Kashmiri artists resent ban on screening of documentary at IDSFFK

Artists who have been featured in documentary “In the Shade of Fallen Chinar” Monday expressed strong resentment to the orders of the centre of banning its screening at International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala (IDSFFK).

Syed Shahriyar, who works as photojournalist and was the part of the documentary told Kashmir Vision that the documentary was depicting the reality of the Kashmir.

“In the said documentary we are some 4-5 people but this story is not only about us. The story is of every Kashmiri. The problems they face on daily basis here,” he said.

“After denying the permission for its screening, it gives a very clear impression that there is no right for freedom of speech in India,” Shahriyar said.

Ali Saifuddin, a Kashmiri musician and song writer said that central government needs to come clear on the ban for its screening.

“The content is very neutral and peaceful. It is not instigating any kind of violence. Still we have failed to understand that why it’s screening has been banned,” Ali said.

“Through our perspective, the documentary content is worth screening as it depicts the reality of Kashmir at a time when rest of world is unaware of Kashmir. It is unfortunate that authorities have issued a clampdown over its screening,” said Muazzam Bhat, a Kashmiri rapper who has been featured in the documentary.

“When unethical ban comes to your way, the amount of work and energy invested seems to be unappreciated and that in itself halts the progress of art,” said Saba Nazki, who runs a fortnightly tabloid.

The documentary was released on YouTube in August last year when Kashmir was witnessing massive protests after the killing of Hizbul Mujahedeen commander Burhan Wani in July.

Shot at Naseem Bagh in University of Kashmir in June last year, the documentary depicts the work of young artists that include sketch artists, writers, photographers, musician and rappers.

The protagonists in the film narrate the decades-old conflict in the strife-torn Valley as seen through their eyes and interpreted through their art.

On Sunday, the 16-minute-long documentary film on Kashmir has been denied censor exemption certificate by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to be screened at the festival.

The ministry has also denied the screening permission to two other films- one on Rohith Vemula, a Dalit PhD scholar, another is regarding a student agitation at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).

The film has been directed by two film makers from Kerala Shawn Sebastian (26) from Kochi and Fazil NC (28).

Interestingly, the five day festival begins on June 16 and concludes on June 20. 

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