The last-minute cancellation of the telecast of Milan Luthria's The Dirty Picture on Sunday afternoon has thrown open a heated discussion within the Censor Board Of Film Certification (CBFC) as to the validity and the need to screen film with 'Adults Only' certification on television.
Thanks to the uproar over the intended telecast of The Dirty Picture, the censor board has now decided to re-consider the entire procedure of re-censoring films with an 'A' certificate and thereby declaring 'Adult' films to be fit for the home-viewing medium.
Says a source from the censor board, "The experience with The Dirty Picture's deferred telecast proves that simply ordering extra cuts in an 'Adults' film is not enough when the very theme is adult. Those members of the censor board who had viewed The Dirty Picture to certify it for satellite and television screening ordered 52 cuts. But those 52 cuts amounted to no more than 7 minutes of additional cuts. On Thursday when the Information & Broadcasting ministry reacted to legal proceedings in UP courts against the scheduled telecast of The Dirty Picture on Sunday afternoon at a time when optimum kids and youngsters were glued to the IPL matches, two senior members of the censor board re-viewed the film and found that the content needed further toning down before telecast."
However, at this late stage the film's producers Balaji refused to comply.
Censor certificate for telecast in hand, Sony Entertainment confidently marched towards a massive eyeball-grabbing telecast on Sunday afternoon and evening.
Apparently, the telecast was stopped minutes before the schedule playing time at 12 noon on the direct intervention of the I & B Ministry.
And now highly-placed sources in the censor board tell us that the whole The Dirty Picture experience would compel the CBFC to revise its policy regarding 'Adult' feature films.
Pankaja Thakur the CEO of the CBFC admits a change in policy regarding the revised certification of 'Adult' films for telecast, is on the anvil.
"The chairperson of the CBFC has taken note of the matter and plans to take up this issue for discussion in the next board meeting," informs Thakur.
Ms Thakur further adds, "Whatever is shown on television, whether it's a film, serial or an ad, has to censored as per the programme code of the Cable Television Network Regulation Act. As per the code films that have a 'UA' rating can be shown on television. Hence 'A' rated films are submitted to the CBFC for granting such cuts and deletions that would make the film eligible for a 'UA' rating. Some films have adult themes and the treatment and public perception is such that even after substantial cuts the film still retains an adult flavour."
She ends by declaring that a change in policy regarding the censorship of 'Adult' films for telecast is around the corner. "In view of the court cases and the programme code that has to be followed by all TV programmes including feature films, CBFC would be forced to look at the whole process of cutting adult films to make it palatable for young viewing."
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