Seems we’re living in a “jungli” country: Haraamkhor director

Shlok Sharma

By Sugandha Rawal

Panaji– India seems like a “jungli” country amidst the unending row over “Padmavati”, says “Haraamkhor” director Shlok Sharma, whose own movie had run into trouble with the censor board for showing a romantic relationship between a teacher and a student.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s historical drama “Padmavati” narrates the story of Rajput queen Padmavati.

A Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader had announced a reward of Rs 10 crore for beheading the film’s director Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Deepika Padukone, to protest the movie’s release over fears that it distorts Rajput history.

“It (the stir) is going on and on. We always saw that there came a point when a row ended, but not this time. I don’t know where things are going wrong. I hope it ends soon. A film is made after a lot of hard work, time and money,” Shlok told IANS on the sidelines of the Film Bazaar here.

Shlok Sharma

He added: “Sanjay Leela Bhansali has explored this genre on multiple occasions. If you think the film might hurt your sentiments, then you should go to the censor board… If they (people who are protesting about the film) are not willing to listen to the censor or law, then we are living in a ‘jungli’ country where we don’t have anything in our hands.

“People are giving open threats that they will behead some members of the team, and they are not even being arrested.”

Condemning the stir around the movie, which was scheduled to release on December 1 but has been deferred as the filmmakers are yet to secure a censor certificate, Shlok said: “Whatever is happening is very wrong because they want a ban on the film without even seeing it. It is very scary to live in a space where you aren’t allowed to speak up.

“This could have be done through law. If you have a problem, then you should have gone through a proper channel and filed a petition in a court. Today, we don’t even know when things will get sorted.”

Shlok said once upon a time “we used to talk about what is happening outside of the country, and now we are seeing that in India too”.

Will this deter new-age filmmakers to take a up subjects dealing with history or culture?

“No. New-age filmmakers will take up films touching historical (subjects).”

On the work front, Shlok has made “Zoo”, shot entirely with an iPhone.

“We went to Busan film festival and MAMI Mumbai Film Festival with the movie. We are thinking of going to other film festivals before releasing it. We are planning where to go next,” he said.

“Zoo” apart, Shlok has also produced a sci-fi film “Cargo” along with his partner Navin Shetty.

At the moment, he is happy to be at Film Bazaar, organised by the National Film Development Corporation. It is being held alongside the ongoing International Film Festival of India (IFFI) here.

“I am coming to Film Bazaar since 2010… This is a very nice place for young filmmakers because it connects you with distributors…You just need an interesting project to get noticed.” (IANS)


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