This Article is From Jun 08, 2016

Bollywood A-listers vs Udta Punjab's 89 Cuts By Censor Chief: 10 Facts

Udta Punjab, starring actors Shahid Kapoor (left) and Alia Bhatt (centre), is scheduled for release on June 17.

Highlights

  • They want written copy of Censor Board's review panel recommendations
  • Panel reportedly ordered cuts, deletion of references to Punjab, politics
  • Censor Chief says Anurag Kashyap took money from AAP to make film
Mumbai: Top filmmakers today attended a press conference to say they stand with producer Anurag Kashyap's "Udta Punjab," and made a strong pitch for freedom of speech, attacking Censor Board chief Pahlaj Nihalani, who has ordered 89 cuts in the film.

Here are the 10 latest developments in this story:

  1. "I demand on behalf of the entire industry... that the ministry should remove Pahlaj Nihalani," said Mukesh Bhatt, head of the Film and Television Producers Guild of India, alleging a "complete conspiracy to sabotage" Udta Punjab.

  2. Filmmaker Ashoke Pandit said they condemned Mr Nihalani's allegation that the film is funded by the Aam Aadmi Party. He called it an "insult to the entire industry," and demanded an apology.

  3. As he countered Anurag Kashyap's allegations of dictatorial behavior and arbitrary censorship, Pahlaj Nihalani today said about the filmmaker, "I have heard he has taken money from AAP."

  4. "Nihalani should prove I have taken money. He does not even know how to lie," shot back Mr Kashyap, who today moved the Bombay High Court seeking a copy of the Censor Board's order to delete references to Punjab, politics and elections from the film, including the title.

  5. With the controversy turning political, AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, "Pahlaj Nihlani's statement makes it amply clear that he has stopped the film on the BJP's instructions." AAP has strongly supported Team Udta and said the film must release.

  6. Udta Punjab is based on the debilitating drug menace in the state, an issue that both AAP and the Congress have placed at the centre of their campaigns against the Akali Dal-BJP state government in the run-up to assembly elections early next year.

  7. Mr Nihalani told NDTV that the cuts ordered have "nothing to do with the Punjab elections" and asserted that no political pressure influenced the board's decision. "The Centre never interferes with the Censor Board, there was no political influence," Mr Nihalani said.

  8. Udta Punjab is slated for release on June 17 and Mr Kashyap told NDTV he hopes to be able to release his film on that date without changes. He has made clear that "Punjab" cannot be separated from his film. 

  9. Mr Kashyap has said that there is a bullying attitude that counts on financial pressure faced by filmmakers to force them to back down.

  10. At today's presser he said, "Only the audience has the right to reject a film." At the presser were, filmmakers Imtiaz Ali, Zoya Akhtar, Mukesh Bhatt, Ashoke Pandit and Sudhir Mishra among others.