Amitabh bats for ‘Udta Punjab’

Creativity is soul of film-making, don’t kill it, says veteran actor

June 08, 2016 07:45 pm | Updated October 18, 2016 02:12 pm IST - Kolkata

Mumbai, 08/06/2016 : Udta Punjab actors Shahid Kapoor and Alia Bhatt with Mahesh Bhatt at a press conference in Mumbai.  Photo: Vijay Bate.

Mumbai, 08/06/2016 : Udta Punjab actors Shahid Kapoor and Alia Bhatt with Mahesh Bhatt at a press conference in Mumbai. Photo: Vijay Bate.

Backing the producers of the film Udta Punjab, which has run into trouble with the Censor Board, Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan, described the development as “unfortunate” and added that creativity is the soul of film-making and should not be killed.

“Don’t try to kill creativity. I think we all must have freedom to create because we are in this creative field. All we have [is] our soul to be able to create. When you kill creativity, you kill our soul and that will be detrimental to the profession,” he said addressing a press conference in Kolkata on Wednesday. Mr Bachchan was in the city to promote his film TE3N, starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Vidya Balan.

The film Udta Punjab starring Shahid Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Diljit Dosanjh addresses drug abuse in Punjab.

The makers of the film have been asked to remove references to Punjab and make 89 cuts.

Delay unfortunate

Even as Mr. Bachchan said he was not aware of the issues surrounding Udta Punjab, the actor said, “if there was a delay [in releasing the film] it was unfortunate” and producers would have to fight it through higher courts. Recounting his own experience, Mr. Bachchan said similar things had happened to films he had been associated with.

“Eventually, yes, creativity won,” he added. According to him, in the past there have been occasions when filmmakers had to approach higher courts to get their films cleared.

The veteran actor also advised that it was necessary to change from the censor process of film-making to a “certificate-based film-making.”

“The only problem is that the censor caution of filmmaking comes at a time of release, when everything is set up — distribution, theatre, publicity marketing…At that point if there is an obstacle… it sets you back. I hope that we can devise a system where there is certification rather than censor,” he added.

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