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Film Director Shyam Benegal To Head Committee On CBFC Revamp
The government has constituted a committee headed by eminent filmmaker Shyam Benegal to look into the revamp of the Censor Board, functioning of which has been mired in controversies in recent past.
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In a move to revamp the workings of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) in line with the best practices followed globally, the ministry of information and broadcasting (I&B) on Friday (January 1, 2016) has constituted a committee under noted film-maker Shyam Benegal. The committee has been requested to submit their recommendations within two months.
In an official statement, the I&B ministry said: “. The Committee would recommend broad guidelines / procedures under the provisions of the Cinematograph Act / Rules for the benefit of the chairperson and other members of the Screening Committee. The staffing pattern of CBFC would also be looked into in an effort to recommend a framework which would provide efficient / transparent user friendly services.”
Apart from Benegal, the other committee members named are film-maker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, advertising guru Piyush Pandey, film critic Bhawana Somaaya , MD, and NFDC Nina Lath Gupta. Joint Secretary (Films), I&B ministry will be the Member Convenor of this committee, the statement said.
The move to set up a committee for the revamp of CBFC and its working style has come in the backdrop of controversy since Pahlaj Nihalani took charge as its chief last year. Under Nihalani’s tenure, the board earned criticism for its periodic ‘guidelines’ of what is considered out of joint with Indian culture.
Under Nihalani’s tenure, the board earned criticism for its periodic ‘guidelines’ of what is considered out of joint with Indian culture. Actor and MP Kirron Kher and husband Anupam Kher welcomed the move. Speaking to a television news channel, Kher said: "I believe the committee will be looking at the broad subject of film certification and its recommendations will be good for the film industry."
“A whole lot of Indian films have enriched the cultural milieu of the country besides making astonishing advances in technical aspects of film-making. Keeping this in view… a committee headed by Shri Shyam Benegal has been constituted to suggest the paradigm for ensuring such a milieu,” a statement released by the government said.
Nihalani’s most recent victim was the new James Bond film, Spectre, whose snip of the kissing scenes he passed without watching the film. Fellow members of the Central Board of Film Certification have charged him with running it as his “personal fiefdom”.
“The recommendations of this committee are expected to provide a holistic framework and enable those tasked with the work of certification of films to discharge their responsibilities keeping in view this framework,” the government said.
“During their deliberations, the committee would be expected to take note of the best practices in various parts of the world, especially where the film industry is given sufficient and adequate space for creative and aesthetic expression,” it added.
The CBFC, commonly called the censor board, is a statutory censorship and classification body under the information and broadcasting ministry and is mandated to regulate the public exhibition of films under the Cinematograph Act 1952.
“The committee would recommend broad guidelines / procedures under the provisions of the Cinematograph Act / Rules for the benefit of the chairperson and other members of the Screening Committee. The staffing pattern of CBFC would also be looked into in an effort to recommend a framework which would provide efficient / transparent user friendly services,” the government said.