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Don't know who used the term 'anti-national': Rawail on Indian Panorama rejections

Don't know who used the term 'anti-national': Rawail on Indian Panorama rejections

By Radhika Sharma Panaji, Nov 21 (PTI) Director Rahul Rawail, head of Indian Panorama feature jury at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Wednesday said he was not aware how the term "anti-national" came to be associated with some of the films they rejected from the segment. Rawail's remarks come after director Ujjwal Chatterjee, who is part of the IFFI Indian Panorama Jury, said in a recent interview that the team had "rejected six to seven anti national films'. "I don't know who used the term 'anti-national'. All deliberations of the jury are held within a closed door rooms. There's a undertaking that we have given that we will not talk about the deliberations. "So my personal feeling is that the gentleman who said that they were anti-national films, I'm sorry to say that your community (the media) must have actually misquoted him," Rawail told the reporters at IFFI Panorama Jury press conference.Also present at the presser were KG Suresh, Major Ravi, Vinod Ganatra, head of non-feature jury, Parvati Menon and Suneel Puranic.The Feature Film Jury selected the 22 Feature films whereas 21 films found their place in the Non feature segment. When mentioned that Chatterjee made the statement on record and has not taken it back, the director said maybe he was implying something else. "I can't stand up for him but this is probably a misquote. We have responsible people in the jury and they would not merely go on talking about this," Rawail claimed.Suresh said there was not a single entry that could be called "anti national". Ravi said that out of 212 films, the jury rejected 190 films. "We cannot ever say that it was because of this 'anti-national' elements that we rejected a film. Yes, we fought within the jury tooth and nail and one person having such kind of feels, that's absurd," he said.Ganatra reiterated the claim that all entries were "all Indian" - not national or anti-national.When asked what was the gender composition of the 13-strong member feature jury, Rawail said this time they could not find any woman. "This time no women in the first jury, a question that I raised. Apparently, they could not identify a lady... Who was available," he said.Ravi added that the jury was selected at last moment as there was panic because the IFFI office was burnt in fire. "They are putting things together. They didn't have time. People were shooting. We were disappointed," he added.When Ravi said women participation is needed to "smoothen things up", Rawail interjected saying, "I don't know about that but they should and must have women participating."Then Menon, who is part of the non-feature jury, made a case for herself to be heard, saying she was there. Ravi tried to assuage the journalists on the gender composition of the jury and said, "Three years ago, there were three ladies in the jury when I was also the member. So let's not say like that."When asked how many entries in the Indian Panorama feature section were made by women, Ravi said "Seven to eight applied", out of which Meghna Gulzar's Hindi language "Raazi" and Priya Krishnaswamy's Tamil film "Baaram" made the cut. With films such as "Olu" and "Nagarkirtan", the selection this year is also representative of the LGBTQ community, Rawail said."These films were being imagined and made even before the Supreme Court decriminalised section 377 is commendable," he added. The eight-day festival started Monday and will close on November 28. PTI RDS BKBK