IFFI defers screening of M F Hussain documentary

Panaji: The organizers of International Film Festival of India (IFFI) today deferred the screening of a documentary by legendary painter M F Husain amid protests by a Hindu rights group.

The documentary `Through the Eyes of a Painter`, produced-written and directed by Husain in 1967, was to be screened today under the homage section of the festival.

But the IFFI director Shankar Mohan said they decided to defer the tribute screening, pending legal opinion. "The petitioners (Hindu Janjagruti Samiti) had said that the matter is subjudice," Mohan said, adding, "We don`t want to do anything illegal. We are taking legal opinion."

HJS had threatened to demonstrate at the IFFI venues if the 15-minute documentary was screened at the festival.

Husain, who earned both fame and controversy with his paintings, died in London in June this year at the age of 95.

Produced by the Film Division of India, the documentary was set in Rajasthan and records Husain`s impression of the state and its people. It won the Golden Bear award at the Berlin International Film Festival.