THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: ‘Varthamanam’, which was denied certificate by the state Censor Board of Film Certification (CBFC) for its alleged anti-national content, will see a theatrical release on March 12.
Directed by Sidhartha Siva and written by Congress leader Aryadan Shoukath, the film received the go-ahead after the makers approached the Central Censor Board revising committee. On Thursday, the movie was premiered at Kalabhavan Theatre in Thiruvananthapuram ahead of its big release.
Denying clearance for the film earlier, CBFC member Adv Sandeep Kumar had tweeted: “... I saw the film Varthamanam. The subject is the Dalit, Muslim oppression in the JNU protest. I opposed it because the film’s writer and producer is Aryadan Shoukath. The film’s premise was surely anti-national.”
Shoukath told TNIE that no film has faced a total rejection in Kerala. “The secular space is slowly receding. There is no vote bank for secularism now and politicians are trying to divide us. Even the creative space is under their radar. They are trying to destroy the very root of India,” he said.
“The Censor Board rejected the film outrightly. The movie is based on things happening in our country right now. We are trying to give the message to stand united against the divisiveness,” said Shoukath.
Remembering the efforts it took to bring the film to cinemas, Shoukath said Covid was the first hurdle the makers had to cross. “Covid-19 robbed almost a year from us. Finally, when we came out with the film the censor board rejected it. We did not want an OTT release as common film goers do not have access to the man,” he said.