Riding high on success of his appeal in the Bombay high court against the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) over the release of his production Udta Punjab, filmmaker Anurag Kashyap said that he is ecstatic but has lot of work in store for him if he wants the film to release on its scheduled date this Friday.
Speaking to ANI, Kashyap said that the verdict had indeed brought an incredible feeling, but there is a lot to do now and the team doesn’t have much time. “We have to deliver the film now with the said changes and disclaimers to the censor board, so that we get the certificate and can release the film. If we have to release the movie on 17th then we have lots to do with very little time,” Kashyap said.
When asked to react on reports of rising cries seeking CBFC chief Pahlaj Nihalani’s resignation over the furore, he said that his fight with the system will not stop, adding that it did not matter who was replaced at the job unless the attitude of the system or the system itself, did not change. “This is a certification board, Benegal ji has given his report and now a second report will come out soon. Even Jaitley ji and Rathore ji have promised us change on twitter. We hope the change comes soon and it does not become a censoring board from a certification board,” he said.
Earlier on Monday, Abhishek Chaubey, who is the director of this film, lauded the courage and hard work by the lawyers and producers and said that his team would now fight for the release on its scheduled date on June 17. “Today I salute the courage of my producers and the hard work that my lawyers have made and this film has been passed. We will fight for its release on the 17th. I am terribly pleased with the verdict and I am relieved,” the director said.
Watch Udta Punjab trailer
Producer Anurag Kashyap’s lawyer Ameet Naik told the media that if the decision is challenged and taken to the Supreme Court then the Udta Punjab team will defend the film tooth and nail yet again. However, CBFC CEO Anurag Srivastav said that they would comply with the Bombay High Court’s decision.
The Bombay high court on Monday cleared the release of Udta Punjab, whose makers were locked in a dispute with the CBFC. A division bench of the High Court directed the CBFC to certify the film within 48 hours to enable the makers to release it on its schedule for June 17. The bench also refused to stay its order on a plea made by CBFC counsel to enable the board to appeal against it in the Supreme Court, saying the filmmakers have already spent a lot on the movie and its promotion and distribution.
Asserting that there is no mention of the word “censor” in the CBFC, the HC pulled up the board for demanding 89 cuts in Udta Punjab to grant a certificate for its release, while directing it to use its power as per the constitutional provisions and directions issued by the Supreme Court. The court observed, “There is no mention of the word ‘censor’ in the board. The board should use its powers under the constitutional framework and the Supreme Court’s directions.”
The high court added Udta Punjab is a movie, which depicts ill-effects of the drug menace. “We don’t find anything in the film that shows Punjab in bad light or affects the sovereignty or integrity of India as claimed by the CBFC. Creative freedom should not be unnecessarily curbed. Nobody can dictate to a filmmaker about the content of his film,” the court observed.
Watch Shahid Kapoor in the title track of Udta Punjab
Here are the top seven observations the HC made during the hearing on Monday:
1. Filmmakers don’t support drugs.
2. Characters show facets of menace.
3. No reason to delete Punjab from sign board.
4. Drugs availability highlighted.
5. Downfall of a rockstar depicted.
6. Cops struggling with drug menace.
7. CBFC not empowered by law to censor films as the word censor is not included in the Cinematograph Act.
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