Directors out against CBFC directives

‘Chaayam Poosiya Veedu’ talks about issues surrounding fake morality.  

Santosh Babusenan and Satish Babusenan, directors of the Malayalam movie Chaayam Poosiya Veedu (The Painted House), have protested against the Central Board of Film Certification’s (CBFC) demand for deletion of a few scenes from the film.

Santosh Babusenan says it is ironical that a film which talks about issues surrounding fake morality has to face the censor’s scissors.

The board refused them certification citing that it could set off a dangerous trend.

“The board officials, who watched the film on August 21, had an issue with three shots from the film. These shots depict a character’s nudity, which we think is integral to the theme that we are talking about. Though the officials agreed that the scenes are appropriate for the film, they said that they could not pass it as other film-makers would use it as a precedent to shoot nude scenes,” says Santosh.

He says that while the initial verbal comments were to just blur the scenes, in the written order they have been asked to delete the scenes completely.

“The officials have informed us that if we do not comply with their recommendations they will have to officially reject our film. We have refused to delete the scenes and now the film is effectively banned from screening,” says Santosh.

‘Against guidelines’

A board official told The Hindu that there was no way they could allow completely nude scenes as these were against the set guidelines. “It also looked like an attempt at setting a trend,” says the official. Santosh says that the denial of certification prevents them from entering the film in the Indian Panorama.

“This means that we cannot show our film anywhere in India and enter it for selection to the Indian Panorama of the IIFI Goa 2015, where selectors of foreign festivals come to scout for Indian films. Such CBFC guidelines that transgress freedom of expression and stifle film-making in India should be changed,” he says.

He also demanded removal of the clause that makes censorship by the CBFC a precondition for selection to the Indian Panorama.

Revoke rights

“The authority of the Central Board of Film Certification to delete, censor or reject films should be revoked. It should strictly be a body for certification and not for censoring,” he says.

The directors urged the artistic community and all people who believed in freedom of expression to unite and move against such restrictions that were “outdated”.

Chaayam Poosiya Veedu , written, photographed and directed by Santosh Babusenan and Satish Babusenan, features actors Neha Mahajan, Kaladharan Nair and Akram Mohammed. It tells the story of Gautam, a writer who lives alone in a house near the sea.

The film chronicles the transformations that happen in him following his encounter with two youths, which makes him question morality and suppression of desire.

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Printable version | Jun 19, 2021 7:40:56 PM |

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