Kids’ film on witch hunting gets U certificate sans cuts

The latest feature film “Ishu” of the Children’s Film Society, India (CFSI), which dwells upon social evil of witch hunting, has got a U certificate without any cuts, says its director Utpal Borpujari. He is happy that children will be able to watch the film without adult supervision.

In order to create awareness about the inhuman practice of witch hunting prevailing in Assam and other parts of the country, the CFSI has made the film, which is expected to be screened soon.

The film takes a look at witch hunting through the eyes of a child whose favourite aunt is branded as a witch by an evil village quack who conspires with another aunt to do so.

“Despite its sensitive and serious backdrop, my film treats the subject in a way that it is suitable for viewing for children. In fact, the Central Board of film Certification (CBFC) has given it a U certification without any cuts,” Borpujari, who believes that children’s films can effectively take up social issues if handled sensitively, said in a statement.

Set in a remote tribal Rabha village in lower Assam area, this feature film is based on renowned Assamese writer Manikuntala Bhattacharya’s popular novel “Ishu” and marks the feature film debut of National Award winning film critic and acclaimed documentary maker Borpujari.

CFSI Chairman Mukesh Khanna said this movie will give a clear message to people that social evils are bad.

“Children are the future of our country and should always be motivated. By practicing social evils like witch hunting, we are making circumstances worse for children and disturb their psychology. This will have an adverse effect on the children and will not help them in their career and overall development,” he said.

“Movies like ‘Ishu’ bring awakening in the society about the ill-effects of social evils and educate people about their harmful aspects on the society. CFSI will continue to make and promote such films whose themes are aimed at bringing about transformation in the society for the benefit of mankind, particularly children.”

According to CFSI CEO Shravan Kumar, this is a highly sensitive film in which exploitation of people due to social evils such as ‘witch hunting’ is highlighted. The movie is informative, educative and throws light on the harmful effects of social evils practiced by people in the society.

“I am happy to note that in Assam, a bill to prevent social evils like witch hunting has been passed by the state legislative assembly, and is awaiting President’s assent. Let us hope that it would become a law soon.”

In the film, the lead role is played by 10-year-old Kapil Garo.

“Kapil has the required innocence and charm that I had visualised in Ishu, and being from a village himself, he blended naturally with the character,” said Borpujari.

The film also stars actors like Bishnu Kharghoria, Tonthoingambi Leishangthem Devi, Chetana Das and Pratibha Choudhury.