Entertainment News

Pahlaj Nihalani removed as chief of Central Board of Film Certification

Lyricist and screenplay writer Prasoon Joshi will take charge.

Central Board of Film Certification chief Pahlaj Nihalani was sacked from his post on Friday. Lyricist and screenplay writer Prasoon Joshi will take charge. He will hold the office for three years or until further orders, whichever is earlier, said a statement from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

The government said 12 others, including actor Vidya Balan and director Vivek Agnihotri, have been roped in as board members of CBFC. Like Joshi, all these members will also be in office for three years or until further orders.

Nihalani raked up several controversies during his tenure. Reports were doing the rounds for a couple of weeks that the Ministry of information and Broadcasting may replace Nihalani, according to The Times of India.

Nihalani had called Lipstick Under My Burkha a “lady-oriented” film, and after that he had objected to the use of the word ‘intercourse’ in one of trailers of Shahrukh Khan-starrer Jab Harry Met Sejal.

In July, the CBFC chief had ordered a ban on actors from being shown drinking or smoking on screen. He had said that actors who are looked up to by millions should set an example for the society, and that a movie where alcohol is essential to the plot will be given an “Adult” certificate.

Reactions

Nihalani’s ouster was hailed by most.

Filmmaker Ashok Pandit: “This had to happen. His end as the chairman had to come. I think me and others in the board played a role. He had become a nuisance to the government too. It was a one-man show. I’ve had second-line producers come up to me and complain and even cry because he would abuse them. Power went to his brain. Also, what none of us understood is why there was so much secrecy around him. He would make producers and filmmakers who came to him stand for hours. I was initially happy that a filmmaker had become the chairman. But look at what he has done! I think Indu Sarkar episode played a role. The way he harassed Madhur was ridiculous.”

Filmmaker Anand Gandhi: “This does represent change – I know that Prasoon [Joshi] is a reasonable and informed person. Even if there will be areas of disagreements, there is always going to a place of reasonable dialogue with Prasoon. That is a hope that didn’t exist earlier. I hope this is not just a replacement, but an opportunity to implement the suggestions made by the Shyam Benegal committee [to introduce changes in the Cinematograph Act that governs the board and rehaul the organisation]. There is an overall agreement that reforms in the board are long overdue.”

Film producer Kushan Nandy: “This sends a message but having said that, this is not where we should stop. Just changing the CBFC chief does not revamp the system. We have a 70-80-year-old Cinematograph Act, which is ambiguous, undefined and people are interpreting it in their own way according to their agenda. The CBFC is not a body to ban stuff. It can only certify. I hope that Nihalani’s ouster is the first step towards seeing positive change in the CBFC.”

Documentary filmmaker Anand Patwardhan: “Censorship is a problem in itself, it has always been. There was censorship earlier during Congress governments too, but there is a huge difference. I won 90% of my cases within the structure of the censor board, and rarely went to court. I could embarrass the government. But you cannot embarrass this government. The rules are vague enough so that anybody can interpret them any way they like. The censor board certainly does not respect our constitutional guarantees. They have empowered themselves to become film editors and directors. They have set out to remake films.”

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Not just for experts: How videography is poised for a disruption

Digital solutions are making sure it’s easier than ever to express your creativity in moving images.

Where was the last time you saw art? Chances are on a screen, either on your phone or your computer. Stunning photography and intricate doodles are a frequent occurrence in the social feeds of many. That’s the defining feature of art in the 21st century - it fits in your pocket, pretty much everyone’s pocket. It is no more dictated by just a few elite players - renowned artists, museum curators, art critics, art fair promoters and powerful gallery owners. The digital age is spawning creators who choose to be defined by their creativity more than their skills. The negligible incubation time of digital art has enabled experimentation at staggering levels. Just a few minutes of browsing on the online art community, DeviantArt, is enough to gauge the scope of what digital art can achieve.

Sure enough, in the 21st century, entire creative industries are getting democratised like never before. Take photography, for example. Digital photography enabled everyone to capture a memory, and then convert it into personalised artwork with a plethora of editing options. Apps like Instagram reduced the learning curve even further with its set of filters that could lend character to even unremarkable snaps. Prisma further helped to make photos look like paintings, shaving off several more steps in the editing process. Now, yet another industry is showing similar signs of disruption – videography.

Once burdened by unreliable film, bulky cameras and prohibitive production costs, videography is now accessible to anyone with a smartphone and a decent Internet bandwidth. A lay person casually using social media today has so many video types and platforms to choose from - looping Vine videos, staccato Musical.lys, GIFs, Instagram stories, YouTube channels and many more. Videos are indeed fast emerging as the next front of expression online, and so are the digital solutions to support video creation.

One such example is Vizmato, an app which enables anyone with a smartphone to create professional-looking videos minus the learning curve required to master heavy, desktop software. It makes it easy to shoot 720p or 1080p HD videos with a choice of more than 40 visual effects. This fuss- free app is essentially like three apps built into one - a camcorder with live effects, a feature-rich video editor and a video sharing platform.

With Vizmato, the creative process starts at the shooting stage itself as it enables live application of themes and effects. Choose from hip hop, noir, haunted, vintage and many more.

The variety of filters available on Vizmato
The variety of filters available on Vizmato

Or you can simply choose to unleash your creativity at the editing stage; the possibilities are endless. Vizmato simplifies the core editing process by making it easier to apply cuts and join and reverse clips so your video can flow exactly the way you envisioned. Once the video is edited, you can use a variety of interesting effects to give your video that extra edge.

The RGB split, Inset and Fluidic effects.
The RGB split, Inset and Fluidic effects.

You can even choose music and sound effects to go with your clip; there’s nothing like applause at the right moment, or a laugh track at the crack of the worst joke.

Or just annotated GIFs customised for each moment.

Vizmato is the latest offering from Global Delight, which builds cross-platform audio, video and photography applications. It is the Indian developer that created award-winning iPhone apps such as Camera Plus, Camera Plus Pro and the Boom series. Vizmato is an upgrade of its hugely popular app Game Your Video, one of the winners of the Macworld Best of Show 2012. The overhauled Vizmato, in essence, brings the Instagram functionality to videos. With instant themes, filters and effects at your disposal, you can feel like the director of a sci-fi film, horror movie or a romance drama, all within a single video clip. It even provides an in-built video-sharing platform, Popular, to which you can upload your creations and gain visibility and feedback.

Play

So, whether you’re into making the most interesting Vines or shooting your take on Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’, experience for yourself how Vizmato has made video creation addictively simple. Android users can download the app here and iOS users will have their version in January.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Vizmato and not by the Scroll editorial team.