Padmavati row: International filmmakers support the Sanjay Leela Bhansali directorial

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Padmavati’ has been facing a lot of protest. The film was slated to release on December 1, 2017, but it has been postponed. While we thought the movie has created news in India,even internationally it has created quite a buzz.

At IFFI many filmmakers gave their views on ‘Padmavati’ row. Iranian filmmaker Majid Majidi spoke about the movie and said, “Artistes face this kind of situations because of the talent and desire they have. That extends to filmmakers too. They should not stop innovation in their work because of adverse conditions.”

Film and media strategic consultant, Michael J. Werner, told IANS, “I think it is a dangerous trend because you shouldn’t have a government dictating history. What is happening with this particular movie (‘Padmavati’) seems to be a minister or a department or a state saying that we don’t accept that representation of history. I don’t know whether it is factual or not, but it is still a kind of an autocratic response.”

French producer Ilann Girard stated, “I have been watching things on television and asking my Indian friends about the situation. I understand it touches some cultural element about a female character who is seen as a very important symbolic figure for Hindus.”

Girard didn’t want to pass any judgment on the whole issue as it’s an “Indian topic”, however, he stated, “My perception is that film and the cultural industry should not be taken hostage of the conflicts.”

Talking about his own struggle, he stated, “I have produced a film in Israel about the war in Lebanon, and we are facing some embargo from filmmakers trying to pressurise film festivals not to take our movie. I think it is a wrong thing to do. Because, on the contrary, the film explains the situation… Filmmakers should remain free to tell the story that they want.”

Director Cameron Bailey stated, “One of the small mercies with censor authorities is that they actually do watch the film before they pass judgment. So one hopes that anyone who hears about a film that they think that they might have an objection to, should first watch the film.”

“We can all have differences of opinion with any art form, but I think we live in a better world where we wait to actually see what the film is before we pass judgment. Also, we accept that other people have different responses to that. What I might not like to see on-screen, some others might. That doesn’t mean I should prevent that person from seeing it,” he added.

Mike Dougherty from Radiant Films International feels that the controversy is unfortunate for “the filmmakers and for the audiences eager to see the film”.

“The issues causing unrest around ‘Padmavati‘ here in India are not known in other parts of the world. If anything, I think controversies like this just increase a film’s profile and its value internationally, making people more eager to see what the uproar is about,” Mike added.

A Sydney-based producer-director, Ana Tiwary, hopes the controversy dies down soon.

Well, even we hop that. (Also Read: Padmavati: Now CM Nitish Kumar bans the movie in Bihar)

Inputs From IANS