Mumbai, Dec 24: Ashim Ahluwalia's internationally acclaimed film "Miss Lovely" is ready to hit the Indian screens with an 'A' certificate, but the director says the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) had initially asked for 157 cuts to make it suitable for viewing in India.
Starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Niharika Singh in the lead roles, "Miss Lovely" competed in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.
Talking about his tryst with the Indian censor board, Ahluwalia said: "It actually took me a year to get it passed, there are cuts."
Set in the 1980s, "Miss Lovely" talks about the world of C-grade cinema. Ahluwalia said the film, ready to release in the country Jan 17, next year, was reviewed "four times" by the censor board.
"I don't think anybody has gone through a review four times. I started with being given 157 cuts and that was like killing the film, and there was no point in showing it," Ahluwalia said Monday at a press meet of the film here.
"So we went back, argued and the foul language cuts were removed. These are C-grade film producers (in the film) and they won't speak family language. So the cuts were gradually reduced and finally we were down to three to four major cuts ... those were nude scenes and they are not allowed," he added.
Ahluwalia also said that there are some blurred scenes, "but for the most part I am quite satisfied".
He says "Miss Lovely" is for a niche audience, therefore, while getting distributors, he ensured the film reaches the right viewers.
"A film like this is not a mass level film. We are not releasing 5,000 prints. It is a very gritty film, a real film. So it's just hard to get people (distributors) to understand how to release it. I just wanted to get it right and get to the right audience," Ahluwalia said.
"I don't want to trick someone. I want people to watch the film because they want to know what that world is like. That's why it took me a while. The film releases in the US in March," he added.