Mumbai: The FCAT has directed the CBFC to issue the certification for exhibition to the film Lipstick Under My Burkha, within the next seven days, in an order dated 26th May, 2017.
Though the FCAT had directed the CBFC to issue an "A" certificate to the film via an order dated April 18, 2017, that was sent out later that week, the CBFC has still not issued the certificate.
On May 1st, the producer submitted the film for viewing to the CBFC, in order to get the certification. But the CBFC has been delaying the process on one pretext or the other.
When the FCAT was informed of the delay by the producer, they summoned the CBFC to explain the situation. But no one showed up for the hearing and the FCAT has directed the CBFC to issue certification to Lipstick Under My Burkha within the week.
Lipstick Under My Burkha was first denied certification by the CBFC in January and then again by the revising Committee in February. The producers had then filed an appeal with the FCAT for a reversal of the CBFC decision.
Producer Prakash Jha says, “Since the CBFC was not issuing the certificate, we had to approach the FCAT again. I’m glad the FCAT has directed the CBFC to issue the certification to the film within the week. We will be announcing the release date soon.”
Says filmmaker Alankrita Shrivastava, “These are pressure tactics by the CBFC. They are once again trying to do their best to stifle the voices of women. Because the FCAT has pointed out that the CBFC cannot deny certification to a film because it is “lady-oriented”, the CBFC is just delaying the process. But it has been weeks. And we have been waiting to get the certification in hand so we can announce a release date. We first applied for the censor certificate at the end of December. It is now almost June. Who is going to pay for the delay of five months?”
Lipstick Under My Burkha has already won 9 international awards, including the Grand Jury Prize at Films de Femmes Creteil, France and the inaugural Oxfam Award for the Best Film on Gender Equality. It has been officially screened at over 25 international film festivals across the world. The film features Konkona Sensharma and Ratna Pathak Shah, and tells the story of four small town women in search of a little freedom.