No filmmaking till proven innocent, says Malayalam director accused of stalking

Announcing that his upcoming Malayalam film ‘Vazhakk’ will have its world premiere at the Second International Film Festival of South Asia in Seoul, Malayalm director Sanal Kumar Sasidharan has said that he has decided to withdraw from filmmaking until his innocence is proven.

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

The director, who has denied the allegations, was released on bail by the Aluva First Class Judicial Magistrate subsequently.

Taking 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 International Film Festival of South Asia- Seoul. The festival will take place from July 29 to 31, 2022. IFFSA-SEOUL is held under the theme of “Journey to South Asia” through the movie.

‘Vazhakk’ is Sasidharan’s seventh feature film. He said: “We shot the film during the last days of the first lockdown of Covid-19. Even though I finished the work in 2021 itself, the film didn’t travel because of many factors, including the unknown scandals spread against me. Finally, it is coming out. We have censored the film also. It is certified ‘A’.

“I also take this opportunity to declare my decision to withdraw from film making until my innocence is proven. As a person whose only aim in life was filmmaking, it is very hard for me to go forward and stick to my decision at the same time.”

“But I was carrying out filmmaking as a spiritual exercise and dedicated myself totally to the purity of my work. I am not claiming that I am a flawless human being in my personal life but I can assure that I was pure in my artistic path. The case slapped on me is absolutely false and cooked up by some people with power and authority who wanted to tarnish and demonise me for their narrow interests.

“I believe in truth but it should come out on its own and till then, I don’t want it to cast shadow upon my works. I might come back once I am proven innocent or this might be my last film if I die before the verdict. I won’t have any regrets even if this is going to be an abrupt end of my career.

“I am happy that I could make seven films, one documentary and three short films without doing any compromise to my vision on filmmaking. Thanks for those who loved my films and encouraged me till this point. Love you all.”

The police have registered a case against the filmmaker under Section 354 (D) based on the complaint of the actress, who also accused Sasidharan of making unsolicited advances at her.

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