Self-regulation must replace film censorship, says M S Sathyu

Renowned film director M S Sathyu spoke out on Sunday against censorship and said the film industry should evolve its own code instead.

“A country like India, which is independent, democratic and secular, should not censor its films. Filmmakers should create their own code of ethics and the industry should follow it,” he said.

Sathyu was speaking at a panel discussion on Censorship in India at the 10th Bengaluru International Film Festival (Biffes).

Sathyu recalled how he had to fight against the Censor Board for 11 months to get his iconic film on partition, Garam Hava, certified. Artistes should fight to preserve the freedom of art, he said.

Padmaavat and other films beleaguered by protests from caste groups also found mention. “Dealing with the Censor Board is not an issue for me. But super censors are emerging as a huge problem,” Sathyu said.

Instances of people protesting against movies without even watching them are increasing, he said, referring to Padmaavat and Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi.

He said an increasing number of rules and regulations have paved the way for corruption and bribery. “To show an animal onscreen, we have to get letters and certification. This has become a means for corruption,” the director said.

Vidya Shankar, art director, Biffes, said censorship by a government board was now accompanied by censorship by religious and political groups.

Rajendra Singh Babu, chairperson of the Karnataka Chalanachitra Academy, said ruling parties often meddle in cinema.

Srinivasappa, regional officer, Board of Film Certification, contended censorship was necessary, and spoke about measures taken by the board to become more artiste-friendly.

Renowned film director M S Sathyu spoke out on Sunday against censorship and said the film industry should evolve its own code instead.

“A country like India, which is independent, democratic and secular, should not censor its films. Filmmakers should create their own code of ethics and the industry should follow it,” he said.

Sathyu was speaking at a panel discussion on ‘Censorship in India’ at the 10th Bengaluru International Film Festival (Biffes).

Sathyu recalled how he had to fight against the Censor Board for 11 months to get his iconic film on partition, ‘Garam Hava’, certified. Artistes should fight to preserve the freedom of art, he said.

‘Padmaavat’ and other films beleaguered by protests from caste groups also found mention. “Dealing with the Censor Board is not an issue for me. But ‘super censors’ are emerging as a huge problem,” Sathyu said.

Instances of people protesting against movies without even watching them are increasing, he said, referring to ‘Padmaavat’ and ‘Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi’.

He said an increasing number of rules and regulations have paved the way for corruption and bribery. “To show an animal onscreen, we have to get letters and certification. This has become a means for corruption,” the director said.

Vidya Shankar, art director, Biffes, said censorship by a government board was now accompanied by censorship by religious and political groups.

Rajendra Singh Babu, chairperson of the Karnataka Chalanachitra Academy, said ruling parties often meddle in cinema.

Srinivasappa, regional officer, Board of Film Certification, contended censorship was necessary, and spoke about measures taken by the board to become more artiste-friendly.

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