And it is a wrap for International Film Festival of India (IFFI) 2017. while the closing ceremony of IFFI 2017 in Goa remained a starry affair with celebs like Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar, Katrina Kaif, Huma Qureshi and Siddharth Malhotra attending the ceremony, multiple controversies also kept the film festival in news.
There was no dearth of controversies this year at IFFI. From the exclusion of S Durga and Nude from the Indian Panorama section, Sujoy Ghosh’s resignation as the jury chief to Pakistani film Saawan being dropped and 20 people getting sacked by Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Minister Smriti Irani, the film festival was the focal point of a lot of tension.
As the eight-day festival concludes, here is a timeline of the controversies:
20 people sacked from IFFI review committee
Just three months before the film festival, Smriti Irani and her office removed 20 people from the film festival review committee. All these sacked 20 people were the former minister Venkaiah Naidu’s appointees. Irani communicated that the move was taken in order to make a reshuffle in the committee and start afresh with this year’s festival.
Pakistan’s official entry to Oscar Saawan dropped by IFFI
After S Durga and Nude, US based Pakistani filmmaker Farhan Alam’s directorial, Saawan, was dropped by the IFFI authorities. The film, which revolves around a nine-year-old boy with Polio getting isolated by his family in the mountains of Balochistan, was to be featured in the foreign languages section at the 48th edition of the film festival.
The director was informed by the IFFI authorities of the film’s selection only to be further conveyed in the first week of November that the film will not be screened, citing some scheduling issues at the festival.
IFFI feels the heat of Padmavati row
After sections of Rajput community demanding a ban on Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ambitious project Padmavati and sending out death threats to the lead actress Deepika Padukone, Shabana Azmi requested the film industry to boycott IFFI. In order to protest the mum stand of the I&B Ministry as well as the central government when a leading actress was being threatened by religious outfits, Shabana Tweeted to boycott the festival.
— Azmi Shabana (@AzmiShabana) November 18, 2017
4. The S Durga and Nude controversy
13 November: S Durga and Nude were dropped from the screening schedule at the ‘Indian Panorama’ section of IFFI 2017
14 November: Sujoy Ghosh, eminent filmmaker and head of the IFFI jury, resigns from his position after S Durga and Nude were pulled out from the screening schedule. Further, editor Apurva Asrani and filmmaker Gyan Correa also resigned from their respective positions in the IFFI jury.
15 November: Director of S Durga, Sanal Kumar Sasidharan moved Kerala High Court against the directives sent out by the I&B Ministry and the IFFI 2017 authorities.
18 November: Six out of the 13 jury members wrote a letter to Irani advocating the need of the questions put up against the women empowerment and safety situations in the country, thus, supporting the screening of the excluded films
21 November: Kerala HC cleared S Durga‘s screening at IFFI and pointed out that the film has already got clearance from a regional CBFC office
27 November: Jury revealed S Durga will be screened at IFFI on 28 November at 6 pm. Sasidharan received letter from IFFI to resubmit the film
28 November: CBFC intervened and declared S Durga will not be screened, citing issues with the way the title of the film was written