Udta Punjab wont release in Pak
The producers of controversial movie Udta Punjab have refused cuts suggested by Pakistan's Censor Board and decided not to release the film in Pakistan. The Pakistan Censor board refused to clear the movie unless the makers incorporated 100 cuts suggested by them. Director Abhishek Chaubey said the cuts did not make sense as the film was "intended to convey something and make a point."
No change in release date yet
Udta Punjab, directed by Abhishek Chaubey and starring Shahid Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor, Alia Bhatt and Punjabi singer-actor Diljit Dosanjh, is set for release on June 17.
Where did it all begin?
On 26 May, the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) demanded 40 cuts from the film Udta Punjab for explicit language and visual substance abuse. Following this, Phantom Films, which co-produced the film with Balaji Motion Pictures, approached the board for an 'A' certificate, which would have kept the film intact. The revising committee though, went one step further and demanded 89 cuts.
Board wants Punjab removed from film title
Among the demands made by CBFC, the filmmakers were asked to remove 'Punjab' from the title of the film 'Udta Punjab'. It also demanded removal of all references to Punjab, politics and elections, and for the film to be set in a fictional state rather than in Punjab. Reportedly the revising committee is of the view that the film 'defames' Punjab.
Anurag Kashyap attacks Censor Board Chief
Producer of Udta Punjab, Anurag Kashyap lost his patience with CBFC and took to Twitter to express his angst. Kashyap attacked Censor Board chief Pahlaj Nihalani, accusing him of "acting like an oligarch, a dictator" who is treating the "Censor Board like his North Korea." He also stated that Punjab cannot be separated from films which are based on drug abuse in the state.
Censor Board Chief defends 'Udta Punjab' cuts
Censor Board Chief Pahlaj Nihalani defended the cuts imposed on Anurag Kashyap's film Udta Punjab. Nihalani said that the cuts "have nothing to do with the Punjab elections" and asserted that there was no political influence on board's decision. Hitting back at the filmmaker, Nihalani called Kashyap's allegations against him baseless and said that he (Kashyap) was like a child being denied a toy.
Bachchan, Aamir Khan speak out on Udta Punjab controversy
Joining the Udta Punjab debate, Sr Bachchan said that the Censor board should not 'kill creativity' and that it was unfortunate that the producers had to go to the court. Even Aamir Khan criticised the CBFC's move of numerous cuts and said that "it reflects badly on CBFC." Shyam Benegal and Mahesh Bhatt too criticised CBFC's move to thwart a movie with social message.
Deputy CM Punjab breaks his silence in the Udta Punjab controversy
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief and deputy chief minister of Punjab Sukhbir Badal joined in the Udta Punjab controversy and said he was shocked with the abusive words used in the movie. However, he denied AAP's and Congress claims that SAD had anything to do with the deletion of references to words like 'Punjab'. He said it was Censor boards decision not SAD's.
Censor Board gets chided by the Bombay HC
The Bombay HC said that the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) was a body meant to certify not censor films. The court will pass udgement on 13 June. The Court also said that if the board thought the movie glorified drugs, the entire movie should be banned not snipped. Moreover, the court said cutting expletives and the word Punjab wasn't required either.
Udta Punjab cleared with 13 cuts
Censor Board chairman Pahlaj Nihalani said that the controversial Udta Punjab film has been cleared by the Censor board with 13 cuts under an A certificate. He stated that nine members of the Board had watched the film and "unanimously" cleared it. However, the film's producers will now either go ahead with the proposed cuts or approach the court for arbitration.
NGO moves SC against Udta Punjab
An NGO from Punjab has moved the Supreme Court to stay the release of Udta Punjab, after the Bombay HC ordered that the film be released. The Human Rights Awareness Association requested that the movie not be released as it "projected the state (Punjab) in a bad light." It further stated that the Bombay HC has no jurisdiction over the CBFC's decision.
Udta Punjab appears online
The controversial Udta Punjab film appeared over 700 times online and was detected by the anti-piracy wing of the Telugu Film Chamber of Commerce. The film was available online on the same day that it got its clearance from the censor board. Producers of the film have urged the public to refrain from downloading the movie and watch it in theaters instead.