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  Entertainment   In Other News  20 Nov 2016  No more censor cuts?

No more censor cuts?

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Nov 20, 2016, 12:10 am IST
Updated : Nov 20, 2016, 6:57 am IST

We get celebrities to give their take on a current issue each week and lend their perspective to a much-discussed topic.

The makers of Udta Punjab faced a tough time with the censor board; (inset) Shyam Benegal.
 The makers of Udta Punjab faced a tough time with the censor board; (inset) Shyam Benegal.

The film certification board, which has been embroiled in several controversies over the censoring of films ever since Pahlaj Nihalani took over as the chairman in January 2015, has agreed to accept the recommendations of the government-appointed panel headed by Shyam Benegal. The panel suggested a new rating system to certify movies instead of cutting scenes and muting dialogues. As per reports, the CBFC’s nod to the recommendation of adding more categories will be sent to the information and broadcasting ministry, but these suggestions can be implemented only after amendments to the 1952 Cinematograph Act. Will these suggestions give CBFC a facelift and trim its power to use scissors?

‘The move does provide filmmakers an opportunity’

Pooja Batura Pathak, Filmmaker

While the move does provide the filmmakers an opportunity to showcase reality while dealing with explicit content, a self-restrained rider should be issued by the film bodies with regards to a responsible use of this freedom and not let it become a tool only to promote vulgarity and nudity.

‘It is a welcome move’

Shyamaprasad, Filmmaker

Any move, which would benefit the whole industry, should be welcomed. Meanwhile, no norms should be introduced to help just a particular section of films and its makers. I am not against showing erotic content films, as it is a part of life but, it should be shown in a way that suits the storyline. I think statutory warnings against smoking, drinking and riding without helmets should be taken away from the scenes. This practice is ridiculous. At the same time, these warnings in the middle of a scene breaks the aesthetic sense of the filmmaker as well as the viewer.

‘We are still very regressive’

Onir, Director

We must understand that a huge part of the population watches films on the internet and there is no censorship on that medium. We should be open to reality and need much more than just these added categories. Why is there censorship only on films? Why are only filmmakers penalised? I agree films that propagate hate of any kind —  be it gender based or communal need to be censored. Why do we make a fuss about kissing and sex? Isn’t it regressive on our part to do so? Are temples like Khajuraho and Ajanta Ellora going to put a board outside saying children not allowed? Though it’s a positive sign that such discussions about categories are happening, we are still very regressive. Our ancestors would openly talk and depict sex but after all the progress we’ve made, we aren’t supposed to do so.

‘Censor board can’t censor society’

Sophie Choudry, Singer

In my opinion, the job of the censor board is to certify a film. Over the past year we have seen nonsensical cuts in films, which seem to have been made subjectively based on the opinion of a few. I think our industry deserves at least that much respect where a word, kiss or shot offensive to a handful of people cannot be removed at their will! The censor board should certify films. It is up to the public to choose which films they wish to see and it is the job of the theatres to ensure no one below the certifiable age is allowed to watch that film. If certain films are extremely high on nudity and sexual content, then that can come with an additional certificate but at the end of the day, the legal age for sex is 18, and globally people seem to becoming sexually aware at an even younger age. Let’s become the kind of society where we can speak openly about sexuality and in turn teach boys how to respect a woman’s body and her choices. The more you hide things, the more taboo they become. The job of the censorboard is not to censor society.

‘Tamil cinema will go places if things change’

Adhik Ravichandran, Director

If the suggestions are implemented by CBFC, there will be a lot of changes in Tamil cinema. Brilliant directors like Selvaraghavan will have more freedom. Now, we are confined to four walls because of the existing censor system, but how long can we sit inside those walls? Also, if we have more certificates it will also stop the family audience from entering an adult film. Now, U/A films also have scenes, which make family audience bit uneasy, so problems like these will end. Tamil cinema will go places if things change. Young filmmakers can come up with more creative ideas not just in terms of adult content but more intense films can be made. Tollywood can make films like what Bollywood churns out, films like Delhi Belly can be made here.

‘The state need not get involved’

Habib Faisal, Director

We, as individuals, are mature enough to watch something and decide by ourselves what is good and what is not. The state need not get involved in preaching morals to us. If an 18-year-old is mature enough to vote, I think he is mature enough to watch movies. By law, the censor board is only supposed to be a certification board. It cannot do anything else. I cannot say if this move will really help because I am not completely aware of the new categories. But the last time that something was done by the censor board, they had given out a list of words that could not be used.

Tags: pahlaj nihalani, cbfc, cinematograph act