Indian films may soon have two additional film certification categories. They will also carry advisories of the possible content and its appropriateness for various age groups.
A joint proposal by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry and the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) to amend the present certification system for Indian films is in the final stages.
Explaining the rationale, CBFC chairperson Sharmila Tagore told Hindustan Times: “There is a large gap between the 12-18 years age group. So, we are proposing two additional categories between the ‘UA’ and the ‘A’ categories. For example, the suicide attempt scene by Sharman Joshi’s character in the film, 3 Idiots, can be construed wrongly by a 12-year-old but in all probability will be understood by someone in the 15-16 age group.”
“In addition, the film posters would carry advice on why the movie has been rated so. Also, a lot of PILs are being filed on films, we want to curb that also,” she added.
The move will also align the Indian film censor ratings system with Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) or the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC).
“This is a welcome move. A lot of films are being categorised into the ‘Adult’ category unnecessarily,” said filmmaker Mukesh Bhatt. “This proposed demarcation on the basis of age is in tandem with the standard international practice.”
At present, three main categories of certification — U, UA and A — are in use. The proposed changes will bring in two additional categories between UA and A for the 12+ and 15+ age groups.
“The proposal is in the final scrutiny stages at the ministry level. There would also be a ‘consumer advisory’ of sorts whereby we are informing the audience of the possible content and its appropriateness for the various age groups,” said Vinayak Azad, regional officer, CBFC Mumbai.