I&B Ministry, Govt Should Protect Films, Filmmakers: Farhan Akhtar

The actor-filmmaker voices his thoughts on ‘Padmavati’ and IFFI controversies.

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Farhan Akhtar talks about the <i>Padmavati </i>and IFFI controversies.
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The film industry has been facing a lot of flak lately. If the continuous assault against Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati were not enough, the I&B Ministry has stoked fires by going against the jury to pull out two critically acclaimed films from the 48th International Film Festival (IFFI), Goa.

Actor-filmmaker Farhan Akhtar voiced his protest against the developments at an event recently. He said that it is vital that the Indian audience be allowed to decide for themselves what they want to watch. According to Indian Express, Farhan said that people are free to boycott a film if they want, but no one has the right to assault its makers.

“I am totally against anything being banned. I genuinely believe that we should stop treating our audiences as children. We should allow them to grow, expose them to different types of ideas, allow them to understand culture and think. It is important for the development of any nation that there are viewpoints, that are not always in agreement with the majority.”
Farhan Akhtar, Actor-filmmaker

Referring to Padmavati, Farhan said that no one has the right to cause harm to the makers.

“In cinema, there is no such law that if a film releases, come what may, you have to watch it. You have the freedom to boycott the film, to spread the message to boycott the film. But what you don’t have is the freedom to threaten someone with grievous bodily harm, or break someone’s theater or hurt someone in any way. And unfortunately, that’s where the line hasn’t been drawn properly. We, as a film industry, are dependent on the CBFC to tell us what is okay and what is not okay. We have accepted that. Beyond that, it is up to the I&B ministry and the government to protect the films and filmmakers. That’s what I have always believed and that’s what I believe in case of these three films.”

Commenting on Nude and S Durga, which were dropped from IFFI by the I&B ministry, the actor said it was important to protest and put up a united front:

“We fight, protest and don’t take that lying down and we stand up for our creative rights. We can’t keep pointing at others. There has been a lack of unity when it comes to these things. We get scared only when it is our film. This is very unfortunate. We are a really small industry, so if we don’t come together then no one will do for us.”

(Source: Indian Express)

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