After drawing the ire of a Mumbai-based NGO for including a Pakistani classic in its programme, the organisers of the Jio MAMI 18th Mumbai Film Festival with Star have now cancelled the screening.
"Given the current situation, the Jio MAMI 18th Mumbai Film Festival with Star has decided not to programme Jago Hua Savera as part of the Restored Classics Section," read an official statement from the organisers, released on Monday morning.
Sangharsh, a Mumbai-based organisation, had filed a complaint with the Amboli police on the grounds that Mami's screening of the film — Jago Hua Savera/Day Shall Dawn (1959) — was contrary to "national sentiment".
The president of the organisation, Prithvi Mhaske, threatened to stall the screening, if Mami proceeded with it.
In his letter to the police, Maske said: “The organisers of this event are more likely to flare outrage among people by screening this Pakistani film in their festival. This will just not be acceptable as it will give rise to more tension among the people. Moreover, the Indian Motion Pictures Prodcers' Association has also decided to ban Pakistani actors from working in Bollywood and also almost all single screen theatres have decided to boycott movies of Pakistani actors. So, why (are) the organisers of the Mumbai Film Festival pouring so much love towards Pakistani actors?”
Jago Hua Savera depicts life in a small fishing village in East Bengal (now Bangladesh; then part of Pakistan). It was written by the poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz, directed by AJ Kardar, and recently restored, with a screening at the Cannes Film Festival.
The Jio MAMI 18th Mumbai Film Festival with Star, which will begin from 20 October, initially planned to showcase the film in its 'Restored Classics' section, which is headed by Dhobi Ghat director Kiran Rao.
— With agency inputs