Kerala Film Chamber to tighten norms on film titles, rejects ‘Eesho’ film title

Not yet got any official communication regarding the rejection of the title registration, says the film’s producer Arun Narayanan.

The Kerala Film Chamber of Commerce has decided to tighten norms regarding film titles and publicity materials, following recent controversies over titles and posters of some upcoming movies. The Chamber has also rejected the registration application submitted by the producer of the film Eesho‘ directed by Nadrisha, citing the producer’s non-renewal of his registration with the Chamber as a reason.

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After publicity materials of Eesho were released online recently, there was a severe backlash from some religious groups. The Kerala High Court had rejected a petition from the Christian Association for Social Action against certification of the movie. However, the Chamber now seems to be wary of controversies and opposition from religious groups, in deciding to tighten norms regarding film titles.

Speaking to The Hindu, Film Chamber Secretary Anil Thomas said that the existing norms say that the title has to be registered with the Chamber before the commencement of shooting of the film, although it is now being flouted.

"In the case of ‘Eesho’, we did not even go into the norms, as the producer has not renewed his registration. They can certainly re-apply, but there is only a remote chance of it being cleared," said Mr.Thomas.

However, the film’s producer Arun Narayanan says that he has not yet got any official communication regarding the rejection of the title registration.

"I had got a letter from them on August 8, seeking an explanation for not registering the title before shooting. I had replied immediately that the film did not have a title all through the shooting, which we completed on April 14. We worked with the title of ‘Production No.1’. It was only in May that we decided our title. As for my own registration, I need to wait for more clarity from them," said Mr.Narayanan.

Mr. Thomas said that the Union Government had given powers to all film chambers for clearance of publicity materials of films. The Kerala Chamber has now decided to reject all applications, which are submitted after shooting or after the launch of the publicity campaign. Citing the recent case of the poster of the upcoming movie Chera‘ which recreated an image of Michelangelo’s sculpture Pieta with the film’s characters, he said that the Chamber will reject publicity materials which can create issues or tensions in society.

"In recent times, we have rejected titles like C/O Maharaja’s College and Gagulthayile Kozhipporu due to these reasons. We also do not allow titles which are too similar to existing ones. In case of posters, we now ensure that there are no images of smoking or drinking or those of actors riding motorcycles without helmets," said Mr.Thomas.

Although the producers can still go ahead and release the film with the title they choose, even if the Chamber rejects the title, they might still face issues with the theatre owners many of whom are associated with the Chamber.

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