Filmmaker Sujoy Ghosh has resigned as head of the jury of the Indian Panorama of the 48th International Film Festival of India (IIFI) after the final selection saw two films -- "Sexy Durga" and "Nude" -- excluded.
The 13-member jury, led by Ghosh, had reportedly included both the movies in their recommended list, but they did not find their way in the list passed by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
Asked if he has resigned as jury head, Ghosh told IANS: "Yes, but I can't say anything more than that right now."
The jury included names like Nishikant Kamat, Nikkhil Advani, Apurva Asrani, Ruchi Narain and Gyan Correa, some of whom have expressed dissent over the ministry's move.
"Sexy Durga", which will release in theatres as "S Durga", is a Malayalam film by Sanal Kumar Sasidharan, while "Nude" is a Marathi movie by National Award winning director Ravi Jadhav.
Sasidharan's movie was earlier refused censor exemption to be screened at the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival as the Information and Broadcasting Ministry concluded it "may affect the law and order as it hurts the religious sentiments".
He is beyond disappointed.
"I was thinking about the unfortunate things happening in our country. This government is ruthlessly capturing all the spaces of artists in an autocratic way. It is supporting extreme groups in destroying artistic freedom and freedom of expression for stupid reasons," he wrote in a Facebook post on Tuesday.
Jadhav told IANS he was shocked to read a news report about the exclusion of his film "Nude", which the jury had recommended as the opening film.
"Don't go by the name," said the hapless director of his film, which is a sensitive tale about a nude model who poses for painters.