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CBFC stalls release of Bengali film on demonetisation

The director of Shunyota is confused as the same CBFC passed his earlier short film and documentary based on the same issue. 

Keyur Seta

The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has continued its trend of being in the news constantly. The board has now stalled the release of the Bengali film, Shunyota, which deals with the theme of demonetisation and its effect on the common man. 

As per the letter issued by the CBFC, there is difference of opinion among the members regarding the film. “The Examining Committee has examined the film on 27 March. Since there are differences of opinion among the members of the committee regarding certificate, the case is being referred, as per the Certification rules, to the Chairman, CBFC, for his decision in this regard. You will be informed accordingly as soon as this office gets intimation from the CBFC Chairperson's office with regard to the certification,” the letter said. 

Director Suvendu Ghosh is puzzled by the stand of the CBFC as, according to him, the film doesn’t take a stand on demonetisation. “I have learnt that CBFC members are not sure in which category they should slot the film. If they had any issue, they could have given U/A to the film. My three-part film does not take any stand on the demonetisation issue. Shunyota has been invited to several film festivals including a film festival in the UK where it will be the inaugural film,” he said at a press conference. 

Ghosh is also ready to trim certain portions of the film. “While it talks about the problems faced by the aam admi belonging to different stratas of society, it also points out that demonetisation has given rise to the issue of transparency in cash transaction. It has no political colour but had they told me to cut certain parts I would have considered,” he elaborated. 

When asked whether he sees a trend in the recent diktats by the board, he hinted about the board members’ lack of film knowledge. “I feel the jury members of CBFC may be esteemed persons in their respective fields, but having knowledge of films is very crucial to decide on a film,” he said.

Interestingly, Ghosh had earlier made two parts of the film on demonetisation in the form of a short film and documentary. But the CBFC had no problems passing them. “Now after I made the third part and merged the three into a full length feature film, they are raising issues. Is the CBFC not okay with monetisation issue being talked about in a feature?” he signed off.