Filmmakers resent CBFC decision to stop re-certifying adult films for TV

MUMBAI: In a move that threatens to derail several top-of-the-line production houses which make a chunk of their profits from the advance sale of satellite rights, the Central Board of Film Certification has decided to stop re-certifying A-rated films for television.

According to sources, the decision has been taken in accordance with the provisions of the 1952 Cinematograph Act.

The move is likely to severely affect advance sale of satellite rights on part of the producers or production houses.

A number of big-ticket films, including Aamir Khan‘s home production Delhi Belly, Anurag Kashyap‘s Gangs of Wasseypur (parts 1 and 2) and Vikram Bhatt‘s Hate Story, are waiting for CBFC clearance. The satellite rights of many of these films have already been sold to broadcasters amounting to multiple crores.

For the last several years, the CBFC has been modifying A-rated films, both from India and abroad, through a ‘Form of Conversion‘ that was introduced at the board-level to facilitate the TV telecast of certain movies.

All this began last month when objections were raised with the manner in which The Dirty Picture had been modified for TV. The CBFC then told the film producers that they should specify to TV channels that all modified ‘A’ rated films should only be shown only after 11 pm.

Though this suggestion was accepted for The Dirty Picture, Vishesh Film, the producer of Jannat 2, challenged the CBFC‘s guideline in the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) fearing a loss of revenue in satellite rights.

The Dirty Picture aired on 26 August on Sony Entertainment Television.

The Film Certification Appellate Tribunal, while ruling in favour of the production house‘s favour, had told CBFC that it could not decide the slotting of films on TV. It was then that matters came to a head.

Airing his discontentment, filmmaker Mukesh Bhatt groused, "This is a very serious matter. Now, there is no other way but to lock horns with the government. We might require judicial intervention failing which the entire economics of the film industry will go haywire."

Recent films with an ‘A’ certificate include films like Sahib Bibi Aur Gangster, Shor in the City, Shaitan, Ishqiya, Desi Boys, Love Sex Dhoka, Jism 2, Murder 2, and Ragini MMS.

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