Film producer Pahlaj Nihalani, who is head of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), feels that time has come to free filmmakers from the clutches of certifications such U, U/A and A.
Nihalani, who was in Kolkata on Friday to interact with members of the Eastern India Motion Picture Association (EIMPA), said, Things are changing. Everything is available on your mobile. Even students have access to such content that is not meant for them,” said Nihalani, justifying his feeling that filmmakers should get the freedom for their work.
He asked the CBFC’s local officer to be as liberal as possible and at the same time asked him to educate the local panel members of the censor board. “We are modern but culture does not permit us to show explicit material like what is done in the US or UK,” he said.
He also said that being a film producer himself, he understands the pain of producers and filmmakers. Nihalani, who has been at the centre of controversies ever since he became the CBFC chief, tried to justify his acts and decisions in the recent past. “I have created a lot of controversy,” he said. Nihalani added that the CBFC is modern but the body is bound by the rules that have been laid down.
He also claimed that all rules are not followed and added that if everything is done as per the rulebook, most films would get censored. He explained that obscenity and vulgarity is judged by the members of the CBFC depending on the content and context.
For example, inappropriate words are not always eliminated since that depends mostly on the content and context, said Nihalani. Speaking to members of the EIMPA, Nihalani asked the members to interact freely with him and tell them about the grievances they had regarding film certification. “I am a film producer myself and I have come here to listen to you. Please be open,” he said.
Besides talking about the problems of filmmakers in this region, the filmmakers and producers asked Nihalani whether there could be a basic manual to guide them so that they do not get into trouble when they apply for film certification. He asked all filmmakers to send their grievances to CBFC so that the body could look into them.