In Solidarity With Padmavati, Bengal Film Industry Plans 15-Minute Strike

Tollywood, as the Bengal film industry is locally called, has come out in protest after Mumbai film industry spoke out against the anti-Padmavati campaign.

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In Solidarity With Padmavati, Bengal Film Industry Plans 15-Minute Strike

Rajput groups have been up in arms against Padmavati, alleging it distorts history.

Kolkata:  The film Industry in Bengal will stop work for 15 minutes on Tuesday in a mark of protest against the anti-Padmavati campaign in some parts of the country and the threats issued against chief minister Mamanta Banerjee and actor Deepika Padukone.  

At a meeting at Technicians Studio, one of Kolkata's oldest film making units, top actors, filmmakers and producers gathered to condemn groups like the Karni Sena that are objecting to the film.

"Medieval mentality in the age of android," said national award winning filmmaker Goutam Ghosh. "If a film is good or bad, who decides? CBFC (the Central Board of Film Certification, informally called the censor board) and no one else. If it objects, the producer can go to court. Before CBFC certification, some people are passing vulgar comments, this has no logic," he said.

"The kind of language that's used about the film is painful. As a director I don't have the right to make a film of my choice," said actor Prasenjit Chatterjee, "It seems we will have to stop making films."

Besides Mr Ghosh and Mr Chatterjee, others present at the meeting included Srikant Mohta, head of the Eastern India Motion Pictures Association, and Swarup Biswas, the South Kolkata District Committee chief of the ruling Trinamool Congress.

The Bengal film fraternity will strike work at noon for 15 minutes. All shooting will be stopped. Tollywood, as the Bengal film industry is locally called, has come out in protest after Mumbai film industry spoke out on Sunday.

On Friday, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had publicly condemned the attack on the film by Sanjay Leela Bhnasali. Ms Banerjee said Mr Bhansali was welcome to premiere the film in Bengal. She urged the film state's film industry to unite on the issue.

Rajput groups have staged violent protests demanding a ban on the film. They contend that it distorts history and presents the queen, seen as a heroic figure, in a bad light by implying a romance between her and Alauddin Khilji, the Delhi Sultan obsessed with her. The film-makers have denied the allegation.

The film's release has been "voluntarily" deferred by its producers, Viacom18, from its scheduled date of December 1. The makers haven't got a clearance from the CBFC yet, which said the application from the makers was "incomplete".

Four states - BJP-ruled Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Congress-governed Punjab -- have said the movie should not be screened.

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