Kolkata Film Festival faces Copyright Infringement for SIKKIM-Documentary by Satyajit Ray

Kolkata, Nov 12, 2010 (Calcutta Tube/IBNS): The ongoing Kolkata Film Festival on Thursday landed in a stalemate and had to cancel the screening of a documentary by Satyajit Ray following a ruling by a court in Sikkim.

The Art & Culture Trust of Sikkim, a private body that preserves and collects ethnic Sikkimese arts and culture artifacts, had opposed to the screening of the documentary ‘Sikkim’ directed by the late celluiod maestro on copyright infringement grounds.

The organisation had sought the screenings of the film to be called off, saying that they held the exclusive rights to the documentary and the film festival authorities had not taken their permission to screen it.

The Trust also accused the Kolkata Film Festival authorities of screening a ‘pirated’ version of the film, claiming that a 35 mm print and two DVD versions that it owned were the only rightful copies the 52-minute black-and-white documentary.

West Bengal cultural secretary Niloy Ghosh told journalists later that they had called off the screening following an order by a district court in Sikkim.

Commissioned by the last monarchic ruler of Sikkim Palden Thondup Namgyal, the 1971 film by Ray drew lots heat after some of its scenes went against the Chogyal (king).

The screening of the film has remained under the ban ever since, and stood even after the kingdom of Sikkim became a part of India and in 2000 the copyright of the film was transferred to the Art & Culture Trust of Sikkim.

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