Ever since filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali started the shoot of his film ‘Padmavati’ which is based on the life of Rani Padmini, the project has been mired in controversy. From the attack on the sets to protest against the release of the film in certain regions of the country, the film has garnered a lot of controversies.
Today evening, the Indian Film and Television Directors’ Association (IFTDA) gathered for a press conference in support of Sanjay Leela Bhansali and his film ‘Padmavati’. Members of IFTDA Ashoke Pandit, Sudhir Mishra, Sushant Singh, Vikram Gokhale and others joined in the press conference and addressed the media present there by voicing their opinion in support of Bhansali.
“There are 5 organizations which are important for the film industry and we are being abused and we don’t deserve this type of treatment. It has happened to Madhur Bhandarkar in the past and now Sanjay Leela Bhansali. It is important to stand up together and speak together because the abuse is not for him but for the entire film fraternity,” Ashoke Pandit, IFTDA President, said.
Seconding Pandit was filmmaker Sudhir Mishra, who said, “This whole issue is number one and CBFC (censorship) is the second thing. Prasoon Joshi is a sensitive person responsible for the effect (on CBFC) and thirdly it is an attack on freedom so please let the film release. We all condemn (the aggressive protests) and stand for ‘Padmavati’.”
Another filmmaker and member of IFTDA, VP Singh, who was also present at the event said, “It is happening every day and Sanjay is one of the topmost directors who has made Indian cinema proud. Sanjay understands that it is not a license to misuse freedom and money is spent on the films and he understands it.” Actor Sushant Singh too voiced his opinion in favour of Bhansali saying, “Sanjay Leela Bhansali has not asked us to hold this press conference but we are doing this as our duty which is to express and we are fighting for our freedom of expression.”
Renowned Marathi and Hindi actor Vikram Gokhale said, “We say we stay in a democratic country but do we have any democratic freedom to do anything? Many people have asked to show them the film first and then they would decide that if it should be accepted or not. Sanjay is a responsible person and if the Censor Board has passed the film then why is this all protest happening?”
When asked if the association also lends its support to other films like ‘S Durga’ and ‘Indu Sarkar’ that have also been in the news for being stuck in similar controversies, Ashoke Pandit added: “We stood for every film and this is becoming too much as we are getting threatened and Sanjay is a symbol but this conference is for everyone.”
‘Padmavati’ which stars Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh in pivotal roles is scheduled to release on December 1, 2017.
– Bhargavi Mankar