Explain reasons for rejecting Assamese film at National Awards: High Court

The Delhi High Court directed the Centre to explain the reasons for rejecting the movie Ekhon Nedekha Nadir Xipaare, as non-Assamese at this year’s National Film Awards despite it being cleared by the Censor Board as Assamese.

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw issued notice to Information and Broadcasting Ministry, Directorate of Film Festival and chairperson and jury of the 59th National Film Festival and sought their response by next week.

“We would like to know the basis on which the film was rejected as Assamese film for the 59th film festival 2011,” the bench said while hearing a PIL filed by enajori.com, a society to promote films, seeking direction to set aside the decision of jury members to reject the film.

The film, directed by Bidyut Kotoky, stars veteran Victor Banerjee, Sanjay Suri, Raj Zutshi, Priti Jhangiani and Bidita Bag among others. It also has a Hindi version As the River Flows.

The National Awards were announced in March and the distribution ceremony will be held in May.

In his writ petition, the petitioner alleged that by rejecting the film in the regional language, the jury deprived the Assamese film industry from participating in the competition.

The court asked the petitioner to implead the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) as party in the PIL. According to the PIL, the film was rejected on the ground that some dialogues were in Hindi and English due to which this could not be considered as Assamese film.

The petition further said the jury members selected a film as best in the regional language category (I Am) which was shot at various places in Kashmir, Kolkata, Bangalore and Mumbai and the dialogues were in Hindi, English and Kashmiri but Ekhon Nedekha Nadir Xipaare was not considered as Assamese which is “illegal”.

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