Film on Kathakali awaits censor board's nod

Thiruvananthapuram: A two-hour film on Kathakali made by young and amateur film maker Sijo Kannanaikkal is awaiting the nod of the Central Board of Film Certification. Kannanaikkal said on Saturday that after several pleas to the Board he has now decided to seek legal recourse. Addressing reporters here, Kannanaikkal said he was served a notice that certification would be given if he removes objectionable scenes in the film. "I blurred the particular scenes found objectionable in the letter which the censor board regional office gave me. But even after that I am not given a certification. I do not even mind an 'A' certificate." "Without the censor certificate I cannot compete for national awards," he said, adding that his film has been selected for three international film festivals. The censor certificate is not required to apply for most international festivals. Kannanaikkal, who suffers from spondylitis, is an employee of the cooperative department of the state government and has made over 15 short films and documentaries. This was his first foray into the films category. "Due to my ailment, I am unable to move freely and it was then I decided to do a film on a Kathakali artiste because when fully dressed up the artiste finds normal movements very tough. I related my illness with the artiste," said Kannanaikkal. The objectionable scenes which he said were blurred were a long shot of the Kathakali artiste played by Binoy Nambala who decides to end his Kathakali artiste career due to various reasons and undress himself and walks away. "It's a long shot and only the back side of the character is seen and it has been blurred too. All I request is to give me one of the four certificates the board gives," said the film maker. The film was shot in seven days and a German woman also plays a role in the movie that was crowd funded by people with similar ailments. The total cost of production came to Rs 1.5 million. However noted film makers Kamal and B. Unnikrishnan, the general secretary of Film Employees Federation of Kerala (FEFKA) are now supporting him to go forward with legal measures. "The censor board is asking for cutting the climax which is the thrust of the film. This is clearly infringing on the creativity part of a film maker and this is objectionable," said Unnikrishnan.