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SGIFF: Controversial ‘Sexy Durga’ Set for Singapore Debut

Singapore audiences will get a chance to view controversial Indian film “Sexy Durga.” The award-winning Malayalam-language film directed by Sanal Kumar Sasidharan is set to play at the Singapore International Film Festival on Saturday.

Set over one night, the film follows a young couple on the run in Kerala as they are harassed by a cross-section of society. The film is a comment on the poor situation of women’s safety in India.

The film won the Hivos Tiger award in Rotterdam where it premiered earlier this year. It has been on the global festival circuit since then, picking up accolades and awards along the way.

Matters are not so rosy in India. Durga is the name of a Hindu goddess and a common Indian female name. India’s Central Board of Film Certification ordered the title to be changed from “Sexy Durga” to “S Durga” and the muting of 21 swear words. But it did not require any visual cuts.

The film was chosen to play at the Indian Panorama strand at the ongoing International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa. Along with Marathi-language film “Nude”, the film was dropped at the last minute. Sasidharan, a lawyer by qualification, moved the Kerala High Court against the decision. The court ruled in favor of the film and ordered IFFI to screen it. But when IFFI posted its revised schedule on Thursday, there was still no screening slot for the film.

There is currently no clarity on when or whether “S Durga” will play in Goa or not. SGIFF audiences on the other hand will get to experience “Sexy Durga” for themselves.

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