even before the information & broadcasting ministry could offer its final verdict on whether the film should be screened or not after the festival jury had voted 7:4 in favour of the film on Monday and referred the matter to the ministry for a final decision.
While speculation continued over how or when S Durga would be screened, considering that the festival schedule was already packed, CBFC on Tuesday morning issued a letter to the filmmaker denying permission to exhibit it at the Goa festival.
The board said that it would re-examine the U/A certificate to ‘S Durga’ in the wake of fresh complaints by the jury about the film’s title being The CBFC letter to S Durga’s producer Shaji Mathew said, “We now have received complaints from the IFFI jury in Goa that the title of the film on the title card is shown by the filmmaker as ‘S### Durga’ (where the # means rectangular white boxes) which has totally different implications and is effectively undermining and attempting to defeat the very basis of the title registration and changes effected thereby.”
The ministry had taken strong umbrage to the filmmaker’s public protests, seeing them as an attempt to generate bad publicity for IFFI and seemed to be fairly determined not to screen it.
The alleged alteration in the title and the CBFC’s review allowed the organisers to avoid screening the film altogether.
Sources told TOI that the CBFC had, in effect, taken offence to the filmmaker’s decision to use the three “rectangular white boxes” in the film’s title card and used that as the reason for denying permission for the film’s screening at the festival. The title had been changed from “Sexy Durga” to “S Durga”. further tweaked.