Shyam Benegal to head committee to revamp censor board

New Delhi: The government on Friday announced the formation of a committee, headed by acclaimed filmmaker Shyam Benegal, to suggest a fresh mechanism for film censorship to ensure that artistic creativity and freedom are not curtailed. The committee has been constituted for "holistic interpretation" of the provisions of the Cinematograph Act/ Rules, an official statement said.  The decision has been taken in sync with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision to suggest the paradign to ensure a milieu, wherein "artistic creativity and freedom do not get stifled or curtailed and the people tasked with the work of certification understand these nuances".  "The recommendations of this committee are expected to provide a holistic framework and enable those tasked with the work of certification of films to discharge their responsibilities keeping in view this framework.," the statement added. The other members of the committee include filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, ad guru Piyush Pandey, veteran film journalist Bhawana Somaaya , National Film Development Corporation managing director Nina Lath Gupta, and the joint secretary (Films) in the information and broadcasting ministry as the Member Convenor. The committee has been asked to submit its recommendations within two months.  The team would be expected to take note of the best practices in various parts of the world, especially where the film industry is given sufficient and adequate space for creative and aesthetic expression. The committee would recommend broad guidelines and procedures under the provisions of the Cinematograph Act/ Rules for the benefit of the chairperson and other members of the Screening Committee. The staffing pattern of Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), currently chaired by filmmaker Pahlaj Nihalani, would also be looked into in an effort to recommend a framework which would provide efficient and transparent user-friendly services.