Film-maker Anurag Kashyap who had filed a petition in the Bombay High Court last year, requesting the Central Board of Film Certification to set aside the compulsory insert of anti-smoking disclaimers in smoking scenes in films, saying that he would not release his directorial venture Ugly till the rule changes, has now agreed to release the film with the disclaimers.
Produced by DAR Motion Pictures and Phantom Films, Ugly, was first slated to release last year, but the film was moved forward as Kashyap was not willing to carry the anti-smoking disclaimers in the smoking scenes in the film saying that they were a distraction for the audience. Now, that he has agreed to release the film, Kashyap says, “The High Court has said that since the case is in the Supreme Court a decision cannot be taken because it cannot supersede the Supreme Court. So if we want the rule to change, we have to wait for the Supreme Court verdict or apply in the Ministry, that the new government has yet to set up. The film’s financiers have given us enough time and can no longer hold on, as any further delay will add to the costs. I know that the procedure can take time as we only had four court dates in eight months! Though the release date is yet to be locked, Ugly will be released with the disclaimers. However, it does not mean that we stop fighting against this issue,” said Kashyap.
The film, he said, has already won four Best Director Awards at festivals including one in Korea and one in France. Ugly stars Ronit Roy, Girish Kulkarni, Tejaswani Kolhapure, Surveen Chawala, Siddhanth Kapoor and others.
Meanwhile, the film-maker who is extremely busy with the post-production of Bombay Velvet which releases later this year, has taken time off to present and promote Canadian documentary film-maker Nisha Pahuja’s The World Before Her. Sitting in his Mumbai office, Kashyap says that he was instantly attracted to the film that explores the complex and conflicting environment of young girls in India by profiling two young women undergoing two very different types of training— one who aspires to become Miss India and the other who wants to join Durga Vahini, a Hindu militant female wing of the Bajrang Dal.
“I wanted to present the film because Nisha was finding it difficult to release it in India. The film is not about Miss India or Durga Vahini, it is about these two girls who find dignity and respect in the medium they chose to compete in and the training camps they went to. The documentary had a big impact on me and will have the same effect on the audience. When I present a documentary like this, I don’t have any stake in it,” he stated.
Kashyap who he has helmed path-breaking films like Dev D and Gangs Of Wasseypur, agrees he and his partners Vikas Bahl and Vikramaditya Motwane have chosen. a lesser treaded path when it comes to the kinds of films they make“Our company is like that. We have different sensibilities, but have chosen this path which we always knew will not be easy because of our belief.”
He laughs off the news about him making a film with Amitabh Bachchan, and another with Shah Rukh Khan. “How many films can I make? Right now, I am only finishing Bombay Velvet and the television series with Mr Bachchan which will finish this month. I am not thinking of anything else. Then we are planning to release three films Peddlers, Monsoon Shootout and Haram Khor, and let me tell you there’s an individual fight to release each of them. Now, that’s a lot!”