Apr 242013

A new Cut-Uncut Film Festival is being organised by the ministry of information and broadcasting in India as an ode to 100 years of Bollywood cinema.

The festival will showcase scenes from Bollywood movies that portray nudity and social unrest and fell victim to the censor board’s strict laws. Organisers say that the festival will include scenes that were deemed “too racy”, in order to demonstrate a more open-minded approach.

“We want to be more liberal, stop enforcing the old rules and instead recognise artistic endeavour,” said an official in the ministry while speaking to AFP. He further added, “With changing times, we want to have a fresh approach. Our aim is to change the old set of censor laws soon.”

The festival will be held in Delhi from April 25 to 30 and will open with a screening of the 1933 classic Karma starring Himanshu Rai and Devika Rani, whose deleted onscreen kiss was considered the first in a Bollywood film.

It will also screen films such as Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur, a film that includes a great deal of on-screen violence and abusive language, and Yash Chopra’s Dharamputra that discusses religion.

Another film to be featured is the 2004 documentary called Final Solution, which looks at the highly sensitive subject of Hindu-Muslim religious riots that was banned for being highly provocative.

Despite the fact that Bollywood movies these days show a great deal of sexually suggestive material, sex remains taboo in the Indian film industry with such movies getting an adult certificate and limiting the audience to over the age of 18.

Director, Dibakar Banerjee who ran into trouble last year with the censor board over his film Shanghai said, “I hated the idea of deleting the most powerful scenes from my movie but, well, I had to chop them otherwise the movie would have never seen the light of day.”

Acknowledging the attempt made by the organisers of the festival, he added, “Censorship has the power to kill the spirit of a film. It’s high time the government stops dictating what Indians should be watching.”

Published in The Express Tribune, April 25th, 2013.

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