Getting films into theatres in time is getting more and difficult for filmmakers. The Central Board Of Film Certification (CBFC) has acquired a reputation for challenging release deadlines for films by certifying them days and sometimes hours before release. “They say they’re only following rules. But in implementing those rules our release schedules are suffering a major crisis,” says a filmmaker whose latest film almost missed its release date because of censorial delay. The latest salvo from the CBFC to further impede a smooth release for films is a notification stating that all film subtitles have to be censored before certification.
This in practical terms means more delay for the producer. Earlier films were submitted without subtitles for censoring and the subtitles were added on to the end-product sometimes just hours before release.
But now films with subtitles have to be presented for censor certification. The first casualty of this new rule is Ram Gopal Varma’s Telugu Nagarjuna-helmed Telugu release Officer which is being released without subtitles across India.
Says a leading producer, “How can we be expected to submit fully subtitled prints to the CBFC for certification when the subtitling is one of the last post-production activities in the process of releasing a film? And what happens when a film is released in multiple states with relevant subtitles in each language?”