Director Alankrita Shrivastava, whose film Lipstick Under My Burkha was embroiled in a CBFC controversy earlier this year, has said that the FCAT’s (Film Certification Appellate Tribunal) decision to award her film an ‘A’ certificate is “very reasonable”.
In conversation with PTI News, Alankrita Shrivastava said, “I am very happy and thrilled that the point we had raised against the CBFC, the FCAT has agreed with us. They understood the intent of the film and haven’t questioned the very basis of why women should have desires. They didn’t ask me to remove any scenes. They have just asked us to reduce a few seconds here and there.”
Alankrita was initially against making changes to her film, but has since learnt to live with it. “Ideally, they should have just passed the film without any cuts but considering how bad the situation was with the board, it’s okay. I’ll sit with my editor and figure it out. Personally, I am always against any kind of tampering with the film. But considering the situation where we were not getting any certification at all, I think I can live with what they have asked for. But credit where it is due, the FCAT has been very reasonable,” she said.
On April 26, the FCAT had asked the CBFC to grant an ‘A’ certificate to the film with “voluntary and some additional cuts and deletions”. The filmmakers were also asked to reduce the duration of some sex scenes.
Led by former judge Justice Manmohan Sarin, the FCAT, which was approached by the film’s makers Alankrita Srivastava and Prakash Jha, ruled that if a film handles aspects of sexual desires and its expression sensitively, without coarseness, vulgarity, or obscenity, then certification cannot be denied.
The film made headlines after the CBFC refused to give it a censor certificate because it was “lady oriented”. Directed by Alankrita Shrivastava, starring Konkona Sen Sharma, Ratna Pathak Shah, Aahana Kumra and Plabita Borthakur, the film follows four women as they search for freedom in their lives. The CBFC cited several reasons, including “women’s fantasies” and abusive language, as reasons for denying the film its censor certificate.