‘No Fathers in Kashmir’ hits censor roadblock

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Srinagar: National Award-winning filmmaker Ashvin Kumar’s film No Fathers in Kashmir has hit the roadblock with the censor board. The director says that the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has been sitting on his film for over 100 days while it usually takes about  68 days for the board to clear a film. However, the CBFC regional officer, Tusshar Karmarkar claims that the application for the film was only accepted on July 17 and got delayed as it was referred to a revising committee. Now, the film will be screened for the revising committee of the CBFC on Wednesday, October 10, in Mumbai, a Mumbai based news outlet reported.

Speaking about it, India’s youngest Oscar nominee said, “We applied to the CBFC for certification on June 15 and it took 80 days for the Examining Committee (EC) to see it. There were two gentlemen and two ladies, along with the RO (Regional Officer), present at the September 3 screening. Despite me flying from out of town, I was not given the opportunity to discuss or defend my film as no objections or comments were raised.”

But Ashvin received a letter from the RO the following day stating that the CBFC Chairperson (Prasoon Joshi) had referred the film to the revising committee at an unspecified time and place. “There were no reasons given for referring it to the revising committee. It’s 109 days and counting and there has been no communication from the CBFC since,” said Ashwin.

Ashvin, who is designer Ritu Kumar’s son and a BAFTA winner, admits that Kashmir is a contentious issue but points out that he has made two feature-length documentaries on the Valley which have bagged National Awards and been feted internationally. “I’ve been working in Kashmir for 10 years and all the facts and figures in my film are already in the public domain. Yes, it touches on some dark aspects but No Fathers In Kashmir is not anti-national, anti-army or seditious. It portrays what’s happening in the state while talking about forgiveness, reconciliation and moving on with an innocent love story as the backdrop,” Ashvin asserted.