The government is all set to introduce a separate rating system for films being telecast on private TV networks.
The decision on the new rating system, which will co-exist with the one for films released in theatres, was taken after a meeting between officials of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and the information and broadcasting ministry on Friday.
Sources said CBFC chairperson Leela Samson has given in-principle approval for the idea, and a detailed set of guidelines will be framed soon.
The move was sparked off by a recent controversy, wherein the I&B ministry and the CBFC objected to the national telecast of award-winning film ‘The Dirty Picture’ on Sony TV. The I&B ministry had directed that the film be screened in a late night slot after 11 pm, “when guardians/parents can guide their children/wards”. Consequ-ently, Sony TV had to pull back its intended prime-time TV telecast of the dark biopic on sex siren, Silk Smitha.
The A-rated film has already undergone 59 cuts for a U/A certificate, which would have rendered it suitable for TV screening — albeit with parental guidance. “While the theatre owner is bound by law to restrict the audience, according to the film's ratings, one doesn’t have that kind of an audience control on TV,” a source told HT. “In effect, films that are rated U/A for theatre release will again have to be examined to check if they are really suitable for TV viewing.”
Probably after seeing the writing on the wall, many filmmakers have already started creating alternative versions of their movies for television.
The CBFC will rate the films for TV telecast, it is understood.