Both Supreme Court and censor board did not cut a single frame or a dialogue: Filmmaker Sudipto Sen

The Kerala Story filmmaker Sudipto Sen Photo by Avishek Mitra/IBNS

IBNS: Filmmaker Sudipto Sen, whose The Kerala Story has created ripples with its subject, was recently present in Kolkata. Amid the film’s meaty numbers in the box office despite almost no show in West Bengal, Sen spoke on the subject, controversies and more. IBNS correspondent Ayush Gupta in conversation with Sen.

Q. What do you think of a film based on true events covering such a sensitive topic falling prey to politicisation?

A. We all do have our political thoughts and ideologies, but in some places, we should keep aside our professional compulsions. As a filmmaker, I am responsible for serving all the political parties and ideologies of this country. It’s surprising to see that a film got banned by the government without even watching it.

I remember Mahua Moitra (MP from Mamata’s Trinamool Congress) was quite instrumental in leading the criticisms against the ban on the BBC documentary (on PM Modi and Gujarat riots). I clearly remember Mamata Banerjee was the first to raise her voice against the call to ban ‘Padmavaat’. What were our faults that The Kerala Story was banned? I feel this is a double standard which is not serving any good purpose in our Indian politics.

Sudipto Sen (L) and Adah Sharma (R) | Photo: Avishek Mitra/IBNSSudipto Sen (L) and Adah Sharma (R) | Photo: Avishek Mitra/IBNS

Q. Even after the Supreme Court order, almost no show has been allowed in West Bengal. How do you see this?

A. We came to Kolkata hoping the film will be screened. But no show yet is very sad and surprising to all of us.

Q. Do you think the court’s order to put a disclaimer on the story as fictitious is your defeat and does this question the whole foundation of the story?

A. Disclaimer is a legal thing. In our film, from the first shot to the final shot, neither the honourable Supreme Court nor the censor board has compelled us to change or cut even a single frame or a dialogue. They have accepted the film as it is. Even if they tell us to change the disclaimer yet again, the film would remain the same.

Q. Who do you think is sending you a threat regarding the screening of the films?

A. We are in constant touch with our distributors and they are calling, saying that we do want to screen the film but we are getting a lot of threats. We don’t know who they are.

Sudipto Sen | Photo: Avishek Mitra/IBNSSudipto Sen | Photo: Avishek Mitra/IBNS

Q. When do you plan to launch the movie on OTT platforms?

A. We have made this film to screen it on the big screens for the people to watch. This film has some statements to make, and this film has some visual treat for we shot it in Kerala and the parts of the Hindukush Mountains. Thus it has visual storytelling, so we wanted it on the big screens.

(Photos by Avishek Mitra/IBNS)

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