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No informal meeting between CBFC, filmmakers: Bollywood reacts to Prasoon Joshi’s rule

Central Board of Film Certification chairman, Prasoon Joshi has recently issued a new rule that prohibits filmmakers from interacting with the CBFC officials after their film has been screened. Only the certificate will be the sole communication between the two parties.

bollywood Updated: Sep 08, 2017 19:19 IST
Rishabh Suri
Rishabh Suri
Hindustan Times
Prasoon Joshi,Censor,CBFC
Prasoon Joshi has introduced a new rule for filmmakers as the Censor Board chief.

The selection of lyricist-adman Prasoon Joshi as the new chairman of Central Board of Film certification (CBFC) was hailed by the film industry. And after taking his chair, Prasoon has apparently introduced new rules for the board. According to the rule, no information on the suggested cuts will be shared with respective filmmakers, and the certificate will be the only means of communication with them. Earlier, an informal dialogue used to help filmmakers negotiate before they received the certificate.

While many have hailed the decision, some are expressing concerns over how this might delay their film’s release, if they have to work on the film to get the desired certificate.

“It’s fantastic. Then it’s more of a rating system, which means there will be no cuts. For those, who are concerned over a film getting delayed, after they have submitted it to the CBFC, certificates are issued instantly. If you give a film for certification, and it comes back with an A [Adults only] certificate, it’s understood that there are some objectionable scenes,” says filmmaker Vikram Bhatt.

However, director Milan Luthria, whose film Baadshaho is running in theatres, has expressed his concern about this dictum. “If a certificate is directly issued, how will we know what they [CBFC] want to get deleted? As a responsible filmmaker, I had the opportunity to discuss such matters when officials finished watching my film. They would tell you what they found wrong and you could have a discussion,” Luthria. However, he extends his support, saying, “I’ve always considered CBFC to be a part of the industry.”

Filmmaker Hansal Mehta, whose film Aligarh, has been the victim to CBFC’s diktat in the past, says, “There was a time when we could defend the certification of a film. If we received an A, and wanted a U/A, there was a recourse for getting that. About this [new rule], it’s too early to react.”

Veteran filmmaker Shyam Benegal, who had appreciated the replacement of Pahlaj Nihalani with Prasoon, is also all praise for the new rules. “This will make things simpler. An informal meeting between the filmmaker and the committee is not particularly good. Only if there was a problem regarding the certification, then of course they could ask that. This continues to be the same, so much hasn’t changed.”

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First Published: Sep 08, 2017 19:18 IST