Sanal Sasidharan:  “Ravi  Jadhav and I are Going To Court.”

Malayalam  filmmaker Sanal Sasidharan who should be devoting all his time to the post-production work of his  new film, is running in and out of  his lawyer’s office.

He has taken the  I & B Ministry and  the IFFI to court for the seemingly cursory rejection  of  his film S Durga .

“It is very important for me to  create  an atmosphere of transparency in us Indian filmmakers’ workings with the Government. Otherwise , how do we know that what has happened to my film and to Ravi Jadhav’s film at the IFFI won’t happen to other filmmakers? How can we make films under a cloud of suspicion, hostility and  uncertainty?” asks Sanal, determined to make this fight to the finish, a battle  for creative freedom  for filmmakers across India.

Says Sanal, “They(the  IFFI authorities) now say my was rejected because I had submitted an uncensored  version of the film. But this is a norm when films are sent to film  festivals. Very often it is too early to procure censor certification  for  films that are sent to film festivals. Uncensored versions are  customarily shown at festivals. If the I & B ministry had  a problem  with screening  an uncensored version  of my film at  IFFI why didn’t they say so?They have not said anything to me . I only hear various explanations and allegations  in the media.”

Sanal’s problem is not so much the fact that his  film was so summarily rejected. It is  the  lack of information about the change. “Neither Ravi Jadhav nor I  was informed   about our films being pulled out.I’ve filed a writ petition in  the  Kerala High Court . It comes  up for hearing on  Thursday.”

Sanal’s contention is that he doesn’t trust the judgment  of  the people who decide what goes or doesn’t go into festivals. “The  person helming  the  I & B ministry, is  according to me, not qualified  to  decide the merit  of our cinema.I don’t mind my film being rejected. But I need to be told why it is being rejected, and not just told anything. Please give a  valid reason.”

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