Film makers must prepare to fight a legal battle: Mohalla Assi director Chandraprakash Dwivedi | bollywood | Hindustan Times
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Film makers must prepare to fight a legal battle: Mohalla Assi director Chandraprakash Dwivedi

Film maker Chandraprakash Dwivedi whose film Mohalla Assi has been cleared for release after the Delhi High court’s intervention says movie makers in the country should be prepared for a legal fight to get a certification for their works.

bollywood Updated: Jan 11, 2018 11:17 IST
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Hindustan Times
Mohalla Assi,Chandraprakash Dwivedi,CBFC
Sunny Deol and Sakshi Tanwar in a still from Mohalla Assi.

Film maker Chandraprakash Dwivedi whose film Mohalla Assi has been cleared for release after the Delhi High court’s intervention says movie makers in the country should be prepared for a legal fight to get a certification for their works.

The film maker who fought a protracted battle with the central board of film certification (CBFC) was critical of the processes followed by the board that put pre-conditions such as asking for modifications and cuts before certifying films.

The CBFC had objected to the film’s release on the grounds that its content was abusive and explicit and that it hurt communities and stoke law and order problems.

Without the CBFC’s certification a film cannot be released in cinemas.

“The court ordered the film to be released after muting one word. No cuts or modifications were asked for, which raises the question why did the examining and reviewing committees of the CBFC object in the first place. It seems the guidelines for certification are being misinterpreted by the CBFC,” Dwivedi said.

The film based on Kashinath Singh’s Kashi Ka Assi, was help up for release by two-years, even after the film makers approached the film certification appellate tribunal (FCAT). Earlier, the FACT has asked for 10 modifications to the film starring Sunny Deol.

Asked if registering dissent as a CBFC member against the former chairperson Pahlaj Nihalani was the reason for the hold-up, Dwivedi said: “I don’t know what the agenda was, but every possible attempt was made by the CBFC and the FCAT to delay the film.”

He echoed the concerns of film makers who have called for implementing the recommendations of the Shyam Benegal Committee to streamlining certification, by introducing more categories for films without having to alter the script.

“The system has worsened, the board may have a new chairperson, but I don’t think how the CBFC functions will change. Every film maker may have to prepare for a prolonged legal battle with the CBFC for certification,” Dwivedi said.

In December the Delhi High Court dismissed the CBFC’s review petition asking for reconsideration of the single bench’s decision to allow release of the film with an ‘A’ certificate.

The high court, on 11 December, had directed the film be certified accordingly as restricted in its exhibition to the adult audience. It quashed nine of the ten cuts proposed by the FCAT, disagreed that the film offended sensibility or morality, but upheld, FCAT’s direction to introduce a disclaimer.

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First Published: Jan 11, 2018 11:16 IST