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Government holds consultation with film industry on proposed amendments to Cinematograph Act

The Information & Broadcasting Ministry has assured the film fraternity that suitable amendments would be proposed to the Cinematograph Act 1952 to combat film piracy. Addressing a Consultation Meeting of Film Associations through video conferencing, I&B Secretary Shri Apurva Chandra said the issues with respect to proposed Cinematograph Amendment Bill and anti-piracy issues will be addressed after consultation with the stakeholders of the industry. Today’s meeting in Mumbai followed a similar consultation with the film fraternity from South India, held in Chennai yesterday.

An Expert Committee under the Chairmanship of Justice Mukul Mudgal was constituted in 2013 to examine the issues of certification under the Cinematograph Act, 1952. Another Committee of Experts was set up under the Chairmanship of Shri Shyam Benegal in 2016 to evolve broad guidelines for certification within the ambit of the Cinematograph Act and Rules. Among the recommendations is the age based certification of films.

Secretary Chandra also spoke about the merger of four film media units namely Films Division, Directorate of Film. Festivals, National Film Archives of India, and Children’s Film Society, India with the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) Ltd. He expressed that the basic objective is NFDC should become the entity through which the revenues from the film sector can be utilized for development of the film sector. He went on to say that none of the existing schemes is being discontinued. “We will strengthen NFDC so that they can rotate staff and deliver on the responsibilities assigned to them.”

Speaking about the Finance Minister’s announcement of setting up an Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming, and Comic (AVGC) Promotion Task Force, he informed that the Ministry is working on its Terms of Reference. “We hope to set up this Task Force in this month itself, so that work can begin and we are able to utilize the potential of the sunrise sector.”

Shri Chandra expressed happiness that the industry is satisfied with the streamlining of the film certification processes by CBFC. Additional Secretary I&B, Ms. Neerja Shekhar informed that comments of stakeholders and the general public have been received regarding suggestions on further improving the certification process of CBFC.

Chairperson, CBFC Prasoon Joshi said that the change in design of the film certificate is symbolic of what the Board seeks to achieve, in terms of making processes seamless, digital and more stakeholder-friendly. “The process of certification has been smoothened as much as possible; while we continue to need human intervention for watching the films and certifying it, we have streamlined the system so as to speed up other parts of the process” he added.

Shri Ravindra Bhakar, CEO, CBFC, briefed about the journey of the certification body and its adaptations in view of new challenges. He also spoke about the digitisation in certification process and move towards further transparency and measures towards ease of doing business. BCS Bureau

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