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Pahlaj Nihalani Threatens “Strict Action” Against Films Without Censor Certificates At Film Festivals

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The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has warned filmmakers that it will take strict action if films are screened at international and national film festivals without the necessary censor certificates. 

Hindustan Times quotes Pahlaj Nihalani, the Chairman of the CBFC,  saying, “This has been going on for a very long time, unchecked. Perhaps earlier no action was taken against producers and directors who zipped off to exotic locations for international film festivals without a censor certification in pursuit of international fame for Indian cinema. Let me tell all filmmakers who do this: you can’t do this. You can’t take your film to festivals without censor certification.”

He further said that filmmakers need special permission to screen films that are uncensored. Many film festivals prefer to show uncensored, “director’s cut” films, but the CBFC head warns against that practice.

“For any film to be screened on any platform and in any format without a censor certificate, a filmmaker needs special permission from the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. We’ve come to know that Indian filmmakers simply sneak off with their films to film festivals without a censor certificate or a special permission,” he said. 

However, last November, the CBFC allowed filmmakers to screen their films without a censor certificate at theInternational Film Festival of India (IFFI).

CBFC member, and BJP Leader Vani Tripathi Tikoo said, “The whole point of Indian Panorama at IFFI is to give a platform to Indian filmmakers across the country a chance to show their films without any hassle. Sometimes films take over two years to complete. Not having a certificate from CBFC should not be a reason to deny Indian filmmakers from presenting their work to global experts who will attend the festival.”

Meanwhile, the Shyam Benegal committee, which has been looking to overhaul the Cinematograph Act and reform the CBFC, is still waiting for a response from the government. 

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