Pakhi's wings clipped by CBFC
Film on child-trafficking that was to release tomorrow dubbed "too crude" by Board; director approaches revising committee
Even as it finds place on ticket booking websites as a film set to release tomorrow, director-producer Sachin Gupta's Pakhi, will not be hitting screens. Starring Anamika Shukla, Sumeet Kant Kaul, Anmol Goswami and Pallavi Das, the venture that dabbles with the sensitive subject of child-trafficking has been rendered "crude" by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). The Board, Gupta tells mid-day, has refused to certify the film following a screening held on August 4.
"The Board tells me that we have dealt with the subject, and shown sexual assault and child-trafficking in a crude manner. That is surprising, given that the film has no nudity, violence or religious [connotations]. If the film is based on child-trafficking, it's obvious that it will depict something. It's not a love story," says Gupta further chiding the Board for treating him like a "college student" when he has two films to his credit.
Pointing out that films like Mardaani (2014), Kahaani 2: Durga Rani Singh (2016) and Lakshmi (2014) have also dealt with the subject, Gupta is further agitated that the Board hasn't even suggested amends in his edit. "They simply said, 'We won't pass it. There's a problem in every scene. We wouldn't want to see this film with our children. What are you trying to teach children?' I am a filmmaker; I only want people to know that this happens. For instance, there's a scene that shows a girl taking hormonal injections; that happens. Also, we treated the scene sensitively," he reasons.
Chronicling the story of a 10-year-old girl, the film, Gupta promises, "has nothing graphic". He argues that should the Board object to showcasing the film to children, an A certification should have been provided. "I've been told to approach the Revising Committee. But, I am stuck, because my film was to release tomorrow. We have promoted it and booked theatres. If it doesn't release tomorrow, it's a financial blow for me. I have invested my savings in the movie." mid-day reached out to CBFC chairperson Prasoon Joshi, who said, "The CBFC processes [pertaining to] this film are not [completed] yet."
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