Censor Board's strange diktat

Sep 06, 2014, 07:05 IST | Asira Tarannum

The board apparently asked a filmmaker to seek clearance from some priests on his own before certifying the film 

Debutatnt director Zaigham Imam is a harrowed man. On August 11, he applied for a censor certificate for his film, Dozakh in Search of Heaven, and on August 23, its screening was attended by Raj Kumar, Regional Officer (RO), CBFC Delhi, who has now taken additional charge of Mumbai, and a few other board members.

A still from 'Dozakh'
A still from 'Dozakh'

After the screening, they apparently sent his film to a self-revision committee since there was no Muslim in the committee that had just watched the film.

Director Zaigham Imam
Director Zaigham Imam

Says a source, “Nandini Sardesai and a few other members attended the revision committee screening. Thereafter, he was told that the film would get a U certificate.”

However, later on, two board members apparently asked the director to show his film to a few Muslim priests and seek clearance from them. Imam complied with this and showed them a letter of approval. The members then insisted that he organise a screening attended by Muslim clerics and Censor Board members. The voice of dissent in the board soon reached chairperson Leela Samson in Chennai, who then watched the film and gave it a U certificate,” says the source, adding, “She apologised to Imam saying that no board members would henceforth ask him to show his film to priests before seeking a certificate.”

Confirming the story, Imam says, “The board should take action against members who suggest that makers show their film to priests. I had to run from pillar to post and I will complain to the I&B ministry.” While Raj Kumar, Delhi and Mumbai RO, refused to comment, Leela Samson replied to our email saying, “What is there to say?”

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