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MAMI won't screen Pakistani film amidst protest threats

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

After a city-based social organisation threatened to protest against the upcoming MAMI Film Festival for screening Pakistani film "Jago Hua Savera", the organisers have decided not to showcase the movie.

The outfit, Sangharsh, had accused the organisers of playing with the nationalist sentiment of people of India, at a time of tension with after the Uri terror attack.

They had also sought police permission to protest over the screening of the 1958 Pakistani film at the 18th Jio MAMI Film Festival with Star, which begins fromOctober 20.

"Given the current situation, the Jio MAMI 18th Film Festival with Star has decided not to programme 'Jago Hua Savera' as part of the Restored Classics Section," organisers of the festival said in a statement.

Directed by AJ Kardar, "Jago Hua Savera" was selected as the entry from for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 32nd Academy Awards in 1960.

The film was co-produced during the days of undivided (now independent Pakistan and Bangladesh) and shot in Dhaka.

It tells the tale of life in a small fishing village where everyone dreams of owning their own boat.

The film was set to be screened in the 'restored classic' section of the festival, which is chaired by superstar Aamir Khan's wife Kiran Rao.

The 18th edition of the festival will be held fromOctober 20-27in which over 180 films from 54 countries would be screened at several spots across the megapolis.


Meanwhile, Prithvi Mhaske of Sangharsh Foundation, Censor Board of Film Certification member Ashoke Pandit, filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri and actor George Baker have welcomed MAMI's decision to not 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 organisers for screening the film at MAMI, said.

Pandit, who is also a member of Indian Motion Picture Producers Association (IMPPA), thanked the organisers.

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

Popular actor from Bengali and Assamese cinema, Baker, said the priority right now should be the national sentiment.

"I appreciate the quality of the film, though I haven't seen it. It has traveled to festivals and won several awards. It had Indian artistes and was shot by a Pakistani.

"Keeping all this aside, we should remember that they are Indian, they are broad-minded but not stupidly disloyal to the country. If this is the national sentiment right now that it should be banned then we should give preference to that."

Agnihotri said he is against any kind of ban, but feels culture is a strong weapon 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.

First Published: Mon, October 17 2016. 13:57 IST