Censor Board chairperson Sharmila Tagore bats for 15 plus category

New Delhi: A new category of certification, to be called 15-plus (15+) is likely to be introduced for movies in India.

This was indicated by Sharmila Tagore, the chairperson of Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).

"I think the CBFC should have a new category, a 15 plus category, between U/A and A, because there is a huge difference between a 12 and a 15 year old. The bill for the change is yet to be tabled in the Parliament but I think most producers will be happy with the development," Tagore told reportersI.

At present the movies in India are certified under four categories-- U, U/A, A and S.

Filmmakers like Prakash Jha, Sudhir Mishra and Madhur Bhandarkar have not been happy with the certification of their movies in the past, but Tagore, who took over as CBFC chairperson in 2004, says the Board has been trying to match the changing times with a liberal approach.

"I cannot possibly deny that the Board has become more liberal during my tenure. The audience has changed and matured over the years and so has cinema," the 66-year-old star says.

The Board has passed controversial movies like `Omkara`, `Kaminey`, `Ishqiya` and `No One Killed Jessica` without any cuts, although with an `A` certificate. Tagore says she is in favour of no cuts as deleting scenes often destroys the film.

"We are trying to get away from cutting films and do with just certification. But sometimes the producers come to us saying that they do not want an `A` certificate.

"Say for example if the producers of `No One Killed Jessica` would have asked for a U/A certificate we would have to cut out all the abusive language and Rani Mukherjee`s character would have been destroyed. If you want a U/A certificate then you will have to accept the cuts but often the cuts kill the film," says Tagore.

The 66-year-old actress does not agree with filmmakers, who question the need of a regulatory body. Tagore says it is important to maintain a standard for cinema in India, where sensibilities differ from region to region.

"Self-regulation is the best policy but it`s due to the absence of one cohesive film body that the CBFC does the part. In other democracies like the US and the UK, film bodies are doing the job and even they ban films and order cuts,
though theirs is a much more mature society," she says.

PTI