‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’, the feminist drama by film-maker, Alankrita Shrivastava which explores the sexual mischieves of four women in a small town, has been denied viewable certification by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) for being overly biased.
Producer Prakash Jha and the film's director, Alankrita, were told by the CBFC that they cannot certify the film because, "The story is lady oriented, their fantasy above life. There are contentious sexual scenes, abusive words, audio pornography and a bit sensitive touch about one particular section of society, hence film refused under guidelines 1(a), 2(vii), 2(ix), 2(x), 2(xi), 2(xii) and 3(i)."
“As a country we must encourage freedom of expression but the CBFC refusing to certify films that tell uncomfortable stories discourages filmmakers from pushing the envelope. Films should challenge the status quo which is what Lipstick Under My Burkha perhaps does and I believe our audience deserve to watch it,” an enraged Jha to Mumbai Mirror.
Alankrita said that the reason the Board doesn't want to certify her film is because it is a 'feminist film with a strong female voice which challenges patriarchy.'
The makers are now waiting for the official letter from the Revising Committee after which they'll approach the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) to secure a certificate that'll ensure a release.
The decision of the certification board has already invited criticisms over the discussion platform, Twitter.
Though the movie receives critical approach from the CBFC, the flick was a hit at Mumbai Film Festival and international festivals abroad.
The drama won the Oxfam Award for Best Film on Gender Equality at MAMI while winning the Spirit of Asia award at the Tokyo International Film Festival.
Here's the film's trailer which features Konkona Sen Sharma, Ratna Pathak Shah, Aahana Kumra, and Plabita Borthakur in leading roles.