No Fathers in Kashmir battles Censor Board for a U/A

India’s youngest Oscar-nominated and two times national award-winning filmmaker Ashvin Kumar is facing a roadblock with the CBFC (Central Board Of Film Certification). His next film ‘No Fathers In Kashmir’ has been given ‘A’ certificate by the censor board.

The film is based on a coming-of-age love story about two teenagers who lost their fathers when they are picked up by the armed forces.

The filmmaker said, “The film has no nudity, no vulgarity, no drug abuse, nothing like that in it. There seems to be no concrete objection that is legally sound. The cuts that have been suggested are whimsical and frivolous. The film is made for millennials and has two charming teenagers who will be able to strike a sense of empathy and compassion in the people across the country about what is happening in Kashmir. The CBFC has failed to see the film in its entirety and focussed too hard on non-contextual things.”

He gave examples of ‘Haider and ‘Half Widows’ which were given U/A certificate when they were also based on Kashmir. He said, “Haider was passed with a ‘U/A’ certificate. Half Widows, a Kashmiri film, which addressed a similar issue, too, was given a ‘U/A’ rating. These precedents are in the public domain, why are we being singled out?”

 

Ashvin’s problems didn’t end here. After the suggested cuts when he went to FCAT (Film Certification Appellate Tribunal), they got a hearing from the CBFC, asking fresh cuts, which according to the director is confusing. “It is confusing. In the first order, there were some cuts, and we had gone to FCAT for that. But when we got the hearing, instead of picking up the points the revising committee had raised, they came up with a fresh set of objections and cuts, putting aside the earlier ones! Now, we have to go back to FCAT and address all the new cuts.”

He regrets that due to the delays, the film cannot qualify for the National Award this year. “The last date is January 15 and without a certificate, we won’t be able to do it,” he rues. Indian wire

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