'Padmavati' screened before approval: CBFC

NEW DELHIi: Breaking his silence on the ‘Padmavati’ row, CBFC chief and adman-lyricist Prasoon Joshi said on Saturday that it was a matter of concern that makers of the film were releasing it to the media even before it has been reviewed, approved and certified by the Censor Board.

Joshi explained that the film has been sent back to its makers for leaving blank a crucial column in its application that requires them to state whether the work is based on fiction or draws from history – a point of contention between the producers and protestors claiming a distortion of the story of the Mewar queen.

TOI had on Friday reported that the sticking point in ‘Padmavati”s application for certification was Part 7(a) of the form for films produced in India, which mandates that filmmakers “specify whether the film is based on fiction or true incident or true story or mythology or epic or devotional or biographical and if so the source from which it has been made may be mentioned (sic).”

In an official statement issued on Saturday, Joshi clarified that the application form seeking certification for ‘Padmavati’ had left this column blank, leading the board to return the incomplete form. “Padmavati‘s application came up this week for review. Makers admit the paper work isn’t complete. The disclaimer whether the film is a work of fiction or historical was left blank and on being asked to provide important documents, they targeted CBFC for ‘looking the other way’. It is surprising,” Joshi said.

Joshi also noted the tendency of filmmakers to bypass the censor board and share the film with media even before it was approved and certified by the board. He said, “It is disappointing that ‘Padmavati’ is being screened for media and getting reviewed on national channels without CBFC having seen or certified the film.” He also said circumventing the CBFC, “compromises the role of systems and balances that are part of a functioning industry; it’s myopic to treat certification process haphazardly to suit convenience. On one hand, holding CBFC responsible and pressuring it to accelerate the process, and, on other, hand attempt to subvert the very process, sets an opportunistic precedent (sic).”

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