After the CBFC refused a ‘U’ certification to director Manish Tiwari’s children’s film Chidiakhana, the director approached the Mumbai High Court.
And this is what the honourable High Court had to say to the Central Board Of Film Certification: “You are not a censor board. You are a certification board. You can’t decide what I can or cannot see or listen. Nobody has given you intellectual and moral authority to decide that.”
Director Manish Tiwary who has unwittingly created history, says, “Foremost, I am most grateful to Justices SC Dharmadhikari and GS Patel for speaking up for my film, and importantly stating what cinegoers and children can see on screen. The matter is subjudice.But I must express an overwhelming feeling because of the support that I received from the honorable High Court bench, and consequently from my colleagues in film industry.”
Manish says he was baffled by the rigid approach of the CBFC to his film. “The movie Chidiakhana was commissioned by a panel of CFSI professionals who understood the themes of the film, that it is showcasing importance of green space in in a city, that of sports among underprivileged children and even touches on of themes national integration.AND I have shot the film with a young audience in mind. I feel children need not be given a simplistic dose of black and white, they can understand layered, nuanced stories.”
Manish explains why the violence was essential to the film although it is about children . “Scenes of mild violence, sports ruggedness, or imagining animals heads that look threatening, some of which CBFC pointed out as not a “U” material, must be seen in the context of the story, subject and overall film. One shouldn’t sit with a check list of “not done” ready to cut them away and see the overall context, and impact of the narrative.”
Manish can’t stop praising the High Court for its historic verdict over the CBFC’s jurisdiction, “Chidiakhana is a heartwarming sports drama with a touch of magic realism.But frankly, what the Justices said was a dose of magic realism personally for me..I was running pillar to post since October 2018 to get the film certification and release it.Now I am very hopeful about getting justice for this film.”