'Chidiakhana' shot with children in mind: director



Following the Bombay High Court division bench's reminding the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) that its job is to certify films and not censor them, director Manish Tiwary, whose children's film "Chidiakhana" started the controversy, says he wholly shot the film keeping children in mind.

The CBFC recently refused to give the children's film a 'U/A' certificate on the grounds that it depicted violence and discrimination that could disturb children.

Speaking on the matter, Tiwary said on Tuesday: "The movie Chidiakhana was commissioned by a panel of the Children's Film Society of India (CFSI). They are professionals who understood the themes of the film -- that it is showcasing the importance of green spaces in a city, that it encourages sports among underprivileged children and it touches on the theme of national integration. I shot the film with a young audience in mind."

"I feel children need not be given a simplistic dose of black and white. They can understand layered, nuanced stories," he added.

The story of the film revolves around a little boy from Bihar who loves to play football and arrives in Mumbai to fulfil his dream of being a footballer.

The film features Govind Namdev, Ravi Kishan and Prashant Narayanan among others.

Tiwary mentioned: "Scenes of mild violence, sports ruggedness, and imagining animals' heads that look threatening are a few that CBFC felt was not U-certificate material. The scenes must be seen in the context of the story, subject and the overall film. One shouldn't sit with a checklist of "not done", ready to cut scenes away. The scenes should be seen in the overall context and impact of the narrative."

The division bench of Justices SC Dharmadhikari and GS Patel supported the appeal of the filmmaker and stated: "Nobody has given CBFC the intellectual morality and authority to decide what one wants to watch and see."

Thanking the court, the filmmaker said: "Foremost, I am most grateful to Justices SC Dharmadhikari and GS Patel for speaking up for my film, and importantly stating what cinegoers and children can see on screen."

"The matter is sub-judice, but I must express an overwhelming feeling because of the support that I received from the honourable High Court bench, and consequently from my colleagues in the film industry."

The next hearing in the case will take place on August 5.

Tiwary concluded: "Frankly, what the Justices said was a dose of magic realism for me. I was running from pillar to post since October 2018 to get the film certified for release. I hope to get justice for my film."IANS