The Indian government has got rid of the With Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) which looks after appeals if a filmmaker disagrees with the certification. Now, film producers who don’t agree with CBFC not granting them a certificate, will now have to approach the high court directly.
These changes come as the government has increasingly clased with Indian production house on issues with shows like Amazon Prime’s Tandav.
Indian Express has highlighted instances where filmmakers have appealed to the board to overturn their certfication.
The report adds that “Alankrita Shrivastava had approached FCAT in 2017, after the CBFC had refused to certify Lipstick Under My Burkha. After FCAT intervened, it ordered CBFC to grant an ‘A’ certificate after suggesting a few edits. Anurag Kashyap also appealed to FCAT in 2016 when the CBFC wouldn’t give Udta Punjab clearance for release. FCAT was yet again instrumental when it cleared the release of Kushan Nandy’s Babumoshai Bandookbaaz, starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui, after a few “voluntary cuts” instead of 48 cuts that CBFC, then led by filmmaker Pahlaj Nihalani, had ordered in the film after giving it an ‘A’ certificate.”
The order passing the bill also states that it could not be debated in parliament and, since parliament is not in session now, the President “is satisfied that circumstances exist which render it necessary for him to take immediate action.” Therefore it shall “come into force at once.”
Indian filmmakers are aghast with this decision.
Do the high courts have a lot of time to address film certification grievances? How many film producers will have the means to approach the courts? The FCAT discontinuation feels arbitrary and is definitely restrictive. Why this unfortunate timing? Why take this decision at all?
— Hansal Mehta (@mehtahansal) April 7, 2021
Such a sad day for cinema
FILM CERTIFICATION APPELLATE TRIBUNAL ABOLISHED | 6 April, 2021
— Vishal Bhardwaj (@VishalBhardwaj) April 6, 2021
— TheRichaChadha (@RichaChadha) April 6, 2021
Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney Plus Hotstar are still waiting for a decision on the imposition of censorship regulations.