Ambika Soni calls for meet to study gamut of film censorship

NEW DELHI: Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni has convened a meeting of the Central Board of Film Certification and the nine regional boards in mid-October to study the whole gamut of film censorship and the possibilities of revising the Film Censorship Guidelines.

Ministry sources told that the meet will discuss all issues relating to film censorship in the light of various directives of different courts and changing mores in society.

The CBFC, headed by senior film artiste Sharmila Tagore (into her second term), has been re-constituted and its term will end on November 2011. However, some of the regional boards may be reconstituted.

The meet may also consider the suggestion – made first by an earlier Chairperson Anupam Kher and now by Tagore – for permitting adult content on television in late night or early dawn hours.

When it was pointed out that some regional boards had as many as 150 members, the sources said the CBFC only had 25 people and there was no objection to the regional boards having more members as long as these were people representing all sections of society who understood cinema. In any case, the rule was that a minimum of five persons should be present whenever a film is screened for censorship.

The Film Censorship guidelines were last revised on 6 December 1991, though the CBFC has been guided from time to time by Court orders. Furthermore, changing social attitudes in society has led to acceptance of certain scenes in films that strictly do not come under the guidelines.

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