Artistic creativity shouldn't get curtailed while certifying films: Jaitley

NEW DELHI: Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley today said artistic creativity and freedom should not get curtailed while certifying feature films or documentaries.

At the same time, he noted that there is a mechanism in most countries of the world for certifying films and documentaries. 

Addressing members of the Shyam Benegal Committee set up on New Year’s Day to examine the present guidelines, he said the film certification guidelines need contemporary interpretation and they should be made as non discretionary as possible.

Minister of State Rajyavardhan Rathore was confident that the Committee of Experts under the chairmanship of Benegal would provide a holistic framework for interpretation of the provisions of Cinematograph Act 1952 and Rules that could help the Chairperson and other members of the Central Board of Film Certification Screening Committee.

Benegal said there is a need to move towards a new system of grading films in terms of age, maturity, sensibility and sensitivity instead of censorship. 

The two Ministers and I&B Secretary Sunil Arora held wide ranging interaction with the Committee in Mumbai today. 

The Ministry had asked the Committee to recommend broad guidelines for certification of films by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).

Other members of the Committee including filmmaker Rakyesh Omprakash Mehra, advertising and communication expert Piyush Pandey, veteran film journalist Bhawana Somayaa, NFDC managing director Nina Lath Gupta and Joint Secretary (Films) Sanjay Murthy were present.

The Committee will study the existing procedure being followed by the CBFC for certification of original films, their dubbed versions as well as recertification of films for screening on other media platforms. 

The Committee will also study various directives of courts as well as notifications issued by other Government agencies like the Health & Family Welfare Ministry, Environment & Forests Ministry, and Animal Welfare Board of India etc, which have a bearing on the process of film certification. 

The staffing pattern of CBFC would also be looked into in an effort to recommend a framework, which would provide transparent and user friendly services.

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