Sanal Kumar Sasidharan is not happy. Ever since he got a mail from the Chalachitra Academy that his film Sexy Durga — the third he directs — has been selected for the Malayalam Cinema category of the International Film Festival of Kerala, which begins in Thiruvananthapuram in December. “It is not a category I applied for. Unless it is selected in a more deserving category, I am not interested in screening the film,” he says, hours after an angry post on Facebook.
He writes in the post that he is thinking about sitting in protest in front of the Kerala Chalachitra Academy, with the international accolades he has received for Sexy Durga. The film has won three international awards including the Hivos Tiger Award at the Rotterdam Film Festival. Sanal further writes that he can’t let the people running the fest show favouritism, choosing films that are of interest to them, when the academy and the IFFK were meant for promoting good art house films.
“It is very obvious there is a conspiracy here to insult me and tell me that my film is not a great one and that it deserves only so much. It’s because I have been quite vocal in my reactions against some of their decisions in the past, like selecting a film that was not even complete for the competition category last year,” Sanal says. Academy chairman and director Kamal has now spoken to Sanal about considering his film for the world cinema category, he adds. Sanal’s previous film, Ozhivu Divasathe Kali, won the state award for best film the year before.