Mumbai international film festival drops Pakistani film due to threats and Indo-Pak tensions

The tension between India and Pakistan cast its shadow and affected the Mumbai International Film Festival as the organizers dropped the Pakistani film "Jago Hua Savera"

Mumbai film festival
Film-maker Vivek Agnihotri. Wikimedia commons

October 18, 2016: Mumbai international film festival,Mumbai Academy of Moving Image, Indo-Pak tension, Pakistani films in its retrospective section due to threats of protests at the screening of the film.

“Given the current situation, the Jio MAMI 18th Mumbai Film Festival with Star has decided not to programme ‘Jago Hua Savera’ as part of the Restored Classics Section,” organizers of the festival stated.
The decision was made after a city-based organization ‘Sangharsh’ threatened to launch protests if the 1958 movie was screened.

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The outfit had also sought permission of the police to stage the protest at the festival, beginning from 20th October.

Post the Uri attack last month, the India-Pak tension has triggered strong demands in several sections to ban Pakistani artistes along with the Pakistani films.

“Jago Hua Savera”, directed by AJ Kardar, was screened as a ‘Classic’ in this year’s Cannes Film Festival. The movie was co-produced during the time of undivided Pakistan (now independent Pakistan and Bangladesh) and the shooting location was Dhaka.

In 1960, the movie was chosen for the Best Foreign Language Film from Pakistan at the 32nd Academy Awards.

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Featuring talents from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan; the film starred the famous Khan Ataur Rahman, Tripti Mitra, and Zurain Rakshi.

The wonderful screenplay of the film was penned by renowned poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz who is revered by people on both sides of the border and the music was co-composed by Timir Baran with Nauman Taseer.

Renowned poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz, who wrote the screenplay of the movie. Wikimedia commons
Renowned poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz, who wrote the screenplay of the movie. Wikimedia commons

The festival, chaired by popular filmmaker Kiran Rao, will screen over 180 films from 54 countries and it is scheduled to run till 27th October. The movies would be screened at various spots all across the megapolis.

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Censor Board of Film Certification member Ashoke Pandit, Prithvi Mhaske of Sangharsh Foundation, actor George Baker and filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri have welcomed the decision of ‘Mumbai Academy of Moving Image’ not to screen the film.

“If MAMI has decided to not screen the film, we welcome the decision, that they have understood the sentiments,” Mhaske, who had filed the complaint against the organizers for screening the film at MAMI, stated.

The organizers were thanked by Pandit, another member of Indian Motion Picture Producers Association (IMPPA).

“Thank you #MAMI for not showcasing any #Pakistani film in this year’s edition of the Mumbai Film Festival. #JagoHuaSavera,” he tweeted.

Baker, a popular actor from Assamese and Bengali cinema, stated that the priority right now should be the sentiment of the nation.

“I appreciate the quality of the film, though I haven’t seen it. It has travelled to festivals and won several awards. It had Indian artistes and was shot by a Pakistani. Keeping all this aside, we should remember that Indians are broad-minded but not stupidly disloyal to the country. If this is the national sentiment right now, then it should be banned.”

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Agnihotri claimed that he is against any kind of ban, but he also feels that culture is a strong weapon indeed to give it back to Pakistan.

“I’m absolutely against any kind of ban or boycott but at the same time I am wise enough to understand when my country has taken a strategy to isolate Pakistan it’s not against a film or an actor. It’s to send a message to Pakistan that if you do not stop terrorism then this is the price you will have to pay,” he said.

-by NewsGram team with PTI inputs