Actors and technicians who attended the launch of the 18th edition of the Jio MAMI (Mumbai Academy of the Moving Image) Film Festival 2016 were asked about the ongoing issue with the release of Karan Johar’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, and the ban on Pakistani artists working in India. Most voiced support for Karan Johar, while some were silent on the issue.
Defending Karan Johar, Zoya Akhtar said, “It is very unfortunate that a film and a filmmaker gets targeted like that. He didn’t do anything wrong. He has not broken the law. Visas are being granted by the government, it’s legal for people to work here. He shot the film at a time when the situation was pleasant.”
“Today at the time of the film’s release he is being bullied and it’s not fair because the government has put out a statement saying they will continue to give visas. So, what’s the issue then? Why are we going against the government> Business is going on. Cricket is going on. So, why only the film industry has to face this? We have always been targeted,” she added.
“If you want to ban anything to do with Pakistan, then go the distance. Don’t just ban the filmmakers. Ban imports, exports etc. When you do half a job, no one is going to take you seriously. I don’t take the government seriously. Right now, it’s not looking like you mean it. It just looks like it gets you a lot of publicity and makes noise,” he said.
His Dev D co-star Kalki Koechlin said censorship of any kind is very sad.
Actor Kunal Kapoor said that he hoped that ADHM would get a peaceful release, “Quite a pity. I was looking forward to watching this film. How can a film have an adverse effect in that sense? I hope it gets a good release and better sense prevails.”
When asked about MAMI’s decision to not screen a Pakistani movie this year at the festival, Aamir Khan said, “You should ask MAMI about this.”
Aamir’s nephew and actor Imran Khan said that he was afraid of commenting on such a sensitive issue.
“I have many views but my concern is, if I voice those views, I am going to have people come and try to burn my house. I don’t want people to threaten me or beat me up. I want to avoid these things. Will keep my opinion to myself,” he said.