By Arundhuti Banerjee
Mumbai, Sep 12 (IANS) Actor-filmmaker Sanjay Suri says his upcoming film “Jhalki” is important because it aimes at creating awareness on child labour, and keeping this in mind the government should give the film a tax-free status on release nationwide.
“I think the government should utilise the film for sensitisation and advocacy, and declare it tax-free. A film like ‘Jhalki’ can be instrumental to create awareness on the issue of child labour. The government should make the film tax-free on their own so that more people can watch it. That step should come from authorities, and the onus should not be on the filmmaker, especially indie filmmakers like us,” Sanjay told IANS.
Because the film has the potential to sensitise kids as well as parents, the actor believes screenings should take places in schools, too.
Citing an example, the actor said: “Initially when the multiplexes were built, to give impetus to the development all films released in multiplexes were tax-free for five years. Al I say is why not, at the CBFC level, shouldn’t authorities consider this kinds of films (for a tax-free status) that can create awareness in the society?”
One of the reasons he mentions that such a step should be taken at the authority level, instead of coming as a request from the filmmaker, is because then it “becomes a long process, since it has to be approved by every state authority separately”, ading that he wished to “get a tax-free release nationwide”.
“Jhalki” revolves around a nine-year-old girl named Jhalki, who is searching for her brother, who has been kidnapped and is being exploited by child traffickers.
The film directed by Brahmanand S. Siingh features Tannishtha Chatterjee, Divya Dutta, and Boman Irani among others.
The trailer was released earlier this year at Cannes Film Festival, and the film has also been screened at Boston International Film Festival.
“It is a global issue, and when we travelled with the film internationally we noted a huge impact on the audience. There were film critics who came up to us and said that, ‘we do not want to criticise the film because by looking for technical perfection, because its intention and impact is so large’. The little technical imperfection is irrelevant considering its vision. We did not want to intellectualise the story, but intended to maintain the simplicity of the narration, so that the film can impact children as well,” Suri said, about the September 27 release.