More Than 50% A-Rated Films in 2015-16 Were in Hindi & Telugu
In 2015-2016, more than 1,900 Indian feature films (digital) were certified by the Censor Board, 20 percent of them having the A-certificate.
Hindi and Telugu films accounted for more than 50 percent of all the A-certified films. And more than 40 percent of the Hindi films were given A-certificate, the highest for any language.
The Indian film industry is the largest, making more than 2,000 feature films and a much larger number of short films every year.
Film certification has always been a contentious issue with the seemingly arbitrary attitude of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), especially under its former chairperson.
Data from the CBFC indicates that more than 2,000 featured films were certified in 2015-16. More than 50 percent of the A-rated films in the digital category are in Hindi and Telugu.
Why is Film Certification Necessary?
First things first, let us understand why film certification is necessary.
The Supreme Court, in a 1989 judgment, said:
Film censorship becomes necessary because a film motivates thought and action and assures a high degree of attention and retention as compared to the printed word. The combination of act and speech, sight and sound in the semi-darkness of the theatre with elimination of all distracting ideas will have a strong impact on the minds of the viewers and can affect emotions.Supreme Court
“Therefore, it has as much potential for evil as it has for good and has an equal potential to instill or cultivate violent or good behaviour. It cannot be equated with other modes of communication. Censorship by prior restraint is, therefore, not only desirable but also necessary,” it added.
Now, What is The CBFC’s Job?
The Central Board of Film Certification, more commonly known as the Censor Board, is a statutory body under Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, regulating the public exhibition of films.
The board, set up under the Cinematograph Act, 1952, has its headquarters in Mumbai. The CBFC has nine regional offices, one each at Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Thiruvananthapuram, Hyderabad, New Delhi, Cuttack and Guwahati.
At present, films are certified under 4 categories: U, UA, A& S.
Here are what each of these categories entail:
- A category: Films considered suitable for exhibition restricted to adults (individuals over 18 years of age) only.
- U category: Films considered suitable for unrestricted public exhibition.
- S category: Films restricted for exhibition to specialized audience such as doctors, etc.
- UA category: Films which contain portions considered unsuitable for children below the age of twelve, but otherwise suitable for unrestricted public exhibition.
Rule 41 of the Cinematograph (Certification) Rules, 1983, puts forth the maximum time limit for each step in the certification process as given below:
Over 1,900 Digital Films Certified in 2015-16
A total of 1,902 digital feature films made in India across various languages were certified by the CBFC in 2015-16. In addition, a total of 433 video feature films from India were also certified in 2015-16.
At least one film was certified in 37 different languages.
Hindi leads with 340 films followed by Tamil and Telugu. Even for video feature films from India, Hindi leads with 120 films, once again followed by Telugu and Tamil.
20% of All Digital Indian Feature Films Were Given A-Certificate
Out of the 1,902 digital Indian feature films certified in 2015-16, 42 percent (792) were certified as U, 38 percent (729) were certified as UA, and the remaining 20 percent (381) as A.
Among the Hindi feature films, nearly 40 percent were certified as A, the highest for any language followed by 25 percent in Telugu. In fact, Hindi and Telugu feature films together account for 202 or 53 percent of the all A-certified films in the country.
Three-fourths of the Malayalam films were U-certified, the highest for any language, followed by Tamil feature films, with 58 percent getting U-certificates. Among the major languages in which films are made, Hindi had the lowest percentage of U-certified films (19 percent).
Less Than 0.5% of the Digital Feature Films Were Children’s Films
Out of the 1,902 Indian digital feature films certified in 2015-16, only 8 were children’s films.
In addition to the Indian feature films, a total of 803 foreign feature films were also certified in 2015-16, 340 of them in digital and the remaining in video.
Close to 80 percent (670) of the certified foreign films are from the USA followed by 38 from Japan and 31 from UK.
Films from 20 different countries were certified in 2015-16. Foreign feature films in the digital category had more children’s films (15 in number) than those in the Indian feature films.
(This article was originally published on Factly)