The Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry has assured the film fraternity that ‘suitable’ amendments would be proposed to the ‘Cinematograph Act 1952’ to combat film piracy.
Addressing a consultation meeting of film associations through video conferencing, I&B Secretary Apurva Chandra said that the issues with respect to proposed ‘Cinematograph Amendment Bill’ and anti-piracy issues will be addressed after consultation with the stakeholders of the industry.
The meeting in Mumbai, followed a similar consultation with the film fraternity from South India, held in Chennai on Thursday.
An ‘Expert Committee’ under the chairmanship of Justice Mukul Mudgal was constituted in 2013 to examine the issues of certification under the ‘Cinematograph Act, 1952’. Another committee was set up under the Chairmanship of Shyam Benegal in 2016 to evolve broad guidelines for certification within the ambit of the Cinematograph Act and Rules.
Among the recommendations is the age based certification of films. Chandra also talked about the merger of four film media units, namely Films Division, Directorate of Film Festivals, National Film Archives of India, and Children’s Film Society, India with the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) Limited.
Chandra expressed that the basic objective is NFDC should become the entity through which the revenues from the film industry can be utilised for development of the industry.
“None of the existing schemes is being discontinued. We will strengthen NFDC so that they can rotate staff and deliver on the responsibilities assigned to them,” he said.
Speaking about the Finance Minister’s announcement of setting up an Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming, and Comic (AVGC) Promotion Task Force, Chandra said that the ministry is working on its ‘terms of reference’.
“We hope to set up this Task Force in this month itself, so that work can begin and we are able to utilise the potential of the sunrise sector,” he said.
Chairperson, CBFC Prasoon Joshi said that the change in design of the film certificate is symbolic of what the Board seeks to achieve, in terms of making processes seamless, digital and more stakeholder-friendly.
“The process of certification has been smoothened as much as possible; while we continue to need human intervention for watching the films and certifying it, we have streamlined the system so as to speed up other parts of the process,” Joshi added.