No filming until proven innocent, says Malayalam director accused of harassment

Chennai, July 16 (IANS): Announcing that his upcoming Malayalam film ‘Vazhakk’ will have its world premiere at the second South Asian International Film Festival in Seoul, Malayalam director Sanal Kumar Sasidharan said he has decided to retire from filmmaking until to have his innocence proven.

Sasidharan, also known for her controversial films such as ‘Sexy Durga’, was arrested in Kochi in May this year after a popular Malayalam actress filed a complaint against the director, claiming she was being harassed by him.

The manager, who denied the allegations, was later released on bail by Aluva Magistrate First Class.

Speaking to social media, Sasidharan said, “I am so happy to share this news regarding the world premiere of our film ‘Vazhakk’ (The Quarrel) at the 2nd South Asian International Film Festival in Seoul. will be held from July 29 to 31, 2022. IFFSA-SEOUL is held under the theme “Journey to South Asia” through film.

“Vazhakk” is Sasidharan’s seventh feature film. He said: “We shot the film during the last days of the first Covid-19 lockdown. Even though I finished the job in 2021 itself, the film did not travel due to many factors including the unknown scandals that have spread against me Finally it comes out, we have also censored the film, it is certified “A”.

“I also take this opportunity to declare my decision to retire from filmmaking until my innocence is proven. As a person whose sole purpose in life was filmmaking, it is very difficult for me to go moving forward and sticking to my decision at the same time.”

“But I was making film as a spiritual exercise and I was totally dedicated to the purity of my work. I don’t pretend to be a flawless human being in my personal life but I can assure that I was pure in my artistic journey. The case against me is absolutely false and concocted by people with power and authority who wanted to tarnish and demonize me for their narrow interests.

“I believe in the truth but it should come out on its own and until then I don’t want it to cast a shadow over my works. I might come back once my innocence is proven or it might be my last film if I die before the verdict I will have no regrets even if it will be a brutal end to my career.

“I am happy to have been able to make seven films, a documentary and three short films without compromising my vision of cinema. Thank you for those who have liked my films and encouraged me so far. I love you all .”

Police filed a complaint against the filmmaker under Section 354(D) based on the complaint from the actress, who also accused Sasidharan of making unsolicited advances to her.