Film-maker Shyam Benegal weighed into the debate over the censorship of Udta Punjab on Thursday, reiterating a proposed “Adult with Caution” certification category for films with “excessive adult content”.
Benegal headed a committee to suggest ways to revamp the Central Board of Film Certification, the statutory body tasked with regulating the public exhibition of movies in India. The CBFC, under chairperson Pahlaj Nihalani, has demanded 89 cuts in Udta Punjab.
In an interim report submitted to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, the Benegal committee has recommended two sub-categories – A and A/C – under Adult certification. The sub-category of Adult with Caution, or A/C, will bar under-18 cinema-goers as well as restrict the film’s screening, while the A sub-category will only keep out viewers younger than 18 years.
On Friday, the Indian Express quoted Benegal as suggesting that “an A/C certificate movie can be shown in red light districts or other non-residential areas”. These films should not be screened at majority of multiplexes, he reasoned, because they are patronised by families.
“We do not want to deny the filmmakers the right to screen their movies,” the director said. “When you do that, the movies go underground.”
Adult with Caution started trending on Twitter on Friday, with tweeting their opinions on the subject.
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