In May, the film Metro courted controversy when the Central Board of Film Certification denied the film a certificate citing its theme, and depiction of violence. The film is about chain snatching networks in Chennai. However, 40 days later, the revising committee overturned the decision and awarded the film an ‘A’ certificate. Moreover, the revising committee cleared the film without a single cut or mute. Now, the film is again facing similar issues with TV censorship, as director Ananda Krishnan claims that the same CBFC official who refused to certify the film is refusing a TV censor Certificate too.
When contacted, Ananda Krishnan walked us through the process of TV censorship. “A film that received an A certificate has to undergo ‘voluntary cuts’ of at least 10 minutes of footage. So I made 22 cuts in the film, reducing the violence shown, without disturbing the theme or plot of the film. The same officers who refused to certify the film have refused to clear the TV version too, saying the theme is inappropriate for home viewing.”
Metro has won praise for its content from critics, and even public officials, including IPS officers. Yet, CBFC is reluctant to clear the film for television broadcast. Given that TV rights of the film loses it’s value with time, Ananda Krishnan is in a tight spot. “It has been more than three months since Metro’s theatrical run, so from both the standpoint of marketing and viewership, the film will take a hit if not telecast in the right time. Many channels are interested in buying the film, but now it is stuck due to this issue,” he said.
Ananda Krishnan added that many who did not watch the film in theatres because of the A certificate could watch the film at home. The CBFC officials demand that the theme of chain snatching be taken out of the film. However, the film itself is based on the issue, and the makers feel that the request is absurd. The team will look to escalate the issue with the CBFC again in the coming week.