Thiruvananthapuram: The parallel screening of Jayan Cherian’s controversial film Papilio Buddha, scheduled at the Co-Bank Towers here, was aborted at the last minute on Thursday.
The State Cooperative Bank authorities, the people in charge of Co-Bank Towers, said that they had informal orders from the police not to screen the film. Police sources claimed that there was an IB report, which said that the screening could trigger major trouble in the city.
However, both police and the State Cooperative Bank authorities refused to provide a written explanation to the makers of Papilio Buddha for the sudden cancellation of the screening.
The refusal to screen the film triggered an impromptu protest in front of the Co-Bank Towers.
Looked on by a large police contingent, IFFK delegates led by Social scientist J. Devika, Poet Kureepuzha Sreekumar and Dalit intellectual K.K. Baburaj protested in front of the hall.
“The Co-Bank authorities have been apparently bullied,” Devika said. Later, the delegates forcibly opened the gates of the hall and barged into the auditorium demanding that the film be screened.
However, following the intervention of produce Prakash Bare, the delegates vacated the hall.
Following discussions with police officials they decided to shift their protest to the Kairali theatre. ‘Papilio Buddha’ had been kept out of the IFFK this year. The Central Board of Film Certification's regional panel had rejected the film outright on the ground that it contained extreme violence and denigrating remarks about Mahatma Gandhi. However, Censor tribunal for certification cleared the film after suggesting some cuts and mutes.