Approaching the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) was perhaps the smartest thing for film-maker Mahesh Bhatt to do in order to secure 'A' certificate for his next production Love Games soon after he was disappointed by the Central Board of Certification (CBFC).
Bhatt was forced to knock the doors of the FCAT as the CBFC demanded 18 cuts before they even allow an adult certificate to the film. The film-maker didn't waste time appealing to the revising committee, rather went to FCAT and secured the coveted certificate for the film. Unhappy with the manner in which the CBFC dealt with the issue, Bhatt strongly criticised the processes followed by the Board to certify a film.
"I was jolted out of my wits because if you go with a film like Love Games and you know it’s an adult film and ask for an A (adult) certificate in your application and they suggest ridiculous cuts like you can’t show any character consuming cocaine, you cannot show a kiss on the screen, you cannot keep cuss words of a particular kind, I was jolted. We went to the FCAT because we didn’t want to spend money or time at the revising committee because of the overarching mindset of the chairperson," Bhatt told CNN-IBN.
He said that as expected, the FCAT gave the film a clear A certificate. Bhatt insisted that the industry should not give up and continue to fight on until the deserved certificate for the film is obtained.
"We have realised that industry and time are at fault by cursing the darkness. You have to light the candle. And if you don’t do something yourself, nothing is going to happen. Freedom is a right you have to grovel at the fit of Pahlaj Nihalani or any minister to take that freedom. You just have to just assert yourself and be ready to take that fight on to the highest authority," said Bhatt.
He said that certain CBFC guidelines should be continuously amended with changing time.
"If FCAT had refused that certificate, we had gone to the high court, if not high court then to the Supreme Court because we as film-makers need to know that in the second decade of the 21st century when you are bombarded with content which is shocking by all kind of imaginations. If you let the 19th-century laws and sensibilities govern you then you are desperately going to be out synched with the world," he said.
He feels that industry should fight to amend the CBFC system to encourage new generation filmmakers to make come.
"Forty years I have been in this business. From the first film I have been fighting with Censor Board and I continued this fight for forty years later. It’s time now that we put in place certain sane document where we avoid this unnecessary waste of energy and money. for the generation now and the generation next," Bhatt said.