Censor Board: Emperor of maladies for young filmmakers

Updated: May 31, 2011, 10:22 AM IST

Bikas Bhagat

Barring few, practically all major industries are being run by the young today. Hindi film industry is no exception.

With a strong youth brigade helming India’s most powerful medium, namely films, Bollywood is witnessing a tremendous change in the way cinema is being made and, will be consumed by an ever-changing audience in the future.

New age cinema is the order of the day. With the burgeoning young talent, the Hindi film industry seems to be riding on a neo-wave. And, interestingly this form of cinema is prospering leaps and bounds catering to the esquire and intelligentsia.

A young filmmaker today believes in making films trying to carve out a niche for himself marked by professional excellence while actively contributing to development of Indian film industry.

But the road to success is never a bed of roses.

Anurag Kashyap had to wait for four long years for his film ‘Black Friday’ to release. The culprit being - Central Board of Film Certification.

Any new film director who tries to make films on youth has to face the wrath of the censor board.

Debutant producer Abhishek Pathak and director Luv Anand, while promoting their new youth oriented film ‘Pyar Ka Panchnama’ said, “Censor board of India is like a cancer for our industry.”

Giving apt reason they said youth comprises almost 50% of the population in India and since the genre of family entertainer has been exploited to the max, many directors have turned to making films based on more bold and daring concepts.

“And these are being passed on as absolute adult content by several reviewing committees of the board which in reality often has no accountability per se,” said Anand.

Well, the story sounds true as the youth comprise a good chunk of India’s population (almost 60 percent). They are the biggest target audience for films in general. Bollywood is only catching up with their biggest target audience.

The language which is used in a youth centric film is usually more relatable to the viewers. And any film based on this genre might offend a certain section of the audience.

Several people show their reservations about curse words. It could be that the filmmaker might himself not use such words or language, but may use it in his film as it fits the script.

While promoting their film at Zee News, the whole cast and crew of the new film ‘Pyar Ka Punchnama’ echoed in unanimity that “we so need to get some real people in the censor board. This generation gap is way too big.”

Only recently, Madhur Bhandarkar was miffed with the Censor board as his last film ‘Dil Toh Bachcha Hai Ji’ was given an ‘adults only’ rating. He later said that the Indian film censor board desperately needs an overhaul.

Bhandarkar’s comments came a week after filmmaker Prakash Jha had aired similar views about the Board’s objection to the promos of his film ‘Turning 30’. “It’s high time the younger generation ran the censor board. They know how times have changed and what people want,” he had said.

The censor board has often been blamed for having double standards.

Luv Anand the director of ‘Pyar ka Panchnana’ said that it’s all about how much influence you hold in the fraternity. An Aamir Khan film or a Yash Raj banner film hardly ever faces Censors rage.

Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap, who has had a history of run-ins with the censor board, said, "Though the monitoring body of late has been quite lenient, we can very well do away with it."

"However, it is better if one does away with the board completely or else the freedom of a filmmaker becomes very limited," he added.

"A director like me has to think a lot as to how far I can push the envelope. The constraints have to be taken into consideration or else the movie may court trouble with the censors," he said.

Drawing a parallel, he said, while a movie like ‘The Death of George Bush’ could be made in Hollywood even when the former president was alive, he would not be in a position to make a movie on MNS chief Raj Thackeray here.

"Even discussing the issue may land a filmmaker in trouble," Kashyap said.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. You can find out more by clicking this link