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Last Updated 18.11.2019 | 5:15 PM IST



Emergency reconciliatory meeting between censor chief & producers

On Friday afternoon, a lot of the hostility and suspicion between the new chairperson of Pahlaj Nihalani and the Censor Board Of Film Certification (CBFC) and the film industry dissolved when a hush-hush emergency reconciliatory meeting between the warring parties, managed to not just thaw the ice but also clear many misconceptions regarding Nihalani’s censorial attitude.

The meeting which took place at the Chambers Club, on the 29th floor of the Taj Lands’ End, was attended by prominent filmmakers like Sajid Naidiadwala, Ramesh Taurani, Onir and Sheetal Talwar, among many others. The CFBC CEO Shravan Kumar was also present.

According to a producer present at the confidential meeting, “Mr Nihlani assured producers that he had no intention of acting like a Victorian prude while censoring films. That he and the censor board were meant to give censor certificates, not act as a moral police. Nihalaniji gave the example of the new violent film Badlapur which was passed with minor audio cuts and no visual cuts in spite of very aggressive sexual and violent content. He assured producers their films would be censored fairly and within the given context.”

Doubts, misgivings, misconceptions and clarifications about censorial policies were openly discussed and threshed out.”

Says Onir, “The meeting was very encouraging and reassuring. The CEO Mr Shravan seemed like an intelligent and receptive person who is willing to address the problem within a long-term perspective. They acknowledged the need to revisit the entire system of certification with proper representation and understanding from the film industry. They also acknowledged the need to implement directives in the context of any given film and not randomly. They’ve assured us that the film industry’s problems would be represented to the Ministry Of Information & Broadcasting so that the changes can happen at the basic level.”

Producer Sheetal Talwar who orchestrated the meeting says it was extremely fruitful. “It was very important for producers to know that Pahlajji is not the prudish ogre that some vested interests in the film industry are trying to make him out to be. He is in fact a very reasonable man. It’s sad that members of his own censor board are badmouthing him in public.”

Sheetal feels the meeting dispelled much of the film industry misgivings about censorship in coming weeks. “There are no draconian rules waiting to be implemented. Pahlajji is not an unreasonable moral police-man.”

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