The winds of liberality are blowing across the corridors of the CBFC. Anubhav Sinha, who has acquired a reputation of being Bollywood’s resident Costa Gavras after the film Mulk, was apprehensive about how the censor board would react to his new political drama, Article 15. The film is a scathing indictment of the caste system, inequality discrimination and injustice in Uttar Pradesh.
Speaking about the project, Anubhav says, “The CBFC asked for just five very basic negligible cuts, to which we agreed in less than a minute. The cuts were for foul words, and they asked for a voiceover with disclaimer; very reasonable requests that I was happy to comply with.”
Article 15 has been given a ‘UA’ certificate, “And that too with nominal cuts. I am very happy,” says Anubhav, who has just returned from screening the film at the 10th London Indian Festival.
The director reveals that the response to his film has been good at the film festival. “The response was very positive from audiences both at London and Birmingham. About 90 percent of the audience stayed back for the Q&A after the screening. I am told that 60 percent of the audience leaves after such screenings. To my surprise, they got all the cultural and caste references, even though 50 percent of the audience was white.”
As for those sections of protesters who are speaking against Article 15, Anubhav has some advice.
“Relax. Take deep breaths. Wait for the film to be released, watch it and then form your opinions,” he concludes.