BENGALURU: The differences between noted filmmaker Girish Kasaravalli and the Central Board for Film Certification (CBFC) over Babu Eshwar Prasad’s Gaali Beeja has only worsened with the Censor Board demanding a written apology from the former.
CBFC Regional Officer M Nagendra Swamy, who is furious with Kasaravalli’s criticism of the Board, which was reported in some sections of the media, said “Such statements should not come from a senior director like Girish Kasaravarlli, who is well aware of CBFC laws. I was okay if his attack was directed at me alone, but he is blaming the whole committee, which includes the revision committee head Arundhati Nag and everybody, which is a big mistake. That’s why I have demanded an apology from him and asked him stop talking about the movie and not to influence the movie makers. It’s wrong for a senior director like Kasaravalli to say that we don’t understand the world of cinema.”
Nagendra Swamy further said the 96-minute film Gaali Beeja, made on a shoe-string budget, was refused a certificate by the examining committee as it did not fit into the category of feature film or documentary, lacked cinematic standard and the movie made no sense. Apparently, the committee members who watched the film, felt that it is bits and pieces of visuals with very few dialogues.
Swamy added, “If the committee feels that the film is not suitable for society, they will reject it, which is a normal procedure at CBFC. They can approach the revision committee, which will have different members and will take a fresh look and decide. If the filmmaker is still not satisfied with that decision, he can approach the tribunal,” he said.
Swamy also clarified about comments he had made about the film. “Being a member of CBFC, I cannot be a critic. I was only trying to give my creative suggestions as an audience, which was mistaken,” he said.
Meanwhile, Babu Eshwar Prasad, the director of the film, said he will apply to the revision committee soon for approval and that he and his team will continue to fight for justice. “They have rejected the efforts of the many people who worked for this film. As visual artists, don’t we have better cinematic sense? That is what is hurting me and the other art filmmakers,” he said.
A few filmmakers like T S Nagabharana, Prakash Belawadi and people who are in support of Babu, are also planning to stage a protest soon.