Sony can air 'Danish Girl' on TV as Tribunal reverses CBFC order

MUMBAI: Sony Pictures is now free to telecast 'The Danish Girl' on television.

The Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) has ordered the Censor Board to grant certification to the British-American film for viewing on TV channels, by reversing the Board’s directive against airing the film on television.

The FCAT observed the film 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, remaining by his bed side all through his sex reassignment surgery in the 18th century,” it said.

The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) had approved the film for a theatrical release in January 2017 and granted it an A certificate. In March, however, the CBFC refused U/UA certification to the film necessary for a film to be telecast on TV channels, saying that the film should be viewed only by “mature adults”, Hindustan Times reported.

Based on by David Ebershoff's fictional novel, the 2015 biographical romantic drama film directed by Tom Hooper is loosely inspired by the lives of Danish painters Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener. The film features Eddie Redmayne as Elbe, one of the first known recipients of the reassignment surgery. 

Citing a Supreme Court decision that granted recognition of gender identity to the transgender community by acknowledging the existence of the ‘third gender’, the FCAT chaired by Justice Manmohan Sarin reversed the CBFC’s decision.

Sony Pictures had, in their appeal, showed television shows revolving around similar subjects. Seeking U/UA certification, they had also offered 14 cuts in scenes and dialogues to make the film eligible for the small screen viewers.

Sony cited the examples of films such as Milk, The Brokeback Mountain, Boys Don’t Cry and D Train, and stated that these movies had been approved for telecast on Indian television after grant of U/UAcertificate. The production house, similarly, referred to shows such as Shakti-Ek Ehsaas Ki and The Big F that were being telecast on different channels.

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