Lata Khubchandani, S. Anand, Sanghamitra Chakraborty November 08, 2004 00:00 ISTJust Cut It Out
Early 2004: Films for Freedom is born when the Indian censor board insists that all Indian documentaries to be screened at the Mumbai International Film Festival must be certified by it. Filmmakers come together under the banner of VIKALP, an alternative platform for films.
End-July: Final Solutions, a documentary on the Gujarat carnage by Rakesh Sharma, is denied certification by the Central Board of Film Certification preview committee. A sharp critique of the politics of hatred and polarisation, it has won several international awards.
End-July: The Bangalore regional office of the cbfc actively tries to prevent a docu film festival by Films for Freedom campaigners from being held in the city. The organisers face police complaints and are subjected to threats and intimidation. The police turn up to ask for censor certificates at the Chennai venue too. Sharma later tells Outlook, "Anupam Kher (the then censor board chief) personally called up the Bangalore police commissioner."