The 19th International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) have hit the controversies months before it began. Director Ranjith has stirred the controversy by withdrawing his latest flick "Njan" starring Dulquer Salmaan from the film festival.
The announcement came as his film was not included in the list of films for International Competition section. The film was instead included in the section of "Malayalam Cinema Today".
"I do not want "Njan" to be featured in the Malayalam Cinema Today section, as the authorities wished, and would have rather liked to be included in the Competition Section," Ranjith told The Hindu. "I do not have any complaints, but I had the freedom to wish that my "Njan" would be screened in the Competition Section. I guess I also have the freedom to withdraw my film. The feedback has been extremely positive to "Njan" and I believe it deserved to be in the Competition Section; it is a kind of film, I thought, that could represent Malayalam cinema in a festival like the IFFK."
Meanwhile, the director also said he was surprised to find out that the film "Munnariyippu", which was co-produced by him was also not included in the competition section.
"It has been regarded as one of the best films of the year and I do not know why it had to be ignored like this," added the director
Meanwhile one of the jury members Vijayakrishnan said Ranjith's decision to withdraw the film was a folly.
"Ranjith's decision not to screen his film is a foolish one. I want to ask Ranjith whether he has watched the films included in the competition category. There are film-makers who believe that the films they make are only fit for awards and competitions. But this is the jury's decision. This time 80% of films that will be screened for the festival are by newcomers. There are hardly one or two filmmakers who are not new," said Vijaykrishnan to The Times of India
He also added that the jury have taken work of art in to consideration than the people behind it.
"We have taken only the work of art into consideration, not the people behind it. The films we saw fall in two categories this time — good and bad, there is no middle category. If you critically analyse the movies given for selection, all of them fall in different categories. Various genres can be seen this time at the IFFK. "Zahir" and "Asthamayam Vare" have an abstract behaviour; "Alif" falls under a realistic category and "1983" is an entertainer," added Vijayakrishnan.
The Malayalam films which were included in the competition section was "Zahir" directed by Sidhartha Siva and "Unto The Dusk" ("Asthamayam Vare") directed by Sajin Babu.
"Names Unknown" ("Perariyathavan") directed by Dr Biju, "Jalamsam" directed by MP Sukumaran Nair, "Alif" directed by NK Muhammed Koya, "Six Feet High" ("Oralpokkam") directed by Sanalkumar Sasidharan, "Calton Towers" directed by Salil Lal Ahamed and "1983" directed by Abrid Shine were included in the section of "Malayalam Cinema Today".
The films are selected by a jury comprising of B Lenin, PP Govindan and Vijayakrishnan. This year's IFFK is scheduled to be held 12-19 December 2014.