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Balekempa dropped out of MAMI and Dharamshala film festivals after director Ere Gowda named in MeToo- Cinema express

Balekempa dropped out of MAMI and Dharamshala film festivals after director Ere Gowda named in MeToo 

The anonymous woman's account said that she got in touch with Gowda for mentoring her in screenwriting

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Published: 24th October 2018

Amid the raging #MeToo movement across the country, an aspiring filmmaker has taken to Facebook to narrate a horrific incident of sexual assault by Ere Gowda, screenwriter of the critically acclaimed film Thithi. However, she chose to post it anonymously.

Following the allegations against Gowda, Zoo Entertainment, producers of Balekempa, withdrew the film from all its festival commitments, including MAMI Film Festival 2018 and Dharmashala International Film Festival. Zoo Entertainment in their statement mentioned that they would like to offer the fullest support to the MeToo movement.

The statement also said: "We note that the concerned person has chosen to remain anonymous. We understand that Gowda is yet to give his statement regarding the allegation. We find the allegation shocking, are deeply disturbed and saddened. As the producers of Balekempa, directed by Ere Gowda, we feel a need to take a decisive action regarding how we wish to take things forward with the film. As of now, we are withdrawing the film from all its festival commitments until we have further clarity on the facts."

The anonymous woman's account said that she got in touch with Gowda for mentoring her in screenwriting. Saying she chose Bengaluru over Mumbai after contacting him, she alleges being sexually assaulted by the screenwriter at one of his friends’ places in Byadarahalli when the two had visited to work on the sound recording of Balekempa.

The complainant further added that she did not want to let go of her dream and hence started looking for other work options in the city after the aforementioned incident.

Despite repeated attempts to reach out to Gowda, he remained inaccessible.

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