Despite the mandate for telecast of all national award winning films on Doordarshan, the national broadcaster won’t be able to telecast Onir’s I Am that won two national awards this year including Best Hindi film.
“We had edited about 7 minutes of the films; all abuses, kisses or anything that might seem unfit. And then I was told that the subject of the film cannot be U. Which means Doordarshan will not be able to screen my film,” said Onir.
I Am is a series of four short stories about issues facing modern Indian society, ranging from policing of homosexual men to adult survivors of childhood sex-abuse, and unmarried motherhood.
“If all satellite channels can telecast UA films, why should the Doordarshan audience be deemed unfit for the same? As a film that has received National Award we get preference and a little bit more money for DD telecast. I was happy for all of us who made this film possible. That finally we can recover our costs. But I did not foresee this bureaucratic block,” Onir said.
“In the year where we celebrate 100 years of Indian cinema…. the present day cinema faces crisis because of an uncaring system,” he added.
Amu (2005) directed by Shonali Bose on the anti-Sikh genocide of 1984 was also refused telecast on Doordarshan after winning two national awards.