Filmmakers Remove Their Films From Jaffna Film Festival Over Ban On 'Demons In Paradise': Malaka Devapriya Pulls Out

Filmmaker Malaka Devapriya has removed his film 'Bahuchithawadiya' from the Jaffna International Film Festival in protest of the festival's last minute decision to censor Jude Ratnam's film 'Demons in Paradise'

Commenting on the removal, Devapriya said he did not want to include his film in a film festival that encouraged 'censorship' overtly and covertly. 

Devapriya's radio drama, produced by the Office of National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR), was also censored following an intervention by the Ministry of Cultural Affairs. 

According to Ratnam, his film has been removed from the festival allegedly owing to pressure from a group known only as the ‘Community’ in Jaffna. 

He also added that he had not been given a proper explanation for the last moment removal of his from the festival schedule.

“I feel this is a case of censorship and an infringement on the fundamental rights to freedom of expression,” he said, issuing a statement on the matter. 

Although Anomaa Rajakaruna, the Festival Director, issued a statement launching a veiled attack on Ratnam, she had failed to explain why the film was removed at the last moment. 

Many civil society leaders, academics and critiques have expressed their disgust at the decision made by the Jaffna International Film Festival. 

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