Thiruvananthapuram: Director Sajin Babu who was part of the jury of the 69th National Film Awards South Panel-1 (Tamil, Malayalam) said that he was the only one not invited to the award function. Sajin shared this through social media.
The 69th National Film Awards will be held in Delhi on October 17. Sajin Babu alleged that those who worked with him got invitation and he did not come alone.
As no official reason has been given for this omission, I think it is because of a Facebook post I wrote after the announcement of the 69th National Film Awards.
Facebook post like this..
This year I had the good fortune to be part of the jury for the 69th National Film Awards South Panel-1 (Tamil, Malayalam). Tomorrow is the national award ceremony, but I haven’t received any official notification or invitation about it yet.
After knowing that my fellow jurors had been invited, I waited for a few days and after not receiving any official email, I tried to contact the National Film Awards cell last week. But no one has yet responded to all my phone calls, private messages and official emails.
I have not been informed in any way as to the reason for this exclusion. Even when fellow jury members and well-wishers contacted the 69th NFA cell to understand the reason behind it, they did not get any clear reason. All of us jury members spent 20 days of time and energy watching and judging the films. When everyone else got their invitation, I couldn’t figure out the reason behind my exclusion.
Since no official reason has been given, I assume it was due to a Facebook post I wrote after the announcement of the 69th National Film Awards, a post that brought to light a procedural flaw in the submission of a film produced by the Kerala State Film Development Corporation for the 69th National Film Awards.
Shortly after sharing the Facebook post regarding the violation of NFA rules, I received a call from a top official at KSFDC. I made it clear to him that my intention was not to blame anyone. I was only pointing out the mistake in following the basic rules and regulations while submitting a film for the National Film Awards, especially from an organization like KSFDC which I was convinced should not happen. Also behind it was the thought that it was an injustice to budding filmmakers. The guy told me that he will talk to NFDC about it.
A few minutes after that, I received an official email from the National Awards Cell stating that any disclosure of the jury deliberations may result in future banning of the jury member. In my response email to them, I made it clear that at no point did I disclose any jury deliberations and that as a film director it was my duty to bring to light the actions of fellow directors that were destroying their future.
As an artiste, as a jury member and as a citizen, I have the right to know whatever the reason is for my exclusion and it is the duty of the 69th National Film Awards Cell to inform me. Moreover, a complete lack of response and communication is not a professional behavior appropriate for members of a public institution formed to recognize art and artists.