Repeal draft Cinematograph Bill: film fraternity writes to I&B ministry

Source: Indian Express

 What is the News?

The Film Fraternity has written a letter to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting(I&B) to withdraw the Draft Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

About the Draft Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill 2021.

  • The Draft Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill 2021 makes an amendment to the Cinematograph Act,1952.
  • The bill gives the union government the power to ask for recertification of an already certified film if there is any complaint against it.
  • It also penalizes piracy and introduces age-based certification.

What are the concerns and suggestions raised by Film Fraternity against the Bill?

  • Role of CBFC: The Bill must clearly define the role of the Central Board of Film Certification(CBFC) as a body that certifies film content for public exhibition, and not as a censoring body.
  • Drop Central Government Powers on Film Certification: The amendment giving powers to the Central Government to revoke a film certificate must be dropped.
  • On Penalising Film Piracy: The existing law already penalizes piracy. Hence, there is no need to introduce further penal provisions. The bill should bring sufficient exceptions on fair use. The offense of piracy must also be made non-cognizable and bailable.
  • Age-Based Certification: The film fraternity has welcomed the age-based certification. But they have also asked for a guidance or grievance cell within the CBFC to address and arbitrate any public grievances or complaints about films.
  • Reinstate FCAT: The Film Fraternity has urged the government to reinstate the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT). It was abolished in April.
  • Clear Definition of Public Exhibition: The Cinematograph Act must be amended to include a clear definition of ‘public’ exhibition and bring under its purview only commercial films.
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