In what is the first big controversy for newly appointed Censor Board Chief Prasoon Joshi, the makers of upcoming film Umeed are upset with the Board’s refusal to give a U/A certificate to the film.
What has angered the makers more is that no explanation has been given by the Board for its refusal. Director Rajat S Mukherjee says, “We have a letter from the Board that gives no reasons why our film hasn’t been granted a U/A certification. We have just been told to make the necessary cuts in order to get an A certification. We are left with no options. We thought things would improve for the industry after Prasoon Joshi’s appointment.”
According to sources, what has left the Umeed team feeling helpless and angered is that the Board is asking them to remove the part that says ‘inspired by real incidents’. “Given that Umeed deals with various aspects of unethical drug trials and is based on years of research, the makers find this stipulation by the Censor Board highly illogical,” adds the source.
Producer Amrit Sethia adds, “Why would the Board want us to remove the part about being inspired by real incidents? Right from the time we decided to make this film, we knew there would be many who don’t want the truth of unethical drug trials to come out. But we didn’t think we would face pressure from the Censor Board.” He added, “We have asked CBFC to reconsider their decision and are trying to get in touch with Prasoon Joshi. We are still awaiting their response.” Rajat said, “Umeed exposes the dark truth of foreign pharmaceutical companies who are exploiting the Indian population in the garb of vaccination programs and treatments. The nexus between our politicians, doctors and these pharmaceutical giants is what Umeed is trying to expose. There is nothing obscene in the film or something that shouldn’t be shown to the younger set of audience. In fact every Indian should watch Umeed and realise that Indian lives matter and that this practice has to stop!”
Presented by S.O.I.E. and produced by Welcome Friends Productions, the film was scheduled to release end of September. But now it has been pushed ahead till the Censor issue is resolved.