The Kerala High Court has ordered the screening of Malayalam film "S Durga" at the ongoing IFFI in Goa, days after the Information and Broadcasting Ministry dropped the movie from the festival.
Allowing a petition by the film's director Sanal Kumar Sasidharan, Justice B Vinod Chandran directed the ministry to screen it at the 48th edition of International Film Festival of India (IFFI).
The film's certified copy can be exhibited at the festival, which commenced on Monday, the court said in its order.
Sasidharan had moved the court after the film was dropped from the Panorama section of the festival, contending that the decision was unconstitutional.
Overruling the recommendation of the 13-member jury, the I&B ministry pulled out "S Durga" and Marathi movie "Nude" from the festival, which will continue until November 28.
The petitioner submitted that the ministry "arbitrarily vetoed" the decision of the jury "without any authority of law" and excluded the film from the Indian Panorama section, without notice to him and also without assigning any reason.
He further stated that some fringe elements protested against the film, based on their misunderstanding that the original title "Sexy Durga" referred to Goddess Durga whereas the work has nothing against the goddess, or any other religious figures.
The film, a road movie that follows the horrifying experience of two hitchhikers, a man and a woman, at the hands of two men in the dead of the night, won the Hivos Tiger Award in the International Film Festival Rotterdam 2017.