21 Sep 2017
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Tribunal directs CBFC to certify ‘The Danish Girl’ for telecast on Sony Le Plex HD

MUMBAI: The Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) has directed the Central Bureau of Film Certification (CBFC), which had cancelled the airing of the Oscar-nominated Hollywood film ‘The Danish Girl’ on Sony Le Plex HD channel, to grant certification for the film’s TV broadcast.

The FCAT directive means that Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI) can now telecast ‘The Danish Girl’ on its channels.

In January, the CBFC had cleared the film for a theatrical release granting it an ‘A’ certificate; however, in March it refused to give the necessary U/UA certification to air it on television. The reason cited was that the film was meant to be viewed only by mature adults.

The FCAT, headed by Justice Manmohan Sarin, reversed the CBFC’s decision, stating that the Supreme Court had granted recognition of gender identity to the transgender community by declaring the availability of ‘Third Gender’.

After the CBFC had refused to grant permission to air ‘The Danish Girl’, SPNI had approached the FCAT. In its appeal, the network stated that Indian TV channels had aired shows revolving around similar subjects. In order to get U/UA certification, it had offered 14 cuts in scenes and dialogues to make the film appropriate for television broadcast.

Citing the examples of films like ‘The Brokeback Mountain’, ‘Milk’, ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ and ‘D Train’, the network stated that these movies had been cleared for airing on Indian television with U/UA certification. Similarly, TV shows based on a similar topic such as ‘The Big F’ and ‘Shakti: Astitva Ke Ehsaas Ki’ were on air on different channels, the network argued.

The 2015 biographical romantic drama ‘The Danish Girl’ shows the travails and sufferings of a husband who struggles to find his own identity, believing that he should be a woman. His wife empathises with him and supports him, remaining by his bed side all through his sex reassignment surgery in the 18th century.

The film is directed by Tom Hooper and stars Alicia Vikander, Amber Heard and Eddie Redmayne as Elbe, one of the first-known recipients of sex reassignment surgery. Based on a novel of the same name by David Ebershoff, the film is loosely inspired by the lives of Danish painters Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener.