‘Bharathiraja spent too few days in the capital’

The Kerala State Film Awards for the year 2013, declared two months ago, witnessed a fair share of controversies, including allegations that the jury did not get to see all the 85 films considered for the awards.

Now, the replies provided by the Kerala State Chalachitra Academy to a Right to Information (RTI) petition filed by a film-maker could land P. Bharathiraja, the jury chairman, in a soup.

The application filed by Sajin Babu, who directed Unto the Dusk, had asked for the details of the director’s stay in the city and other information on the awards.

Mr. Bharathiraja had, at a post-award press conference, denied allegations that he did not watch all the films. “I went back home for two days for an emergency purpose, but I watched all the seven films that I missed when I came back,” he had said.

As per the reply to the RTI query, the screenings were held from March 17 to April 4. Mr. Bharathiraja first arrived on the evening of March 19 and left on March 21 afternoon. Then, he arrived on March 30 evening and left on April 4 afternoon.

“It is clear that he stayed for just a handful of days here, which is frankly not enough to watch all the 85 films. So, what he said at the press conference is an outright lie,” said Mr. Sajin Babu.

“I have no idea why this controversy started in the first place and I had cleared my stand right then itself. I stayed in Kerala for 12 days and I have seen all the films that came up before the jury,” Mr. Bharathiraja told The Hindu.

Format

Mr. Sajin Babu also asked a question on the format in which the jury watched his film. “I had submitted it in DCP format, but they said they watched it in HD format, which is impossible,” he said.

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