A 24-minute short film on an online friendship between two men has run into trouble with the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).
The CBFC has asked director Ranadeep Bhattacharyya, to delete a four-minute sequence from the English film, Amen, stating that the content was “extremely sexual”.
“The film may be suitable for public exhibition restricted to adults provided the excisions/modifications are made,” states the review report sent by the CBFC on February 9.
The film, set in the background of child abuse and societal pressures, has been screened at international film festivals and was submitted to the CBFC in January for clearance for its DVD release.
“Censor board authorities have asked us to delete a very important scene from the film in which the protagonists meet for the first time. The scene depicts sexual tension that results from the past experiences of child sexual abuse,” said Bhattacharyya.
“We have no problem with the film being rated as an adult (A) film. However, by deleting a significant portion from the film, the essence is lost,” said Harish Iyer, a gay rights activist.
CBFC officials said that the decision to delete the sequence was taken on the basis of the content. “The said sequence has extreme sexual content which was not necessary for the film. We did not demand a deletion of the scene only because it portrayed sex between homosexuals, but because the scene was too graphic,” said JP Singh, regional officer, CBFC, who was a part of the examination committee.