Artistic creativity, freedom should not be curtailed: Jaitley (Lead, Changing dateline)

Mumbai, Jan 9 (IANS) Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley said here on Saturday that there is a need to ensure that artistic creativity and freedom should never get curtailed while certifying films and documentaries.

Stating that the film certification guidelines needed contemporary interpretation, Jaitley, who is also the union finance minister, said these should be made as non discretionary as possible.

On Saturday, Jaitley met members of the committee, recently constituted to look into the revamp of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).

The committee is headed by eminent filmmaker Shyam Benegal while the other members include filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, adman Piyush Pandey and film critic Bhawana Somaaya.

The committee, which has been asked to submit its report in two months, also includes National Film Development Council Managing Director Nina Lath Gupta and Joint Secretary (Films) Sanjay Murthy.

Shyam Benegal, on the occasion, said: “There is a need to move towards a new system of grading films in terms of age, maturity, sensibility and sensitivity instead of censorship.”

According to the information and broadcasting ministry, the Shyam Benegal committee will study the existing procedure being followed by CBFC for certification of original films, their dubbed versions as well as recertification of films for screening on other media platforms.

The committee will also study various directives of courts as well as notifications issued by other government agencies like the ministry of health and family welfare, ministry of environment and forests, Animal Welfare Board of India etc., which have a bearing on the process of film certification.

The staffing pattern of CBFC would also be looked into to recommend a framework which would provide transparent and user friendly services.

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