Close to 160 film-makers have written to I&B Minister Venkaiah Naidu condemning the decision to ban three documentary films at IDSFFK (International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala.) The three banned documentary films deal with Kashmir, JNU, and the suicide of Dalit student Rohit Vemula.
According to a report in The Wire, the film-makers have urged the I&B Ministry to issue an exemption letter for all the three films. This is to ensure that the films do not face anymore issues in the future.
Through their letter, the filmmakers condemned the I&B Ministry’s draconian actions.
“A brief perusal of the themes of the films denied screening indicates that each one of these films is dealing with prominent political issues that have led to much discussion within the country. It is also clear that the government of the day is resorting to draconian action to stifle all such political debate and indeed Article 19 of our constitution, which guarantees the right to freedom of expression to every citizen of this country.”
The filmmakers also said that they were ‘deeply distressed’ at such attempts to stifle their artistic freedom.
“We are part of a community of filmmakers and artists who are deeply disturbed by these attempts to restrict artistic voices. We cannot support actions that deprive audiences of meaningful cinema and endanger the democratic values of our country.”
The Kerala Chalachitra Academy has also appealed against the ban.