Theatre owners slam Pahlaj Nihalani’s allegations of ‘Rangoon’ being screened without censor certificate and anti-smoking disclaimer in theatres
A still from Rangoon
Controversies refuse to leave Vishal Bhardwaj's Rangoon, alone. Although the film continues to play in multiplexes and single screens, the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has now alleged that it has been playing in certain theatres without flashing the censor certificate at the start of the screening, which is mandatory. They're also not running the short film that carries the anti-smoking statutory warning, before the film and after intermission, they allege.
Ashoke Pandit, senior member of the CBFC, told mid-day, "It's unlikely that a filmmaker like Vishal and a studio like Viacom would do something of this sort, but let's wait and watch till the board files a police complaint."
Exhibitor Akshaye Rathi, who is also a theatre owner, said it may have been an oversight on the part of one theatre, but "the investigation may have come a tad late because Rangoon is already in theatres. If the claim is true, it's possible that some digital content provider may have missed it (flashing the certificate and disclaimer)."
Vishal Bhardwaj, Ashoke Pandit and Pahlaj Nihalani
Anurag Srivastava, CEO of CBFC, said he was travelling. "I'm not exactly sure what has happened. But if we have evidence to support the claim, we will take legal action." Yesterday, CBFC chairperson Pahlaj Nihalani told a daily that it was a "serious offence" to skip the disclaimer and certificate. He said the board would take legal action against the digital operators since it was their responsibility to play the exact length of the film certified by CBFC. Skipping the anti-smoking film means the digital operators are screening less footage than what was approved.
While Viacom refused to comment, sources from Carnival Cinemas, Inox and PVR said the allegation wouldn't hold ground. "No multiplex can play a film without a censor certificate or disclaimers. Doing that involves the risk of being sued. We conduct multiple checks. Shows are often cancelled if there's a missing disclaimer. Vishal is not Kanti Shah to submit one film to the CBFC and play something else in theatres," said a source from PVR. Calling the allegations untrue, Bhardwaj's spokesperson said, "The film is running with adequate disclaimers."