‘Faraaz’ vs ‘Saturday Afternoon’: Farooki opens up to media
As Bollywood gets ready to release "Faraaz", a movie based on the Holey Artisan attack, Mostofa Sarwar Farooki's "Saturday Afternoon"—based on the same event—is still stuck in censor board limbo.
Since the trailer of "Faraaz" was released, social media has been abuzz demanding the release of "Saturday Afternoon". Currently, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting have set a hearing date for the Censor Board Appeal Committee to take place on January 21.
On this day, the members of the appeal committee will listen to the statement from Farooki. Afterwards, the committee will give its opinion regarding the censor certificate of "Saturday Afternoon".
Speaking to the media, Farooki shared how he had faith that "Saturday Afternoon" would be released soon, that too before "Faraaz" releases on February 3. According to the director, "Saturday Afternoon" had begun long before "Faraaz", so it should be released earlier as well.
When asked why he so strongly believes that his film will be release soon, Farooki stressed that he had not done anything wrong when making "Saturday Afternoon". The director also has faith in the government to see who are the people trying to block the release of his film. According to him, the question isn't if "Saturday Afternoon" will tarnish the country's image, rather if preventing its release will reduce Bangladesh's image infront of the rest of the world.
Adding to his point, the director also mentioned how "Saturday Afternoon" had already been screened in festivals worldwide, with foreigners and Bangladeshis watching the movie. Both had given stellar reviews for the film and noted how the film had actually reflected well on Bangladesh.
Elaborating on how "Saturday Afternoon" came to fruition, Farooki shared how they had submitted the script to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, applying to bring in foreign artists and technicians.
According to Farooki, various departments of the government had read and approved their script. Some people also called Farooki and his team to encourage them on their endeavour. After "Saturday Afternoon" was first exhibited on January 9, 2019, the censor board had given interviews to several media outlets, saying that the film was good and that it would receive a censor certificate soon.
Afterwards, on January 10, as Farooki recalls, a group of people who were doing religious politics online demanded that "Saturday Afternoon" should be banned. None of these people had watched the movie, since it was yet to release to the public. So, now Farooki hopes that these people who have illegally denied his film from receiving censor board clearance need to be held accountable.