#MeToo film producer: Eve-teasers won't refer to a girl as behen ji, right?
#MeToo producer Sajid Qureshi talks about his film being scrutinised by the Revising Committee due to its dialogues
With the film industry's revolt against sexual predators being met with silence from a fair share of powerful persons, sufficient toil has gone into keeping the discussion around the pressing subject, alive. In what may be seen as another blow to #MeToo movement, a film by the same name has come under scrutiny by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).
Sajid Qureshi's production founds its inspiration from the agitation that first arose in Hollywood last year, before it found its way into Bollywood. "We completed it over seven months ago, before it began in India," he says of the film, helmed by US-based Harsh Wardhan, and featuring Ritika Singh. "We sent the movie to the CBFC three months ago, but they rejected it," he says, adding that the Board objected to the dialogues used in the film.
The body told Qureshi to seek the Revising Committee's (RC) intervention. "The Mumbai RC had a backlog to deal with, so we were told to approach the Chennai RC. But that body, helmed by actor Gautami Tadimalla objected to the title itself. They questioned our decision to use a title of a movement that was gaining momentum in India."
#MeToo, Qureshi reveals, revolves around a student who encounters sexual abuse. "The film discusses the mentality of sexual predators, highlighting how they behave and talk." The cuts demanded by the body, he claims, affect half of his film, leading to a delay in its release.
"If we delete certain scenes, there will not be any movie left to see. There is no violence or vulgarity, only some powerful dialogues. Yet, they've asked us to edit it," he says, arguing that his film reflects the way men speak. "If four men surround a girl, they won't call her sister or behen ji while eve-teasing, will they?" The producer reveals his team is contemplating approaching the Court or Tribunal.
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