Court stops screening of Satyajit Ray’s ‘Sikkim’

November 11th, 2010 - 10:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Nov 11 (IANS) Within minutes of the first public screening of Satyajit Ray’s documentary “Sikkim” at the 16th Kolkata Film Festival, its remaining shows during the event were suspended following a direction by a Sikkim court, an official said.

An order by the district judge court of Gangtok has forced the festival authorities to suspend the remaining shows of the documentary at the film festival, the official said.

“We have received orders from the district judge court of Gangtok via email and we have been directed not to screen ‘Sikkim’. We have received an ad interim injunction order from the court in the evening today (Thursday),” Nilanjan Chatterjee, director, Kolkata Film Festival, told reporters.

The hour-long film’s screening at Nandan auditorium here started around 2 p.m. and the court’s order was received around 3.20 p.m.

“We have contacted the law cell of state government. They are looking into the matter. So we are suspending the rest of the shows of ‘Sikkim’ from Nov 12-17. The matter is in court, I won’t comment further on it,” Chatterjee said.

Made by Satyajit Ray in 1971, the documentary was banned by the external affairs ministry in 1975 when the Himalayan kingdom became a part of India.

It was commissioned by the last Chogyal (king) of Sikkim, Palden Thondup Namgyal, and his America-born queen Hope Cooke. It was soon banned by the Indian government and remained in the cans after that.

The film festival’s schedule will not be hit in any way after the withdrawal of “Sikkim”, said Chatterjee.

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