Iranian auteur Majid Majidi with Ishan Khatter and Malavika Mohanan, the cast of his Indian film, Beyond the Clouds at IFFI.
Indian Cinema

‘Padmavati’ Row: Artists Shouldn’t Be Deterred Says Majid Majidi 

Iranian auteur Majid Majidi’s film, Beyond the Clouds was the inaugural film at the 48th International Film Festival of India that opened in Panaji, Goa on Monday. A star-studded affair, it saw the presence of Sridevi, who will also be inaugurating the Indian Panorama section, her husband-producer Boney Kapoor, and daughter Jhanvi Kapoor who is set to make her debut in Dharma Productions’ Dhadak, Shah Rukh Khan, Shahid Kapoor and Nana Patekar amongst others.

After the first exchange of cordialities, the elephant in the room was also addressed by a few personalities. There were articulate as well as subtle statements about the Padmavati controversy and possibly, the exclusion of films like S Durga and Nude from IFFI.

Despite being curtailed by censorship and economic hurdles, Iran has a flourishing film culture. Majidi, also the director of the Oscar-nominated film, Children of Heaven and The Colour of Paradise made a statement while walking down the red carpet.

“Artists face these kind of situations because of the talent and desire they have. That extends to filmmakers too. They should not stop innovation in their work because of adverse conditions.”
Iranian filmmaker, Majid Majidi.

He went on to emphasise on the persistence of filmmakers saying, “Even if the government tries to boycott their work, artists will find a way to express themselves”.

Shah Rukh Khan said in his opening speech that India is a land of legends and fables. He invoked the Sanskrit word, Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam which means bringing the world together like a family. Khan said that storytelling is a familial experience which “makes relationships stronger, even in the face of dissent and discussion as it usually happens in a family. Instead of tearing us apart.”

The lead actor of Padmavati , Shahid Kapoor expressed his optimism, “It’s not the first time that I have had a film which has faced such issues. Udta Punjab’s release was preceded by a lot of drama. But eventually, it was released and loved by people.”

Shahid reiterated that the makers of the film had already issued a statement about the film’s referral.

“This is not the time to be angry. There are enough people losing their cool. Padmavati is a film that we are proud of. Once it releases, I am sure people will love it and all this will be forgotten. We want to go through the process and hope CBFC (Central Board of Film Certification) will clear the film very soon.”
Shahid Kapoor, the lead actor of Padmavati.

CBFC chief Prasoon Joshi said that the censor board should be given adequate space and time to come up with a “balanced decision” about Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s period drama, Padmvati. He also referred to the film being screened for select members of the media.

“The CBFC has to take a decision with a cool mind. This mess is not created by CBFC but by Padmavati’s team.”
Prasoon Joshi, CBFC Chief.

While assuring that CBFC is following procedure, Joshi said,“There could be one or two committees formed to take this decision. I am from the film fraternity. The issue is not about (director Sanjay Leela) Bhansali, about the subject.”

Nana Patekar did not mince words while speaking about Padmavati. He has earlier worked with Bhansali in the film, Khamoshi.

“We take creative liberties while making historical dramas. But no one should be hurt by those depictions. Similar allegations were made against Bhansali during Bajirao Mastani. As per the law, action should be taken against those attacking the actors and the film.”
Actor, Nana Patekar.

IFFI will continue till November 28 and will screen around 200 films.

Source: The Indian Express

Also Read: Government Knows How to Take a Joke: Smriti Irani at IFFI 2017

(Breathe In, Breathe Out: Are you finding it tough to breathe polluted air? Join hands with FIT to find #PollutionKaSolution. Send in your suggestions to fit@thequint.com or WhatsApp @ +919999008335)