Prominent filmmakers of Bengal on Monday welcomed the appointment of eminent lyricist and screenwriter Prasoon Joshi as Censor Board chief and hoped it would bring the much needed change in its functioning.
Internationally acclaimed director Buddhadev Dasgupta told PTI, “former chief Pahlaj Nihalani had virtually turned the Censor Board into his own office. He had forgotten that the primary role of Censor Board is not to edit frames but show responsibility to the art of cinema.”
Coming down heavily on Nihalini, the ‘Bagh Bahadur’ maker said, “From day one he started creating problems and forced film makers and other sections to follow his political thoughts. It is good that he was ousted.”
Dasgupta, whose recent release ‘Tope’ has got laurels in different film festivals, said “Joshi will certainly make a positive difference with his progressive views and Censor will not court controversies like the way it did in recent times.”
Director Goutam Ghosh, whose last film ‘Sankhachil’ had been acclaimed in the country and internationally, said, “As a film maker my first and foremost wish will be the implementation of the report of the Shyam Benegal committee in which I was one of the members.”
“We had worked so hard for days to draft the recommendations for the committee. We had suggested certain amendments to the present Act but there was no follow-up action,” the ‘Paar’ director said.
The Shyam Benegal committee was set up on January 1, 2016 to lay down rules and regulations for film certification giving sufficient and adequate space for artistic and creative expression. It submitted its report on April 29, 2016 but there has been very little progress on it so far.
Ghosh also hoped the change of guard would ensure documentaries like the one on Amartya Sen, made by young film maker Suman Ghosh, would not face the same problem any more.
The Centre replaced Nihalini, who had hogged headlines for his controversial decisions, with Joshi in a surprise announcement on Aug 11.
Director Suman Ghosh, whose ‘The Argumentative Indian’ on Amartya Sen had faced Censor hurdle with Nihalini asserting the documentary can’t be passed with beeping of six words/phrases, said, “I hope under Joshi’s tenure the work of me or other film makers will be definitely judged cinematically and meet better fate at the CBFC.