Censorship and the law:India
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The Times of India, Jan 21 2016
Filmmakers stumped by new norms on animals A recent I&B ministry notification mandating that Indian films using animals shot in foreign locales should get a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) has stumped filmmakers. The AWBI has just one office in Chennai and reviews films only once a week, leading to mounting delays. Producers said there was a backlog because the Chennai floods stopped clearance work which led to further delays.These issues came up during a meeting on Tuesday between the Indian Broadcasting Foundation and the AWBI.The AWBI board is likely to meet next month with representatives from the broadcast industry to resolve the issue.
The earlier process entailed that films produced and shot in India had to get a preshoot NOC from AWBI and a final NOC before they could get a certification from the Censor Board. The NOC proved that no animals were harmed during shooting, and that protected animals like lion, tiger, bear, monkeys and bulls were not used as performing animals and the shooting was done under supervision of an AWBI representative under conditions safe for animals.
Now, films and TV serials shot in foreign locations too need to abide by the same guidelines. “Permissions from AWBI take a long time and with restrictions like a single office in Chennai, we are concerned about how these guidelines can be implemented, a source said. Producers also pointed out that imposing the same regulations on foreign films had created problems.
Human Rights violations
Jan 13 2015
It's fashionable to focus on human rights violations: SC
The Supreme Court on Monday said it had become fashionable for activists in the country to talk about human rights violations in militancy-hit Jammu & Kashmir and other troubled spots while glossing over the other side of the story. It also asked why filmmakers portrayed only alleged excesses committed by security forces in J&K. “Why is it that only one-sided view is presented? Why is it fashionable to talk about human rights violation and neglect other aspects,” a bench of Justices Vikramajit Sen and C Nagappan said while hearing documentary filmmaker Pankaj Butalia’s petition challenging the Censor Board’s deci sion not to certify his film on Kashmir “The Texture of Losses“ for public screening.
Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, appearing for the filmmaker, submitted that the film portrayed the anguish of people who had lost their parents, siblings and children in Kashmir but the Censor Board had unnecessarily asked to cut some scenes.
The bench said such portrayal of the state's situation was one-sided which could at best be only an activist's point of view. “It is an activist's point of view when only one side of the story is highlighted and the other side of the story is neglected. Don't ignore one aspect and exalt the other,“ it said.
“The whole debate is on what basis you portray one side of the story and not portray the other point of view on the issue. You cannot have one-sided approach. That is what has been the approach of activists,“ the court said. Butalia withdrew his petition saying he would approach the Delhi high court to challenge the Censor Board's decision.