Sujoy Ghosh has stepped down from the panel of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) amid claims of the ministry dropping two films without consulting the jury. The Kahaani director gave a confirmation to The Indian Express but refrained from commenting on the development.

Sujoy Ghosh. Image from Twitter/@charmyh

Sujoy Ghosh. Image from Twitter/@charmyh

The filmmaker’s decision comes after the Ministry of Information and Broadcast dropped Malayalam film S Durga (erstwhile Sexy Durga) and Nude from the final list of movies to be screened at the event without consulting the jury.

Not only does this step attack freedom of expression, it also violates Clause 8.5 of the Indian Panorama 2017 Regulation, which clearly states that “the decision of the juries shall be final and binding and no appeal or correspondence regarding their decision shall be entertained.” The jury had earlier conveyed to the ministry that an explanation must be provided for every film removed. However, as per the report, no such explanation was given to the panel and the final list was put up by the ministry on its own.

Miffed with the ministry’s interference and not being kept in the loop, a few jury members had also written to the ministry, expressing their disappointment with its move.

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