Mumbai, Nov 13: In order to show solidarity to award-winning director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, whose upcoming film, Padmavati, has been mired in controversies, members of several film bodies have come together to demand "freedom for filmmakers" on Monday.
According to reports, the Indian Film and Television Directors' Association (IFTDA) on Monday are planning to make an appeal to Union information and broadcasting minister Smriti Irani and Union home minister Rajnath Singh, on behalf of four other associations, to allow freedom for filmmakers in the wake of the ongoing controversy over Padmavati.
The members of IFTDA, Cine and TV Artists Association (CINTAA), Western India Cinematographers Association (WICA), Screenwriters Association (SWA) and Association of Cine and Television Art Directors and Costume Designers, will also hold a press meet in Mumbai later on Monday.
"Five bodies are coming together to make an appeal for freedom of expression for filmmakers. The industry is shocked and we are hurt that a filmmaker like Bhansali is being heckled and abused. Bhansali symbolises success of our film industry in many ways, and if he can be treated like this and harassed, things are not right," Ashoke Pandit, IFTDA President, told IANS.
He said their appeal is for the ministers to take note of the controversy and uphold the freedom for filmmakers.
"Nobody has seen the film, yet people are making assumptions and attacking and abusing Bhansali. Similar controversy happened around 'Indu Sarkar'. What will we do? We can't make films to suit everyone's ego. If someone doesn't want to watch the film, don't watch it. If someone doesn't want it to release, go to court," Pandit said.
The historical drama is scheduled to release on December 1. The film is hogging the limelight for all the wrong reasons as some Hindu groups and political parties, including the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), claim that the film distorts history and wrongly portrays Rajput queen Padmavati, a contention Bhansali has repeatedly rebuffed.
Even the film's lead actor Shahid Kapoor on Sunday has urged the people to first watch the movie without harbouring any preconceived notions.
Addressing the issue, Shahid, who plays Maharawal Ratan Singh in the film, told reporters, "I've been saying this for a long time. Watch the film and then decide. Give the film a chance and don't form preconceived notions. We have tried to keep everyone's feelings and interests in mind.
"We have tried to make the film as best as we could. We will respect whatever people think of the film but you should see it first."
The period drama features actress Deepika Padukone in the title role of Rani Padmavati, the Rajput queen, and consort of Ratan Singh.
Actor Ranveer Singh will be seen as Alauddin Khilji, the medieval-era Delhi sultan.