Kerala High Court has asked Information & Broadcasting Ministry to screen S Durga (formerly titled Sexy Durga) at the ongoing International Film Festival India (IFFI), Goa. The film, made by Malayalam director Sanal Kumar Sasidharan, was earlier dropped from the Indian Panorama section of IFFI without any clear indication why. One of the films to be selected by the 13-member committee, S Durga and Ravi Jadhav’s film Nude were both removed from the final list of films to be screen.
Committee chairperson Sujoy Ghosh stepped down in protest and two other team members Gyan Correa and Apurva Asrani followed suit.
I had no idea these films had been dropped till yesterday. Also, I learned from the new opening film from the press. I have written to the federation expressing my disappointment.
— Apurva Asrani
Several other members of the committee wrote to the ministry seeking either explanation or redressal. I&B minister, Smriti Irani, who was in Goa for IFFI’s inauguration ceremony on November 20, has till date offered no direct comment on the issue.
It was the moniker of ‘sexy’ used for Durga that was found to be offensive and therefore led to the move, ministry representatives told Kerala HC. But since the film had received a U/A certificate from the Censor Board, the court ruled that there was no need to keep the film from screening at the film festival.
The film has previously screened at many international festivals including the Golden Apricot Yeravan Film Festival, in Armenia.