Shailendra Pandey, the producer-director of the film ‘JD’ that is being released on Friday 22 September, has written an open letter to the newly-appointed Chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) Prasoon Joshi, urging him to improve the working of the CBFC, and make it easy for new film producers and directors.
In an emotional letter to Prasoon Joshi, Shailendra Pandey has written that he had applied for the censor clearance of the film’s trailer/promo on 6 September, but it has not been done till now. The CBFC Website mentioned on 14 September that the promo-trailer had been rejected by the Chairman. The reason for this decision was not mentioned. Pandey met officials of the CBFC and also Prasoon Joshi, but to no avail. Now it is just two days before the film is released in cinema halls, and its trailers/promos have not been shown on television.
Here is the original letter written by Shailendra Pandey.
Sri Prasoon Joshi
You will be happy to know that my film ‘JD’ is releasing inn cinema halls across India on Friday, 22 September 2017. It is my first film in which I have put in my hard-earned money. But it is very unfortunate that no one could see the trailer/promo of the film on any television channel. The reason for this is that the Censor Board did not clear it, without mentioning any reason. On 14 September, it was mentioned on the CBFC’s Website that it had been rejected by the Chairman. I went to your office but I was sent to one officer and the other, like a football being kicked. At last I could meet you, and you had promised me that you would look into the matter. I don’t know what you have looked into.
I am a working photo-journalist. Having spent a long time doing still photography from a camera, I put all my efforts and earnings to realise my dream of making a film. This would be difficult to understand for someone who sits in air-conditioned rooms creating professional jingles and odd poems. The film ‘JD’ was censored last year during the tenure of the previous CBFC Chairman, Sri Pahlaj Nihalani. You must be aware that releasing the film is a tough task. After clearing various hurdles of life and work, I could finally fix the date of 22 September for its release. What happened next is very interesting.
When it came to getting the trailer/promo censored, I came to know that the procedure is now online, and I was happy that this work would be done quickly in a transparent manner. But I was wrong. It took over a month for getting the registration done, and that too with great difficulty. I had to make several phone calls, and met too many people. I thought now the trailer/promo would be censored. There were so many formalities in applying for the same that it made me crazy. Having no option, I hired an agent named Shripati Mishra, who promised to get everything done for a fee. Since I had a good experience in getting the film censored, therefore I transferred the money into his account on August 30. He took one week to complete the formalities, and applied on September 6. He told me that the clearance would be done in two days. But nothing has happened till today – September 19, nearly 13 days later. Even now the online message shows: ‘Rejected by Chairman.’
I met you on 15 September and you also promised to get it done, but to no avail. The film is now set to be released on 22 September. It is for you to see how friendly the working of the Censor Board is, towards film producers and directors.
I am very sorry to write these things, especially since you are aware of my work as a photojournalist. I don’t claim that I know very closely, but I have no hesitation in saying that your photographs taken by me are by far the best photographs of yours so far. That is why you took those photographs from me and used them without any constraints. You must note that your DP on your Whatsapp account is shot by me. Your family photographs taken by me must be the best ones. Whenever I met you, it was with heartfelt respect. I often talked to you on phone also. At that time I was a Photo Editor and you were a Lyricist-Story Writer. I shall always have that respect for you in my heart.
The film ‘JD’ will be released in the cinema halls of Mumbai on 22 September. I shall be grateful if you see the film and give me your opinion about it. My only request is that in future, please do not do that with any new film-maker which you did with me.