The International Film Festival of India (IFFI) has been instructed by the Kerala High Court to screen Sanal Sasidharan’s controversial Malayalam film, S Durga. The process of screening the film seems to be moving ahead, what with the IFFI jury having resolved to view the film on Monday evening. However Sasidharan is not convinced of the IFFI’s intentions of screening the film. “The jury is supposed to watch my film on Monday evening. Only after that would a decision be taken on when it will be screened at IFFI. These seem like stalling tactics to me. The number of days left for the festival is rapidly shrinking,” says Sanal.
However, he sees a silver lining. “At best, my film gets to be finally screened at the IFFI. I’d see that as a big victory for independent cinema in India. In a worse-case scenario, whatever the IFFI does with my film, it now has a much larger audience waiting to see it when it is released commercially. For that I must thank the information and broacast ministry and the IFFI organisers.” Ravi Jadhav, whose Marathi film Nude was also ousted from the IFFI, was not able to join Sanal in the fight against arbitrary governmental intervention in the screening process. “Ravi must have had his constraints and decided against wasting his time in the legal process. I must say it has so far been a pretty frustrating fight for me,” admits Sanal.