Monday, August 13, 2007
The Kaafila cast and crew had been awaiting the release of the movie in neighbouring Pakistan with much eagerness. But the censor board in the country has now banned the film labeling it "anti-Pakistan". In a press conference, also attended by producer Tony, director Ammtoje Mann, lays down the reasons that the Pakistani authorities have cited for the move.
The first and foremost question that comes to mind is when the movie was to be banned, why were the trailers allowed to be screened during intervals in cinema halls across Pakistan? "The trailers made us feel triumph; the Pakistani media gave us an impression that the audiences there were watching movies just to catch a glimpse of Kaafila during the breaks," Mann said, adding that his team was expecting a response similar to what "Awaarapan" had received in Pakistan.
The authorities there told the producer and director that the movie had been banned because it shows a Pakistani agent involved in illegal immigration and because the first five minutes of the film is shot in India. They also were against Deol's fighting in the movie. The Kaafila team simply couldn't digest the limp excuses. "The reasons given to us made no sense to us. The real reason behind the ban is the thriving piracy industry in Pakistan which would have borne heavy losses had Kaafila clicked with the masses. Some of the local producers were apprehensive as their businesses would get affected, which had happened when "Awaarapan" was released there," Mann elaborated.
The other thing that the film-makers found inappropriate was military people on the panel of the censor board. Apparently, the country's broadcast minister had specially called in from Afghanistan ordering his officials to ban the movie as it was "anti-Pakistani".
The Kaafila team was so disgusted with the state of affairs there that they didn't even want to waste time editing the scenes that the Pakistani censor board had objected to. Mann said: "Though everybody in Pakistan welcomes such exchange of art, there is a group of people who don't want it to happen as their work would suffer. But that has not dragged me down. I will make such movies again and try to showcase them in Pakistan over and over again."