Friday, 28 November 2014

A ‘social message’ film: Muslim in Tricolour skull cap will not take bomb from Muslim in black-and-white cap

A ‘social message’ film: Muslim in Tricolour skull cap will not take bomb from Muslim in black-and-white cap
Ajay Shastri (Editor) 
BCR NEWS (New Delhi) In the well-heeled and cushioned comfort of PVR cinema in Delhi, the film screening is preceded by a 90-second clip that carries a message against terrorism. There is the ‘bad’ Muslim sporting a black-and-white skull cap, who tries to persuade the ‘good’ Muslim — who is offering namaz in the opening scene and wears his patriotism on his tricolour skull cap — to carry out an explosion in exchange for money. But the ‘good’ Muslim, Yakub, proclaims his love for the nation, his allegiance to Islam and refuses to carry out the attack. The film ends with a shot of the ‘bad’ Muslim left clutching the packet of explosives, staring blankly into the camera.
Titled Aatankvad, the film, written and directed by Mumbai-based filmmaker Brij Bhushan Singh, is his idea of “spreading social awareness” about terrorism. That the film places both terror and the responsibility of shunning it firmly at the door of one community, perpetuating stereotypes about it, worries neither the filmmaker, nor the premier PVR group.
“As long as a film is certified by the Board, we do not review its content. We are nobody to raise an objection to the screening of any film,” said Kamal Gianchandani, president, PVR Pictures. “We do not choose which films are shown at a particular theatre. It depends on the logistics and availability of particular films with our distributors,” he added.
Singh, meanwhile, said, “Statistics will show that most blasts in India have been perpetuated by Muslims. I wanted to show that Indian Muslims need to improve their image. But I show them in a positive light and show how they are waking up to their
duty as responsible citizens. I want to awaken the Indian Muslims who are losing their path and also warn Pakistani Muslims against misleading our youth.”

Screened at all shows at the PVR Director’s Cut in Vasant Kunj in New Delhi for the past fortnight, Singh’s short film is meant to meet government guidelines, which make it mandatory for cinema owners to show at least one short film on “socially relevant themes” before a film screening. The subjects range from dowry, cleanliness, health, women’s safety, female foeticide, education and the environment.
Section 12 (4) of  The Cinematograph Act, 1952, lays down that socially relevant films that carry a public awareness message be shown before every movie screening. The films have to be approved by a film advisory panel, which comes under the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), before they can be screened at a theatre. Aatankvad was given a ‘U’ (Universal) certificate this August.
Once the film gets a certification, it can be shown in theatres. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting said they take action against films only if someone complains. “Unless we receive a complaint about a film, we cannot direct the CBFC to review the film or ask cinema halls to take action against it by pulling it down from their screens,” said Bimal Julka, Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
Up to the late 1990s, Films Division, which continued…

14,000 Telugu film workers to strike from today

14,000 Telugu film workers to strike from today

Ajay Shastri (Editor & Publisher) 
BCR NEWS (HYDERABAD) The Telugu film industry will come to a grinding halt from Thursday as 14,000 film workers, locked in a tussle with the film chamber, will go on strike. 

The workers are peeved with a decision of the AP Film Chamber of Commerce that producers can hire the services of anyone to work in their films, even if they are not members of the AP Film Industry Employees Federation which comprises of unions of 24 crafts. 

"This is unacceptable. Producers should employ only workers belonging to the federation. There is no compromise on this," K Rajeshwara Reddy, general secretary of the federation told The Times of India. 

In fact, Wednesday was supposed to bring cheer to the workers as the film chamber agreed to their demands and hiked the wages of the various craft workers by 32 per cent. Discussions were on for the last three months on the issue but producers had tried to stall this. A month ago, they went on a lightning strike but called it off after two days as they got an assurance that the film chamber would hold discussions on their demands for a wage hike. The hike was due for revision last year itself but had been postponed. The wages are hiked every three years. 

Finally, on Wednesday, the AP Film Chamber of Commerce made an announcement about the increase in hike in wages. However, what has enraged the workers is that two clauses have been inserted that are unacceptable to them. 

Apart from giving the producers the discretion to employ any person (even if he or she is not a member of the federation) for a film, the film chamber also said the new increased wages would not be applicable to low-budget films. "How does it matter whether we are working for a low-budget film or a high-budget film? They extract the same amount of work. Why should there be a difference in the wages?" questioned Rajeshwara Reddy. 

If this in itself is a problem, the film chamber has also said it reserves the right to define what a low-budget film is. 

Unhappy with the film chamber for these reasons, the federation served a strike notice to the AP Film Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday. The strike will affect several films which are on the floors, including the mega-budget film 'Bahubali', it is learnt. It is said that some fight sequences are being shot for this SS Rajamouli film now. Another big-starrer 'Gopala Gopala' starring Venkatesh and Pawan Kalyan will also be hit. 

Film staff have said shootings at all film studios, including Ramoji Film City, will be affected. Lest producers go to other states for shooting, the AP Film Industry Employees Federation has also alerted its national body - the All India Film Employees Confederation (AIFEC) that Telugu producers should not be allowed to shoot anywhere else in the country during the strike period in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana states.