Actor-producer Sanjay Suri feels the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) was "regressive" in omitting a few intimate scenes from his forthcoming film 'Chauranga'. He wonders how does it matter if a film features "a short kiss or a long kiss".
The thought came to Sanjay especially when CBFC decided to cut down kissing scenes from James Bonds film "Spectre" by 50 percent.
"CBFC is following guidelines from the Cinematograph Act (1952) which I'm not sure when was the last time it was reviewed. Interpretations of those guidelines and the taste (back then) can be very subjective. Something that is violent for me, may not be so for someone else," Sanjay told IANS.
"For me, if there is something which is so inherent as a narrative in the film and is chopped out, and I have no issues if you give an adult certificate over it... that is incorrect. So, let the due diligence be at the theatre level. Nobody below 18 should be allowed in.
"You are taking my freedom of expression right away through this art form. Obviously something pornographic has to be cut out, but if it is an inherent part of the film - a short kiss or a long kiss - how does it matter," added Sanjay, best known for his roles in films like "Firaaq", "I Am", "Sorry Bhai!" and "Filhaal...".
Sanjay also questioned "the merit of the selection of how these boards are selected".
"If somebody else is going to decide what the larger society should watch, then how would it work? If you are becoming a caretaker of a larger society, then you are regressing them," he said.
Besides Sanjay, "Chauranga", directed by debutant Bikas Ranjan Mishra, also stars Tannishtha Chatterjee and Soham Maitra. The film will release on Friday.
Asked why independent directors and films dealing with social issues don't find producers easily, Sanjay explained: "It's very difficult to make funding on films dealing with social issues because the recovery model is not there.
"First you make a film, then raise money and spend years on its subject and when you risk that, you might be clipped at the censor level. Later, you may not find distribution also... You need a full eco-system for every film."
Nevertheless, he believes that "cinema is not only meant to entertain".
"It is also meant to provoke. It is a very important tool that can be used for sensitisation and advocacy. For me, it's education, engagement and entertainment," he added.
His 'Chauranga' delves on the violence of class oppression that continues to exist in rural India.