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Sunday, February 23, 2020

Bengali movie crew to hit streets today after screenings stopped

In November last year, Dutta had taken a jibe at Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee while speaking at a seminar in Kolkata International Film Festival.

Written by Santanu Chowdhury | Kolkata | Published: March 10, 2019 4:48:56 am
On February 16, a day after its release, the movie was pulled out of nearly all theatres. Owners of single-screen movie theatres and multiplexes said they received orders from “higher authority”.

The cast and crew of Bhabishyater Bhoot, a Bengali-language film, will hit the streets in Kolkata on Sunday after movie theatres stopped the film’s screening, allegedly due to a directive from the administration. Bhabishyater Bhoot (meaning Ghosts of the Future), directed by Anik Dutta, is a political satire that revolves around a group of dejected ghosts who take shelter in a refugee camp.

On February 16, a day after its release, the movie was pulled out of nearly all theatres. Owners of single-screen movie theatres and multiplexes said they received orders from “higher authority”.

A theatre owner said, “We received an order from the higher authority not to continue with the screening. They told us that the movie might upset the ruling establishment. We had no option.”

Minister of State, Information and Cultural Affairs Indranil Sen was not available for comment.

Producers are exploring legal options. “I made a film with a valid censor certificate. Why should I go around with a begging bowl? It is the duty of the administration to see to it that the movie is screened,” Dutta said.

“It has created a huge uproar in the film fraternity and the society at large,” he said.

Dutta said the movie’s “content” is the reason for its removal from theatres. “I don’t make films just to entertain. This was a satire which I think was entertaining, but it reflects on our time,” the filmmaker said.

In November last year, Dutta had taken a jibe at Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee while speaking at a seminar in Kolkata International Film Festival. Dutta had said the film festival was not about actors or directors, but about “one person” whose posters were all over the festival venues.

Asked if this could be the reason why the film’s screening was stopped, Dutta said, “It could be, but there are a lot of other comments in the film which might have ticked them off.”

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