Anupam Kher, Mukesh Bhatt and Ashoke Pandit have welcomed the I&B Ministry’s decision to form a committee, headed by veteran filmmaker Shyam Benegal, to look into the revamping of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).
The committee, which would submit its report in the next two months, also includes filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, adman Piyush Pandey, film critic Bhawana Somaaya, National Film Development Council MD Nina Lath Gupta and Joint
Secretary (Films) Sanjay Murthy.
“I welcome this step taken by the government of getting someone of the stature of Mr Benegal to head the committee for the way forward for certification of films in India. I think this is a very positive and healthy move because Mr Benegal has tremendous amount of respect and knowledge in terms of cinema,” Bhatt said.
Kher, who headed the Censor Board in the past, lauded multiple National award-winner Benegal’s appointment.
“Government has taken a fantastic decision. It is high time that something like this happened and no better than Shyam Benegal to head that. He has understanding of international cinema, on a National level he has won many awards.”
Board member Pandit, who has been vocal against censor board chief Pahlaj Nihalani, said the industry will back Benegal in the new initiative as he is a respected filmmaker.
“No one can be better than Shyamji for heading the panel. He is a person, who has a vision and the entire industry looks up to him. He has a solid modern thinking towards Indian cinema. I think things will change,” Pandit told PTI.
When asked whether it was the end of the road for Nihalani, Pandit said, “It’s too early to comment on these things. Our goal is to go ahead and see to it that censor board is turned into an industry friendly statutary body. We were happy when Pahlaj Nihalani was appointed because he himself was a filmmaker but he let us down.”
Director-producer Onir, whose film “Chauranga” ran into trouble with the board, welcomed the latest development.
“Shyam Benegal is a very progressive human being and filmmaker… Just look at the way women in his films have been portrayed. I am really happy with the decision. I admire his sensibility and his intellectual capability. Right now, the Censor Board needs a big change which he will bring.”
The board has been in the soup for its decisions be it proposing a list of 28 banned words, demanding cuts in films like “NH 10”, “Dum Laga Ke Haisha” and “Angry Indian Godesses” or shortening the kissing scenes in James Bond movie “Spectre”.