Pahlaj Nihalani explains to Subhash K Jha why online censor certification will end all the grouses of producers.
So is the censor board going digital?
That’s right we’re going online, any time. All the spadework is done. We’re just waiting for the green signal from the Information & Broadcasting Ministry which should come any time now. We’re going online in the next week or maximum two weeks.
Considering how hard you worked to get this going, are you feeling triumphant?
Am I going to be allowed to feel anything good? No matter what I do my friends and well-wishers jump on the bandwagon to pull me down. They think I am constantly on the banned-wagon.
You sound persecuted?
Is this online certification applicable only to Hindi films?
No no. It is applicable in all languages. From now on every film in every language, Hindi or regional, would be certifiable online. Also, filmmakers are now restricted from advertising their films’ release dates before they get a censor certificates.
But release dates are announced months before release, sometimes even before the film is shot?
Filmmakers would be free to choose their dates and even announce it in the early stages of their film’s development. But once the release approaches you can’t put out advertisements with release dates until you have the censor certificate in your hands.
This sounds like a tough call to take?
It can’t be helped. How can producers be confident of meeting their release dates until they have the censor certificates in their hands? And if they are still announcing their film when they have no censor certificates, then they’re fooling the public.
You seem to be marching ahead regardless of the flak and scorn?
I don’t pay attention to the people who criticize me. I do my work honestly. The CBFC office now moves to a new location in Mumbai. With this change in address comes a big change in the certification policy. No more paper work. No more producers queuing up at our office to get their films certified on priority. From now on it’s strictly first-come-first-serve. And it’s all on the internet. No ambiguity anywhere.
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