CBFC may lose teeth to snip films

CBFC may lose teeth to snip films

Benegal panel wants board to only certify flicks under 6 categories

CBFC may lose teeth to snip films

The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) may lose its power to recommend cuts or  modifications in films requiring its certification, if the Centre accepts recommendations of Shyam Benegal committee.

The board’s role may then be confined to certification of films under six different categories as listed by the Benegal committee.

It, however, will have powers to deny certificate for screening of films which may pose threat to the security, sovereignty and integrity of the country, friendly relations with foreign states, public order, decency or involves defamation or contempt of court, or is likely to incite commission of any offence. In such cases, the chairman of the board may either suo motu refer the film to a revising committee for its re-examination or on request of the central government.

“The power of excisions, modifications and changes to the film that vested earlier in the CBFC be removed so that it functions purely as a certification body,” the panel recommended in its report to the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry.

The panel has suggested expanding the current film certification categories by adding two new categories to allow screening of adult movies portraying explicit content, including nudity, sex and portrayal of violence. For certification of movies with explicit content, it has suggested a new category—AC (adult with caution).
“This would go a long way in correcting the current avaricious practice of song and dance routines that are laden with innuendoes and implicit fornications, inserted by film makers to attract audiences of a certain kind,” it said.

At present, in the absence of such a rating, avoidable content tends to find its way into films certified for universal rating, it said.

“AC category would release the current pressure cooker situation of film makers needing to cater to the demands of a certain section of the audience, for financial gain inserting such sequences but having no avenues to showcase the same except through suggestive sequences in films,” it added.

The rating of films under A category should also remain as, the committee noted, “not all adults prefer to watch films that have explicit portrayals of various issues such as violence, sex, discrimination, use of language etc.”

In view of “sociological changes”, the panel has recommended certification of films under UA12+ and UA15+ categories—apparently which means films certified for viewing by 12-year-olds and above and 15-year-olds and above under parental guidance.

The certification of films under 'U' (universal category) as well as 'S' (special audience like doctors) would continue, according to the panel.

“While UAl2+ caters to young teenagers who are yet to be exposed to the adult world and can, therefore, be exposed to adult issues in only a minimal manner, UA15+ seeks to keep in mind that young adolescents are at an age when they are being introduced to the adult world and ready to be exposed to various concerns and issues of the adult world, albeit in a moderate manner,” the Benegal committee noted.

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