India News

‘Balekempa’ Producers Withdraw Submission From Film Festivals Following Sexual Harassment Allegations Against Director Ere Gowda

Further to the sexual harassment allegations made against filmmaker Ere Gowda, Zoo Entertainment, the producers of Gowda’s debut directorial Balekempa, announced on Tuesday that they were withdrawing the film from “all festival commitments” until they have clarity on the facts.

On Monday, a young woman who didn’t want to be named, made the allegation against Gowda through a post shared by her friend on Facebook. She accused him of committing a sexual act in front of her and also repeatedly trying to coerce her into having sex with him.

Soon after, the organisers of Dharamshala International Film Festival announced that they will not screen Gowda’s directorial – Balekempa, at their fest in November this year. “Following the allegation of sexual harassment against Ere Gowda, DIFF will not screen Balekempa and Ere Gowda will not be participating in DIFF in any way,” they said.


The film had won a FIPRESCI award at the International Film Festival Of Rotterdam this year, and was scheduled to be screened at the India Gold section at the 20th edition of MAMI Mumbai Film Festival which begins tomorrow.

In a press release, Zoo Entertainment declared their solidarity with the Me Too movement.


“We strongly believe in the equality of all people, and wish to express our solidarity with the Me Too movement towards making our society a safer and better place. We note that the concerned person has chosen to remain anonymous. We understand that Gowda is yet to give his statement regarding the allegation. We find the allegation shocking, and are deeply disturbed and saddened. As the producers of Balekempa, directed by Ere Gowda, we feel a need to take decisive action regarding how we wish to take things forward with the film,” they said.

Balekempa is the directorial debut of Ere Gowda who shot to fame as the writer of the highly-acclaimed Kannada film, Thithi.