Soon, all advertisements of Indian films — be it posters, billboards or those published in newspapers and magazines — will have to prominently display their ratings and explain why they have been rated so. Not only that, even the censor board certificate will have to explain why a film has been assigned a particular rating.
"For example, an A-rated film will have to prominently display tags like 'abusive language' or 'sexual, violent content," said Pankaja Thakur, chief executive officer of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).
The campaign will soon be undertaken across India. Four recently-released films — Bittoo Boss, Force, Agneepath and London-Paris-New York — have already displayed their ratings in advertisements.
"Content in posters and billboards are self-regulated. The CBFC doesn't have any jurisdiction over them, but the trade bodies have been very cooperative and agreed to convey the message," Thakur said.
The envisaged changes will lead to films being certified as per their content so that people could watch a particular film if they wish to. The new norms will also prompt filmmakers to suggest that children can watch their films only under parental guidance, if it requires. The move will help filmmakers avoid deleting certain scenes.
The CBFC is in the middle of incorporating substantial changes that modify its role from film certification to undertaking a classification process which would enable filmmakers to reach out to their target audience.