Sandalwood directors unite for a cause: Our fight is for Kannada
Noted directors from the industry are coming together to make a film that urges the censor board to certify a Kannada film in the same language
For the first time in Kannada cinema, and perhaps the first time in the country, almost a dozen film directors have come together to make a feature film about one cause — urging the censor board to certify a Sandalwood film in Kannada.
The filmmakers are voicing their concern against the imposition of Hindi in Karnataka. But they call it a pro-Kannada movement rather than an anti-Hindi movement. This project has the support of noted directors like MS Sathyu, KM Chaitanya, Pawan Kumar, P Sheshadri, Aravind Shastry, Giriraj BM, Suni, Arvind Shastry, and Gautam Iyer, among others. Each of them will make a film of about 15-minute duration on the topic. These films will combined as one feature length film and submitted for certification.
“It is a positive moment,” says Pawan Kumar about the project supported by his Filmmakers United Club that he started with other directors. The director explains that so far, for Kannada films, the censor certificate has been provided in Hindi and English. “The local language has been ignored,” he says, adding, “As filmmakers, our intention is to have a Kannada film certified in Kannada, and coming together to make a film will be our first step. We want the certificate to be in the language that the film is made in.”
The filmmakers have decided to release it on Kannada Rajyotsava. The team is currently preparing for the project. Once the film is ready, they will be applying for the certification.
“We will abide by the rules of the censor board, but our only request is that we get a certificate in Kannada, and not in Hindi. If the board does not consider our request, we will screen the film without the certificate,” explains Pawan, adding, “According to the Cinematograph Act, it is illegal to have a film screened without presenting the certificate. Having said that, it will also become a bigger misdeed by the establishment if we don’t receive the certificate in Kannada.”
The team is also approaching more filmmakers to join this initiative, and has invited writers to come up with content that can create awareness on the importance of local language.
According to director Chaitanya, there have been different kinds of protests against the imposition of Hindi across the nation. “We have people wearing T-shirts or agitating on the social media, or even holding demonstrations on the streets. Our purpose is to make some kind of a difference, however small. If we succeed in getting our CBFC certificate in Kannada, it will be a significant victory,” he says.
He also adds that the fight is not against Hindi, or any other language. “Our fight is for Kannada, and that’s the difference we want to make. Serve me in my language will be the motto of this film.”