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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

CBFC revamp need of the hour: Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra

Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra feels revamp the framework within which the country's film censorship board functions is the "need of the hour".

By: IANS | New Delhi | Published: January 2, 2016 9:03:10 am
Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Shyam Benegal, Central Board of Film Certification, censor board news, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra films, entertainment news Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra is part of the newly-appointed revamp panel led by celebrated film maker and director Shyam Benegal.

The government’s initiative to revamp the framework within which the country’s film censorship board functions is a welcome move and the “need of the hour”, says National Award winning filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra.

Mehra is part of the newly-appointed revamp panel led by celebrated film maker and director Shyam Benegal.

Also read: Govt sets up panel headed by Shyam Benegal to revamp Censor Board 

“It’s a welcome initiative and it’s a huge challenge from here. But the revamp is the need of the hour. We are very happy that the government decided to take this initiative,” Mehra, known for movies like “Rang De Basanti” and “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag”, told IANS over phone from Mumbai.

On Friday (Janruary 1), the government announced the formation of the Benegal Committee to recommend a holistic framework for the country’s film censor board, and to suggest changes in the Cinematograph Act, so that artistic creativity and freedom are not curtailed.

Led by 81-year-old Dadasaheb Phalke Award winner Benegal, an auteur of parallel Indian cinema, the panel also includes ad guru Piyush Pandey, veteran film journalist Bhawana Somaaya, National Film Development Corporation managing director Nina Lath Gupta, and the joint secretary (Films) in the information and broadcasting ministry as the Member Convenor, besides Mehra.

Also read: Censorship issues must be looked at from time to time: Shyam Benegal 

Mehra said they will all put their minds together to create the road map for the changes required in the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).

Will it primarily be about suggesting changes to the framework of film certification or about recommending alterations in the Cinematograph Act, 1952?

“I think a bit of everything. It’s something we have to sit together and deliberate upon, because, it may sound rhetorical but we have to move with changing times. Times have changed, and there is tremendous change from the days when the framework for the Cinematograph Act was made,” Mehra said.

“We are now living in a different world, and so we would like to take things to a next level. There is so much connectivity and information that change is the need of the hour,” he said.

Also read: I don’t see censor panel has anything to do with Pahlaj Nihalani: Shyam Benegal 

Asked if filmmaker Pahlaj Nihalani’s role as CBFC chairman remains untouched with the formation of the panel, Mehra said he isn’t the right person to answer this question.

However, Mehra stressed that it’s “amazing” that the Narendra Modi-led government has taken a step towards “making a beginning” as far as change in film certification is concerned.

The filmmaker had joined the committee upon an invite from the government and said he wanted to be part of it as a “citizen” and then as a filmmaker.

Also read: Mahesh Bhatt eager for freedom from ‘CBFC stranglehold’ 

“It’s a long journey from here. We have to make a beginning somewhere, and we are looking forward to plot the roadmap ahead,” Mehra said, adding that summing up the changes he’d like to see in the rules and regulations of CBFC would be tough to summarise over a call.

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