Short film screened at international festivals removed from Youtube

Short film screened at international festivals removed from Youtube

Short film screened at international festivals removed from Youtube

A short film, Penile Code, set against the backdrop of re-criminalisation of gay sex in India and screened at several international festivals has now been taken down from Youtube, citing a  violation of its nudity or sexual content policy.

Filmmaker Sharat Chandra Bose (29) is now approaching Youtube seeking restoration of his debut film on the platform.

Bose is now working on his second short film, Mundan (Tonsure), that looks into the lives of a north Indian couple vacationing in Kerala.

"Made in 2014, Penile Code has been streaming on Youtube for almost two years. It was viewed more than four lakh times before it was taken down. Its removal from a platform like Youtube is quite understandable in today's time and age. But it is a blatant violation of freedom of cinematic expression," Bose told DH.

Bose said he got to know about the removal while searching for the link on Youtube for a purpose related to 'Dialogues: Calcutta International LGBT Film and Video Festival' to be held from November 23 to 27. The short film has been selected for this festival.

Shot in a surrealistic method, the short film explores the troubles of a young lesbian couple in an Indian city where gay sex is banned, violence in their relationship and their struggle with society.

Bose explains that Penile Code tries to look into the dynamics of the relationship during a time in India when religious lumpenism is on the rise.

While his first film tries to explore the relationship in the present political times through a homosexual couple, the second one is trying to interpret it through a heterosexual couple.

Penile Code, the 14-minute short film, was premiered at the Kinofest International Digital Film Festival-2014 in Romania.

Besides being selected for the Cannes Film Festival's Short Film Corner and International Festival of Cinema in Italy's Campania, it also won Innovative Film Award at the YOUKI International Youth Media Festival-2014 in Austria.

"According to me, any kind of censorship is not acceptable. Censorship is the real threat for those who are aiming at public exhibitions like theatre release and government-controlled film festivals. It is the outcome of the fear and ignorance of the state mechanism," Bose said.