MIFF 2017: In The Shade of Fallen Chinar, documentary on Kashmir, denied screening due to absence of CBFC certification

FP Staff

Feb,08 2018 11:12:37 IST

The government’s meddling in film exhibition and screening continues with the Information & Broadcasting Ministry preventing the screening of a short film selected for the Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) on 29 January.

A still from In The Shade of Fallen Chinar. YouTube

A still from In The Shade of Fallen Chinar. YouTube

The short film, made by Shawn Sebastian and Fazil NC, In The Shade Of Fallen Chinar, was dropped from the line up, as reported by Mid-Day.

The film had been denied a slot from the I&B Ministry on the basis of the Cinematograph Act. The decision was protested by the jury and the filmmakers who were not notified of the exclusion. “The film hasn’t received the certification from the CBFC to be screened. As per the Cinematography Act, a film requires certification or censor exemption. If the certification is there, we don’t have any problem with screening the documentary,” said Manish Desai, Director General, Films Division and Director, MIFF to Mid-Day. He also argued, “It couldn't have been screened for the public because that would've been unlawful. However, since it was part of the National Competition, the jury did watch the film,” as reported by Mid-Day.

Fazil responded to the development and said, “So this is what we came to know that we have been denied the censor exception like the previous time at the Kerala Film Festival. Since there was a verdict from the High Court supporting the ministry’s decision last time, the way forward is to take it legally forward or get a censor certificate. Since the film is already in the public domain, we don’t want to spend our energy on either things,” as reported by The Indian Express.

Shawn Sebastian, the director of the film, said, “The film has done its fair share of festival rounds. We never required a certificate till last year. That way, the CBFC or the government body in authority will be compelled to give us in writing what is objectionable about the film," as reported by The Indian Express.

The 16-minute short film chronicles the students of Kashmir University who gather around a fallen chinar tree to share stories through art, music and photography, and was shot by Fazil NC and Shawn Sebastian a month prior to the triggering of the ongoing unrest in the Valley.

Updated Date: Feb 08, 2018 11:12 AM