Konkona Sen Sharma, Swara Bhaskar criticise CBFC; stress on need for freedom of expression
Konkona Sen Sharma has slammed the censor board for denying a certificate to her film Lipstick Under My Burkha. The film, directed by Alankrita Shrivastava, failed to get a clearance from the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) for allegedly being "lady oriented" and containing "abusive words".
"It is very important for women to tell women stories, and I feel Alankrita has done a wonderful job with Lipstick under my Burkha. I am fed up with the fact that such films are banned and so many other kinds of films are not banned. No film should be banned. CBFC should just certify films. We should see all kind of films where women talk about themselves," says the actress.
Konkona was speaking at the 2017 edition of Shabana Azmi's Mijwan Fashion Show on 5 March, 2017. Besides the 37-year-old actress, the film also features Ratna Pathak Shah, Aahana Kumra, Plabita Borthakur, Sushant Singh, Vikrant Massey and Shashank Arora.
Lipstick Under My Burkha won the Oxfam Award for the Best Film on Gender Equality at the Mumbai Film Festival and the Spirit of Asia prize at the Tokyo International Film Festival.
Konkona says it is unfortunate that a film, which has won awards at international film festivals, is facing obstacles in its release. "It is very discouraging. I feel it is an unnecessary obstacle. In India, it is anyway difficult to get funds for such films and the movie is getting awards internationally. It is unfortunate. Let's see what the tribunal decides. But people in India should have the right to choose for themselves what they want to watch," adds Konkona.
On 6 March, 2017, Actress Swara Bhaskar criticised the censor board for making things difficult for independent filmmakers who are trying to deal with brave topics in their cinema. The 28-year-old actress, who was in the capital for the music launch for her upcoming film Anarkali of Aarah, said the CBFC puts such indie projects under the scanner even before they are released.
"Kudos to independent producers like Sandip Kapur who are changing Bollywood. Such producers have faith in scripts like Anarkali of Aarah. Then studios jump in to acquire them. They are doing a brave job. The censor board is putting them under scanner way before the release. It is bad as they are already in a vulnerable state," said Swara.
The CBFC had chopped some of the bold scenes from the movie which were later leaked online but the actress, who plays a singer known for her double-meaning songs, said nothing in the film was done to sensationalise things.
"Nothing in the film has been put out of context. Nothing has been stuffed distastefully. If you will see things without any context, you are bound to be mistaken. Every song, every line, every dance number in the film, every bold scene in the film has been shot due to a specific reason. This is a brave film, provokes you to ask questions from yourself."
Swara said her film, directed by Avinash Das, narrates the real story of item girls beyond the glitz and glamour. "It's a glimpse into the lives of item girls. That's the best combination for an actor where you get to have fun, do the glamourous bits also, and tell a content-rich story... We have maintained a balance. We never went crass with the songs."