Censor Stalls Bengali Film On Demonetisation

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Kolkata: The Censor Board regional office has stalled the release of Bengali film “Shunyota” themed on the effects of demonetisation on the common man and referred it to CBFC Chairman for future decision.

Director Suvendu Ghosh claimed that “Shunyota” is the first film on demonetisation, and is scheduled to be released on March 31.

“The Examining Committee has examined the film on March 27. Since there are differences of opinion among the members of the committee regarding certificate, the case is being referred, as per the Certification rules, to the Chairman, CBFC for his decision in this regard,” a letter from the CBFC regional office told the film’s producers.

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“You will be informed accordingly as soon as this office gets intimation from the CBFC Chairperson’s office with regard to the certification,” the letter signed by CBFC regional officer said.

Addressing a press conference, Ghosh today said, “I have learnt that CBFC members are not sure in which category they should slot the film. If they had any issue, they could have given U/A to the film. My three-part film does not take any stand on the demonetisation issue.

“While it talks about the problems faced by the aam admi belonging to different strata of society, it also points out that demonetisation has given rise to the issue of transparency in cash transaction. It (the film )has no political colour but had they (CBFC) told me to cut certain parts I would have considered.”

Asked if he could see a trend of CBFC becoming more touchy in the wake of controversies surrounding “Lipstick Under My Burkha” and “Udta Punjab”, Ghosh said, “Yes there is a trend. “I feel the jury members of CBFC may be esteemed persons in their respective fields, but having knowledge over films is very crucial to decide on a film,” he said.

Asked if he had any plans to release the film on YouTube, Ghosh shot back, “Have I directed the feature film for releasing it on YouTube? No, I wish it to be screened in cinema halls and plexes before an audience. I will fight over the issue.

“‘Shunyota’ has been invited to several film festivals including a film festival in the UK where it will be the inaugural film,” he claimed.

He also wondered how CBFC had previously okayed separately the first two parts of “Shunyota” in short and documentary categories. “Now after I made the third part and merged the three into a full length feature film, they are raising issues.

Is the CBFC not okay with monetisation issue being talked about in a feature?” he asked.