Every feature film has to be passed by the censor board before it hits the theaters. The board members watch the film and give a censor certificate to it. Most commonly, a film is given any three of these certificates – “U” (unrestricted public exhibition), “A” (restricted to adult audiences) and “U/A” (unrestricted public exhibition subject to parental guidance for children). In short, a copy of every single film is submitted to the censor board and it cannot be released in theaters if the film doesn’t get through them. But what if your film is not secure with the board and it’s vulnerable to piracy? Come on, how that can even be possible as the board is an authority and they would never distribute a film illegally, right? At least, it’s supposed to be so. But a strange thing has come up with the piracy of the most loved Nepali film recently, ‘Pashupati Prasad’. As an illegal copy of the film starring Khagendra Lamichhane, Barsha Siwakoti and Bipin Karki has been surfacing all over the internet, what shocked everyone more is the source it has been distributed by. A watermark that reads ‘CENSOR_COPY’ can be clearly seen in the video which suggests that the film was leaked through the censor board somehow.
That’s unbelievable. How can our film-makers feel comfortable in submitting their films to the censor board now when they are haunted by the fact that the copy is not safe anymore? ‘Pashupati Prasad’ still had to be screened in various countries but as the illegal copy hit the internet within the three months of its release, the film directed by Dpendra K. Khanal had to bear a huge loss.
The film which had received positive responses from the audience and the critics has still been gathering praises all over. But sadly, most of the people who are talking about it now are the ones who watched the pirated copy of it. Imagine a simple scenario: you bake a delicious cake but before you could sell it, somebody stole it. And now after eating the stolen cake for free, everybody is talking about how heavenly the cake tasted and how much of an amazing baker you are. Now tell us, would that make you happy? Exactly!
On Thursday, writer and actor Khagendra Lamichhane, took to his Facebook handle to write a short post for the people who have been appreciating his work after watching the illegal copy of the film. Talking about the post, it’s undoubtedly the most polite way we’ve seen so far to condemn somebody’s action. This is what he wrote.
“For those who are taking their ‘hats off’ after watching the pirated copy; I shall cover my face with a hat in disgust when you do so.”
We feel you, Khagendra Lamichhane!