The Dirty Picture

 Bollywood movie under censorship duress

3rd December

Updated: The Dirty Picture...


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Court attempt to ban biopic of the deceased actress Silk Smitha

An Andhra Pradesh High Court judge has directed the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) to state its stand regarding stalling the release of Ekta Kapoor's The Dirty Picture.

The film is about Silk Smitha, an actress who became popular for playing sleazy roles, and who allegedly committed suicide a few years ago.

The film makers have been served notices by the court for a case to be heard this Wednesday.

The petitioner, Vadlapatla Naga Vara Prasad, said he is the brother of the deceased actress and charged the filmmakers with filling the film with unrealistic and obscene scenes rather than trying to portray the true picture. He said that none of the filmmakers had talked to him. Prasad contented that her private life was different to that portayed.

Although the petitioner claimed that he had served a notice on the censor board asking it to not certify the film at all, counsel for the censor board, told the court that they had not received any such notice.

Update: Uncut A

22nd November 2011. See  article from

The Dirty Picture has now received an adults-only uncut A certificate from the Censor Board.

Update: At the BBFC

3rd December 2011. See  article from

The UK film censors at the BBFC passed The Dirty Picture 15 uncut for moderate sex and sex references

Update: Day in Court

3rd December 2011. See  article from

Justice Vilas Afzalpurkar of the High Court reserved his decision on a petition that wanted the release of the film, Dirty Picture, to be stayed

The judge heard the petition from Vadlapatla Naga Vara Prasada Rao, brother of Silk Smitha, the Telugu actress who committed suicide a few years ago. Rao contended that the film was made based on the life of his sister without obtaining the consent of her family. He also charged the filmmakers with making the film with unrealistic and obscene shots.

Later the Andhra court ruled against Rao permitting the film to be released in the original version of the film without any edits.

Update: Banned in Pakistan

3rd December 2011. See article from

The censor board of Pakistan has banned The Dirty Picture from being screened in their country . The reason behind this is not clear yet .

Background: Sexy Theatres

4th December 2011. See  article from

It's shortly after 9:00 am in Mumbai's red light district and about 100 men are jostling at the box office window of the New Roshan Talkies cinema to buy tickets for 15 rupees each for a so-called morning show .

Indian cinema's sub-culture of titillating morning shows , which are often seen as soft pornography but are mostly no more explicit than an average Hollywood film, have attracted a lot of mainstream interest in recent weeks.

These theatres are called sexy theatres where we show these morning shows for a certain class of audience, said Raju Singh, manager of the Silver Cinema on nearby Grant Road. In the days before the Internet and cheap blackmarket X-rated DVDs, erotic films were hugely popular in the area, he said. So-called English movies - an illicit montage of censor's cuts - were also shown during intervals at the travelling cinemas that tour the Indian countryside, bringing films to the rural population.

Now the government and censors are very strict, Singh told AFP. They want to see every film that we screen and they do come for surprise checks. So, we don't show them any more. As a result, audiences for morning shows are dwindling, adding to the decline of single-screen cinemas in the face of competition from new, glitzy multiplexes run by big film studios, bootleg DVDs and cable television.

The interest in the decline of sexy theatres comes ahead of Friday's release of a new Bollywood film, The Dirty Picture , inspired by the actress Silk Smitha, who was a favourite among the erotic movie-going crowd in the 1980s. Her sexually suggestive outfits, dancing and brazen attitude shocked straight-laced audiences used to Hindi-language Bollywood's traditional portrayal of chaste, romantic love.

Update: Indecent Poster

30th December 2011. See  article from

Actress Vidya Balan has got a reprieve with the Andhra Pradesh High Court granting interim stay on a city court's order directing the police to investigate charges of obscenity and vulgarity relating to the film posters for The dirty Picture .

The petition, filed by the actress and the film's producer Ekta Kapoor, seeks to quash the criminal case filed by the police. The proceedings turned lively with the judge's remarks on the case while hearing the arguments of the counsels of the petitioner and respondents. There is no photo (poster) before me to judge whether it is indecent or not. To see a film which has been given an 'A' certificate, there is an age limit of 18 years, but there is no age limit to see a poster, the judge observed.

Petitioner's counsel contended that the registration of a First Information Report (FIR) against Vidya Balan was an abuse of process of law. The allegations made in respect of the film would not attract the sections of law referred to and would result in unnecessary harassment of the petitioner, he noted.

The public prosecutor, however, contended that the actress was liable for punishment under Section 292 and 294 of the IPC with Section 3, 4 and 6 of the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986.


30th December

Update: The Dirty Picture...


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Bollywood film banned in Qatar

The most talked about Bollywood film of this year, The Dirty Picture , has been banned in Qatar.

Our distributors applied for a censorship certificate in Qatar and they received a notice saying that the movie can't be released there. The film is currently being screened in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and other Middle East countries, but it will not go to Qatar, says Tanuj Garg, CEO Balaji Motion Pictures, adding: The film was supposed to release there either this week or the next, but we were informed that it has been deemed unsuitable for theatrical exhibition.

There were some hitches in releasing the film in Pakistan as well but it was all sorted out when the makers appealed their Censor Board's decision. Even a conservative country like Pakistan released the film after initially rejecting it. Qatar is the only place where the film has been banned, reveals Garg.


25th April

Update: A Dirty Job...


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A botched attempt to cut an adults only major film for Indian TV embarrasses the censors

The last-minute cancellation of the TV broadcast of Milan Luthria's The Dirty Picture on Sunday afternoon has thrown open a heated discussion within the Central Board Of Film Censorship (CBFC) as to how Adults Only films can be cut for general TV viewing.

A source from the censor board said:

The experience with The Dirty Picture's deferred telecast proves that simply ordering extra cuts in an 'Adults' film is not enough when the very theme is adult.

Those members of the censor board who had viewed The Dirty Picture to certify it for satellite and television screening ordered 52 cuts. But those 52 cuts amounted to no more than 7 minutes of additional cuts. [These were sufficient for the CBFC to award a U/A certificate, previously sufficient for a TV airing].

On Thursday when the Information & Broadcasting ministry reacted to legal proceedings in UP courts against the scheduled telecast of The Dirty Picture on Sunday afternoon at a time when optimum kids and youngsters were glued to the IPL matches, two senior members of the censor board re-viewed the film and found that the content needed further toning down before telecast.

However, at this late stage the film's producers Balaji refused to comply. Censor certificate for telecast in hand, Sony Entertainment confidently marched towards a massive eyeball-grabbing telecast on Sunday afternoon and evening.

Apparently, the telecast was stopped minutes before the schedule playing time at 12 noon on the direct intervention of the I & B Ministry.

And now highly-placed sources in the censor board tell us that the whole The Dirty Picture experience would compel the CBFC to revise its policy regarding Adult feature films.

Pankaja Thakur the CEO of the CBFC said that a change in policy regarding the censorship of Adult films for telecast is around the corner:

In view of the court cases and the programme code that has to be followed by all TV programmes including feature films, CBFC would be forced to look at the whole process of cutting adult films to make it palatable for young viewing.


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