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5 Movies Banned in India that are Movie Buffs’ Favorite: Browse through the List!

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Indian movie posters, Flickr

October 20, 2016: Censorship in movies has always been a problematic issue in India. Bollywood, which is one of the largest film industries in the world, in terms of the number of movies produced per year, have faced the wrath of Censor board every now and then. Directors who tend to come out of the shells and try to give to the audience something extraordinary or may be realistic which indulges strong (read bold) language, suggestive (read vulgar) scenes, taboos which all are way ahead of its time are often barred.

Here is the list of 5 banned Indian movies for the movie buffs who would like to watch them anyway-

1. Bandit Queen (1994)

Bandit Queen poster 1994, Wikimedia
Bandit Queen poster 1994, Wikimedia

Based on the life of Phoolan Devi, Shekhar Kapur’s movie Bandit Queen was banned by the Censor board for the use of abusive language, nudity, and explicit sexual content.

2. Fire (1996)

Fire movie poster, Wikimedia
Fire movie poster, Wikimedia

Deepa Mehta’s Fire failed to impress the Censor board because of the subject of the story. Lesbian relationship between two sisters-in-laws in a Hindu family received critical acclaim worldwide but was strictly banned in India.

3. Parzania (2005)

Parzania movie poster, Wikimedia
Parzania movie poster, Wikimedia

Gujarat’s scarred past is cut open in the movie Parzania. It received appreciation as well as criticisms in equal amount. The film won a National Award for its cinematic excellence but it was not allowed to screen in Gujarat and was fiercely banned there.

4. Black Friday (2004)

Black Friday movie Poster, Wikimedia
Black Friday movie Poster, Wikimedia

Anurag Kashyap’s Black Friday which is loosely adapted from the Black Friday – The True Story of the Bombay Bomb Blasts by S Hussain Zaidi was way too dark to be released in India. The movie also faced a stay order from the Bombay High Court. The movie was banned for 2 years  but has received appreciation from the critics from all over the world.

5. Water (2005)

Water movie poster, Wikimedia
Water movie poster, Wikimedia

Another Deepa Mehta film, Water caused a lot of controversy because of the subject of the story, which depicts the dark insights on the life of Indian widows. It covers controversial subjects like misogyny and ostracism.

– by Pinaz Kazi of NewsGram. Twitter: @PinazKazi

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History deformation: Challenging time for filmmakers in India

Film 'Padmavati' facing hostility from different parts of India

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Padmavati in trouble
In recent times, many films have faced opposition due to raising any topic that affects any section of the society. Twitter @FilmPadmavati

– Amulya Ganguly

November 21st, 2017:

At the root of the controversy over the release of the Hindi feature film “Padmavati” is, first, the saffron brotherhood’s interpretation of history with a pronounced anti-Muslim bias and, secondly, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s overt and covert attempts to whittle down institutional autonomy.

Even if the BJP’s seemingly political use of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is a continuation of the practice of its predecessor which made the Supreme Court call the CBI a “caged parrot”, the party can be said to have broken new ground by letting vandals of the Hindu Right vent their anger against Padmavati and, thereby, undermining the authority of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).

In this case, too, there are precedents as when the Congress objected to the film, “Indu Sarkar,” because of its focus on Indira Gandhi. But the saffron offensive against Padmavati is making a greater impact because of the clout which the Sangh Parivar affiliates enjoy in view of their proximity to power.

It is obvious that if they are not checked, not only will the authority of the CBFC be diminished, but also the board will be wary in future of clearing films dealing with history or issues which are close to the Parivar’s heart. Politics will, therefore, virtually take over the board’s functioning.

What is more, the filmmakers themselves will be dissuaded from touching subjects which may be deemed sensitive and deal instead with safe, insipid topics. Such a state of affairs will be unfortunate at a time when Bollywood has been breaking away from the earlier productions with their song-and-dance routine and predictable storylines which were far removed from reality, except in a few exceptional cases which came to be known as the parallel cinema.

Not long ago, it was expected that the directors and producers will be able to breathe easily after the previous censor board chief, Pahlaj Nihalani, was unceremoniously removed so that he could no longer run amok with his scissors in accordance with his saffron whims, as in the case of reducing the duration of a kiss in a James Bond film or ordering 89 cuts in “Udta Punjab” or not clearing “Lipstick Under My Burkha” at all.

But any hope that the new board will be allowed to exercise its judgement in peace with the support of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry has been belied if only because the opponents of the idea of letting the artists pursue their craft unhindered are far too influential politically.

The decision about what the audience will be allowed to see is being taken not only by the self-appointed guardians of culture but also the ministry which has banned two films — “S Durga” and “Nude” — from an international festival in Goa apparently because the letter “S” in “S Durga” stands for “sexy”, which is too strong a word for bureaucratic ears, and “Nude” is out for obvious reasons.

While the rewriting of history books is proceeding apace with Rana Pratap winning the battle of Haldighati against Akbar on the pages of the textbooks printed in Rajasthan, the Hindutva storm-troopers are laying down the rules on how historical events are to be shown on the screen.

India has already seen the exiling of a reputed painter, M.F. Husain, who was hounded out of the country by saffron vigilantes who were displeased with his depiction of Hindu deities.

It will be a sad day if filmmakers, too, have to leave the country or shoot their films elsewhere, as in the case of Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children, which was shot in Sri Lanka.

The standard explanation for demanding cuts in the films is to ensure that the sentiments of the people are not hurt.

It was for this very same reason that Galileo had to disavow his thesis about the earth moving around the sun since such an assertion offended the feelings of the church and the laity in medieval Europe.

It took the church 350 years to apologise. There is unlikely to be anyone in the ruling dispensation or even in the opposition who will be courageous enough to say that the question of whether religious or cultural sensibilities are being hurt cannot be settled on the streets but should be left to the institutions to decide or, as a last resort, to the judiciary to determine with the assistance of scholars.

The saffron ire against “Padmavati” is apparently over the belief that the film will be unable to do justice to the heroic reputation of the queen of Mewar, a legendary beauty, who killed herself rather than be captured by the invading army of Alauddin Khalji.

Although no one, except the censors, has seen the film, the Hindu Right is patently unwilling to take the chance of an erroneous presentation. So the group has donned battle armour to save the fabled queen (real or fictional) 700 years after her death — this time from filmmakers — and is issuing blood-curdling threats against the director and the leading actress.

If accurately presented, the turbulent period of early 14th century Rajasthan can be the subject of a riveting drama. But whether cinema-goers will be able to see the film is still uncertain. (IANS)

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Indian Film Festival to be hosted by Poland in October 2017

This festival will be organized from 7th - 10th October 2017 in Warsaw & Krakow

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Poland, Indian Film Festival
Poland to Host Indian Film Festival. Pixabay
  • The Indian Film Festival Poland will show path breaking Indian films which have been jointly curated by Mr. R C Dalal and Captain Rahul Bali
  • The Indian Film Festival Poland will endorse the art and culture between the two countries- India & Poland using cinema as a medium
  • Some fun and entertaining events are also planned during the Day 4 of the festival like Indo – Bollywood Dance Performances by Polish Dancers, Indian Food Festival, Polish Musical concerts 

Warsaw (Poland), August 23, 2017: Lately Film festivals have turned into a huge phenomenon across the world in over the last 50 years; they are big celebrated events now that increase the reputation of the cities as well in which they are being organized. Poland will host the Indian Film Festival, the Indian film festival will commence in October 2017. The best part is that India has completed 71 years of Independence in the same year this festival will be organized. A Curtain Raiser Press Conference occurred in order to make the official announcement of the 1st ever Indian Film Festival to happen in Poland. It will be organized from 7th – 10th October 2017 in Warsaw & Krakow.

The Indian Film Festival Poland will show path breaking Indian films, the films have been jointly curated by Mr. R C Dalal and Captain Rahul Bali.  The Indian Film Festival Poland will endorse the art and culture between the two countries- India & Poland using cinema as a medium. It will showcase some fine Indian movies. Indian cinema is known for its vibrant, rich culture and the emotions expressed in Indian movies like love, friendship, brotherhood, family values etc. Indian movies are incomplete without music, songs and some dancing. The movies which spread joy amongst all will be on display. The audience in Poland will have a brilliant opportunity to witness some of the greatest works of art by acclaimed Indian directors. Festivals like these can pave a way for strengthening the bond of friendship between the two countries.

ALSO READ: Kashmir World Film Festival (KWFF) Kicks off in Srinagar, Aims to Promote Film Culture

Ajay Bisaria, H.E. the Ambassador of India to Poland said,” The Indian Film Festival in Poland will be devoted to the appreciation of cinema, art, and culture by showcasing Indian films for Polish audiences and opening new avenues of bilateral cooperation between our countries. This celebration of cinema will be part of a wider Festival of India that we hope will bring a gourmet selection of India’s cultural offerings to our Polish friends, for a whole year.”

Captain Rahul Bali, Co-Founder & Curator of Indian Film Festivals Worldwide (IFFW) also spoke on the occasion, “This festival shall be an annual event which shall feature a rich mix of programmes designed to build and support the growing interest of the Indian film industry in Poland.”  8 path breaking films from India will be shown this year and some award winning directors & actors will grace the event from India and Polish Film Industry.”

On 7th October 2017, the opening ceremony of the Festival will take place in Warsaw at Kino Teka with a lot of joy and zeal. On 10th October 2017, the closing ceremony will take place in Krakow. Some fun and entertaining events are also planned during the Day 4 of the festival like Indo – Bollywood Dance Performances by Polish Dancers, Indian Food Festival, Polish Musical concerts, etc.

“We look forward to introducing this beautiful country which has largely remained unexplored till now to the ever growing Indian Film Industry & seek to develop a lot of synergy in them,” said RC Dalal, Co-Founder & Curator IFFW.

The Indian Film Festival is put together by Indian Film Festivals Worldwide (IFFW) with the sponsors are The Embassy of India in Poland, The Polish Institute New Delhi, Indo Polish Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Indian Association of Poland & India International Foundation.


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Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune to Screen Films Made by its Alumni from August 5

Authorities believe that renowned artists like Naseeruddin Shah, Rajkumar Hirani, and Subhash Ghai were FTII students once and it will be interesting to watch what they did when they were stepping in the world of cinema

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FTII
FTII is the latest entrant to adopt the practice of outdoor screening. Wikimedia
  • Films previously made by students of FTII to be screened for the larger public in  a short-film festival
  • FTII has nearly 500 diploma films in its archives that are now in the process of restoration
  • Padaarpan is scheduled to begin from August 5

Pune, July 29, 2017: In the year 1976, a direction student at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune, Saeed Mirza made a documentary titled ‘An Actor Prepares’, in which he interviewed acting students at FTII on what they felt about their prospects in Bollywood as part of his final year project. One of the persons interviewed in the film was his batch-mate Om Puri, who was pessimistic in his outlook. During his student life at FTII, Om Puri acted in five diploma films namely Amrita, An Elusive Dream,  Khukari, Navjatak, and Duniya Chalti Hai. However, none of us heard or watched those films, only until now.

The Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune has now decided to conduct public viewing of a series of diploma films by its alumni over the years. The public screening of these films, which will be free of any cost is to commence on August 5.

Since its inception in 1960, students have made diploma films as part of the academic curriculum at FTII. However, these films were never accessible to the larger public. “The diploma films made by the students as part of their final year project work generally do not see the light of the day. So, we have decided to screen them for the public at our premises once in a week”, said FTII director Bhupendra Kainthola, calling these diploma films “goldmines”, as reported by PTI.

Bhupendra Kinthola is the current director of FTII.
FTII Pune director Bhupendra Kainthola in conversation with students. Wikimedia

FTII is one of the finest institutes for films in the country. Over the years, it has produced a fine list of noted actors, filmmakers, cinematographers, editors and technical staff for the Hindi, Tamil and Kannada film industry alike, that include names like Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Girish Kasaravalli, Rajkumar Hirani and Resul Pookutty. Actors like Raj Kumar Yadav, Naseeruddin Shah, and Shabana Azmi also make the list of prominent FTII alumni.

The scheduled film screenings, which will be no less than a short film festival, will be called ‘Padaarpan’ meaning baby steps, and will be held starting Aug 5 at the institute’s main theatre which has a capacity of 200 seats. Advertisements will be given out in newspapers about the screenings of these movies, entry to which will be free of any cost and on first come-first serve basis.

According to the PTI report, the inaugural event will be attended by veteran actor and FTII alumnus Shatrughan Sinha, who as a student had acted in a diploma film titled “Angry Young Man”. Sinha’s diploma film would also be screened on the occasion, said Kainthola.

Sinha was a student at FTII
Veteran actor and FTII alumni Shatrughan Sinha. Wikimedia

FTII continues to be a landmark institution with its students winning most national awards and short film competition in the student film category. More recently, a short film Afternoon Clouds, made by Payal Kapadia, a student at FTII was also screened under the Cinefondation category at the 70th Cannes Film Festival in May this year. The film was among the 14 works of fiction and two animation films nominated in the short film competition category, which was open to film schools across the world and received over 2,600 submissions.

However, such masterpieces by FTII students have remained unknown to the wider audiences.

In the past, FTII new and old film projects have been aired on DD Bharati in 2007, before the practice was discontinued for reasons unknown. In 2008, Lok Sabha TV had screened 15 students’ film under a section titled ‘First Cut’.  The practice was restarted in 2013 with DD Bharati showcasing some of the films but the period was short lived.

Today, FTII has nearly 500 diploma films in its archives that are now in the process of restoration.

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The decision of conducting public viewing of past diploma films again will not only help students’ work get greater exposure but also create an opportunity for the larger population to witness quality work of film students and be a part of a short-film festival.

Officials at FTII are already in the process of finalizing the films to be screened. “They have been selected either based on their selection for national and international awards or if any famous personality was part of it”, Kainthola told PTI.

Gajendra Chauhan, former FTII chairman also believes that this will be a good initiative as people will get to view the works of their favorite artists when they were students.

ALSO READ:10 Small Budget Indian Films that prove you Don’t need Superstars or High Budgets to sell it!

In 2016, the possibility of Prasar Bharti to start a new channel to screen diploma and documentary films produced at various national film institutes was considered. A proposal to screen the films at Doordarshan was also submitted to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry which is still pending.

– by Soha Kala of NewsGram. Twitter @SohaKala


NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt.