Viacom18 Motion Pictures defer release of ‘Padmavati’ after protests erupt. New release date will be announced later, studio said. Film fraternity stands by ‘Padmavati’ producer, director.
Saying that the studio would soon announce the new release date for the film, the spokesman emphasised it has the highest regard for the law of the land and statutory bodies such as the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). As a “responsible and law-abiding corporate citizen”, it was committed to following the established procedure and convention, it said. “We have faith that we will soon obtain the requisite clearances to release the film,” the statement read.
Censor Board chief Prasoon Joshi had on Saturday slammed the filmmakers for allowing the film to be screened for various media channels before obtaining a certificate from the board. The CBFC had sent the film back to the producer as the application for the certification was “incomplete”.
“We are a responsible, law-abiding corporate citizen and have the highest respect and regard for the law of the land and all our institutions and statutory bodies, including the Central Board of Film Certification,” a statement from the film production unit said.
‘Padmavati’ has been facing controversy since its director, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, began shooting the film earlier this year. The first poster of the movie was released in October this year and triggered a storm with Rajput groups and others claiming that the director had “distorted” historical facts. Bhansali and lead actor Deepika Padukone have received threats.
Meanwhile, the film fraternity has come out in support of Bhansali and the team, with many leading artistes calling it an attack on creative freedom. Filmmaker Anurag Basu said, “The whole ‘Padmavati’ row is based on just presumptions. Protesters have not seen a single frame of the film yet, but they know that history has been tampered. How? Karni Sena and other protesters will face huge existential crisis post the release of “Padmavati” so they are trying to juice out maximum.”