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Last Updated 16.07.2024 | 3:08 PM IST
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EXPLOSIVE: Deepak Tijori BLASTS CBFC for “TORTURING” him during the certification process of Tipppsy and for making him run pillar-to-post for delivery of censor certificate: “They also blackmailed me; they misread ‘pennies’ as ‘penis’”

en Bollywood News EXPLOSIVE: Deepak Tijori BLASTS CBFC for “TORTURING” him during the certification process of Tipppsy and for making him run pillar-to-post for delivery of censor certificate: “They also blackmailed me; they misread ‘pennies’ as ‘penis’”

Deepak Tijori’s thriller Tipppsy was released yesterday in cinemas. The director heaved a sigh of relief to know that the film made it on time. The last few days were harrowing for him thanks to the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). Bollywood Hungama exclusively spoke to him on this aspect. He started by saying, “I was blackmailed. I was tortured. If it can happen to me, I don’t know how many people must be going through it.”

EXPLOSIVE: Deepak Tijori BLASTS CBFC for “TORTURING” him during the certification process of Tipppsy and for making him run pillar-to-post for delivery of censor certificate: “They also blackmailed me; they misread ‘pennies’ as ‘penis’”

EXPLOSIVE: Deepak Tijori BLASTS CBFC for “TORTURING” him during the certification process of Tipppsy and for making him run pillar-to-post for delivery of censor certificate: “They also blackmailed me; they misread ‘pennies’ as ‘penis’”

When asked to explain in detail, he began to narrate his ordeal, “The cut-off date to apply for the certificate is 30 days. But I had applied 23 days before my film’s release that too because of my agent. He made a mistake. Nevertheless, I do agree that I was late. 20 days before the release of the film, I sent a message to the RO (Regional Officer). I informed him that the publicity campaign had begun and requested that our screening happen on time. The RO promptly replied, assuring me that somebody from the CBFC office would connect with me and that the screening would be arranged”.

He continued, “I didn’t get any call. I kept waiting. I tried to get the information from my agent but to no avail.”

Deepak Tijori then said, “4 days before the release, on Monday, I called the RO and begged him. He said, ‘We’ll do the screening tomorrow’, that is, Tuesday. But my delivery to the distributor was scheduled for Wednesday. I asked him, ‘Why can’t you watch the film today, sir?’. He told me, ‘No, Deepak ji, we can’t see today. We have other work to do’. When I said that my delivery might not happen on time, he replied, ‘That’s not our problem’.”

He further said, “Later, I got a call, confirming the screening for Tuesday morning. I reach the office early morning. There was a committee of 4 people – 2 men and 2 women. I consciously ensured that my film was for the whole family. I ensured that there was no profanity, kissing scene and sex scene in the movie. The actresses do wear bikinis but it’s something very common. Also, I didn’t ask for a ‘U’ certificate. I asked for a U/A certificate.”

Deepak Tijori stated, “After the screening, I was invited, not to discuss. Instead, they blackmailed me – either you accept our cuts or you go for an ‘A’ certificate. I asked, ‘Can I have a say?’. He replied, ‘No, you cannot discuss with us. We four of us have already discussed it. Are you trying to tell us that we are not competent enough?’. I replied, ‘I am not. But please listen to my point of view at least’.”

When asked about the cuts, he replied, “There’s a dialogue of a doctor telling the girls ‘Tum kahan kahan munh maarti ho?’. This dialogue was even there in the trailer and it was passed with a clean U/A rating. But they asked me to remove it from the film. They also asked me to remove the words ‘blue film’ and ‘porn’. I don’t understand why such words should be removed’.”

Talking about the other cuts, he said, “They also had issues with the rave party song where the characters are consuming chillum. It’s a substance associated with Bholenath. So, in the background of the song, the music director had added the words ‘Bhole Shiv Shankar’. And this song ‘Kheecho Re’ is already out. The CBFC members asked me to reduce the song by 50% and that I should remove every shot of them smoking up and the words associated with Lord Shiva. I reasoned that my song would get distorted.”

There were more cuts asked, “They also pointed out two cleavage shots which they felt was too much. I was asked to blur it.” One of these cleavage shots is of Natasha Suri and is from a scene where the other actresses are also sitting by the pool wearing cleavage-bearing bikini tops. But only Natasha’s cleavage was asked to be censored.

Deepak Tijori continued, “One of the members told me that the word ‘penis’ is there in the subtitles. Now, I have checked the subtitles twice. I told him that such a word is not present in the subtitles. The man arrogantly maintained that the said word was there in the subtitles. He also said that he’ll mention about it in the report. I assured them that I’d remove it from the subtitles and I again asked if I could talk about the other modifications asked. But they refused.”

The problems didn’t end here. Deepak Tijori revealed, “I wanted the CC (censor certificate) for my delivery. On Tuesday, the screening was over at 12:30 pm. I requested the CBFC officials to give the cut statement immediately. I also assured that I’ll submit the modified version the same day in the evening. This is because, for certain cinema halls, you need to submit hard disks as well; not everybody gets the film through satellite. They assured me that I’ll get the list in my mail.”

Puzzled about the male genitalia reference in the subtitles, Deepak Tijori reached his office to see where this word was mentioned. He said, “You won’t believe it. The word was ‘pennies’, meaning loose change. And he read it as ‘penis’! These are the kind of people who are checking our films and sitting in committees.”

Before leaving the CBFC office, Deepak Tijori met the RO. He exulted, “I met the RO. He assured me that he’ll give me the certificate on Wednesday morning. I was happy to know that. But I didn’t get the cut list. I made nearly 10 phone calls the same day. I said, ‘Give me a handwritten reply in case you don’t have someone to type’. They cut the call citing ’10 minute baad call karo’ and ‘5 minute baad call karo’. Since it’s a government office, it shuts at 6:30 pm.”

He added, “The next day, I called the office at 10 am. I was told that the officials are yet to arrive. At 10:20 am, the RO finally came on the phone and he said he’ll send the statement in the afternoon. I said, ‘If I get the list in the afternoon, it’ll be evening by the time I get the certificate’. He told me, ‘I’ll try sending you early’. In 15 minutes, he sent me the cuts. This means that the list was ready a day before. They don’t understand the urgency of a filmmaker. My crores of rupees are at stake and I want to address those who are assigning the committees – why can’t these members be courteous and kind? Statement toh de do yaar.

Deepak Tijori continued, “I uploaded the revisions on the CBFC portal by 3-4 pm without arguing about any cuts. “Aditya Lakhia, who says ‘Tum kahan kahan munh maarti ho?’ was out of town. I requested him to re-dub the dialogue with the same intensity. The dialogue was changed to ‘Kahan kahan ghoomti rehti ho’.” I of course mentioned that ‘pennies’ is not derogatory. Meanwhile, my distributors had already informed me that I was late in giving the delivery. I was waiting for the certificate and though I was told that I’ll get it by mail, I sent my man to collect it from the CBFC office.”

The issues continued for the filmmaker, “At 5:55 pm, when I didn’t get the certificate by mail, I dialled the RO. The RO said that my man has to be in the office in 5 minutes, that is, by 6:00 pm or else the certificate will be given to me the next day, that is, Thursday. I was shocked. They could have simply mailed it to me. Thankfully, my man reached at 5:57 pm. I once again called the RO to hand over the certificate. My man waited and meanwhile, at 6:15 pm, I got the certificate on mail! My man was not given the certificate. Anyway, I attached the certificate to my final cut and did the final mastering for the DCP. It took 8-10 hours and my work got done on Thursday early morning. As a result, my delivery got late and in certain centres, my morning shows did not happen”

Deepak Tijori sighed, “Imagine this is the plight given to the filmmakers by the new CBFC committee. How disrespectful and heartless they are that they can’t understand the agony of the filmmakers. Firstly, they don’t give us enough time before release. Secondly, they blackmail us so that we can’t even object to it. I also want to make a plea that why can’t there be a Censor Board office in Andheri, which is the hub of the industry? Why are we going all the way to Peddar Road?”

He also complained about the casual suggestions made by the CBFC members, “Do they even know the repercussions of an adults-only certificate on a film? We then can’t sell the satellite rights. We even face issues in our OTT deals. Inko mazaak lagta hai kya?”

Deepak Tijori signed off by saying that the earlier CBFC chairperson Pahlaj Nihalani was much better, “There was not a problem at all (when I went to certify my film Do Lafzon Ki Kahani). There was a kiss in it. They told me ‘Thoda sa yeh scene kam kar dijiye’. I willingly did it.”

Also Read: EXCLUSIVE: Deepak Tijori talks about making a comeback in films as actor-director with Tipppsy; reveals “Since I have worked with Shah Rukh and Aamir Khan, I can access them easily; but if I had to approach a Ranveer Singh or Ranbir Kapoor, I’d have to go through their agencies”

More Pages: Tipppsy Box Office Collection


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