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New rules from CBFC Chief Prasoon Joshi fail to impress filmmakers
New CBFC chief Prasoon Joshi had replaced the former chief of Central Board of Film Certification Pahlaj Nihalani last month. This move had been appreciated by the film fraternity. But now there are reports that Joshi has sent a brief to his officials which does not seem to be very conducive for the filmmakers. The brief prohibits sharing of any informal information with the filmmakers.

A DNA report clarified this on Tuesday that Prasoon Joshi has laid out some new rules for the board. The recent report suggested that there will be no prior information about the implied cuts. The certificate would act as the only medium of communication. Informal communication used to help the filmmakers in negotiating and coming to some agreeable terms before their films were awarded the certificate.

DNA quoted a film maker as saying, "Earlier, we were at least told about the problematic scenes, if any, so we could take care of them. Now, we will be in the dark till the certificate is issued. This way, precious time will be lost. Sometimes we have just two-three days between CBFC viewing a film and its release. This new policy may cause delays."

There were further reports that the decision came due to some debates over the edits and cuts done on a recently released Hollywood horror film. The CBFC ordered 12 cuts at the first instance but then revived all of them; again asking for 3 cuts and then eventually resolving the issue with just one cut.

The former chief Pahlaj Nihalani was ousted from the post due to his overtly rigid moves. His cuts stood as an impediment to free flowing cinematic spirit. Prashoon Joshi replaced him, assuring hope to many filmmakers.

Talking about his role and the censorship, he had said in an interview, "Any legitimate industry works within certain frameworks and so does a creative industry like films. Let's not discredit the CBFC. The body and its officials work hard to fulfill their part of the work. The scope to do better is there in all spheres of all industries. As far as I can see, my role is not to micromanage but that of guiding sensibilities — to be more of a sensor according to changing times as well as not lose moorings in the velocity of change. Striking a fine balance is always a challenge worth attempting."

We surely hope that there would be a fine balance between cuts and free expression this time with the new chief.

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