The Film Certification Appellate Tribunal, New Delhi hears appeals against the decision of the CBFC. The workload of CBFC has increased considerably due to the certification of film various channels as per the Mumbai High Court Judgment. The increase in certification of video films has increased from 4188 in 2005 to 7129 in 2006. In order to speed up the certification work meet the target and time limit CBFC has distributed the work of different satellite channels to different regions of CBFC Additional Examining Officers have been taken on deputation from other Central Government Offices to dispose off the films.
Today, thousands of persons are employed in various stages and processes of filmmaking like production, distribution and exhibition throughout the country. In fact, filmmaking has become a highly organised industry. Realising its importance, a Film and Television Institute of India was set up at Pune as early as 1960 for training in the art and craft of film. In 1980, the National Film Development Corporation was set up by the Government of India for planning, promoting and organising the integrated development of film industry.
Films are being produced in India on every conceivable topic. These include history, religion, culture, mythology, social problems, sex, romance, tragedy, etc. The films appeal equally to both the urban and the rural strata of society. Films have become very popular with the people whether young or old, rich or poor, educated or uneducated, male or female because they are the cheapen’ source of entertainment. Even a person of average means can enjoy films showing scenes shot in far-off places in India or in foreign countries.
The aptitude and taste of each film-gore differs. Some people want to see stunt pictures, others romantic, and still others religious. Artistic-minded people generally prefer to see films of aesthetic sense. There are many people who prefer to see films which are realistic and reflect the strengths and weaknesses of the society. Films also expose many social evils from which our society is suffering. Thus, Indian films cater to the needs of every person.
The films can prove to be a very effective medium of education and entertainment. Though a large number of films are being produced in India, the quality and content of Indian films leave much to be desired. The Indian films generally lack in technical excellence. The story on which a film is based is more often than not very poor. In fact, stories are miles away from the realities of life. That is why Indian films lack credibility.
The Indian films also lack variety in themes. The most common theme shown in the Indian films is the theme of “Boy meets girl”. It becomes very boring for a film-gore to see the same theme being repeated in film after film. It is for this reason that Indian films have not been able to break new ground.
As a matter of fact, the commercial films produced mainly in Mumbai and Chennai give something of everything. That is to say, they include violence, action, suspense, crime, sex, romance, etc. The films are packed with music and dances. The idea, therefore, is to see that the film appeals to the greatest number of people and proves to be a big hit at the box office. The film producers are, by and large, motivated by commercial considerations. They do not care much for either the artistic content or social purpose of their films.
The star system in the film industry does not allow the creative, talented and budding artists to rise in the industry. Under this system, the big stars have monopolized the industry. They charge fantastic amounts running into lakhs for their role in the film. They are pampered by producers who know that the success of their films depends on such big stars. The producers and directors are at the mercy of big stars. Though character actors also sometimes play an important role in the film, they only get a raw deal. While the big stars are treated like maharajas and accommodated in five star hotels, the rest are given ridiculously low wages.
Though films can be exhibited in India only after they have been certified by the Central Board of Film Certification, there have been instances when films depicting sex and violence were cleared by the Censors. While seeing modern films, one gets the impression that sex, violence and crime have been deliberately injected when the story does not call for it. The idea seems to be to use sex and violence as inducements to attract viewers. If people are exposed to sex and violence all the time, they may be psychologically conditioned to accept them as routine facts of life, which in fact goes against the aims for which films are made, that is, to bring unity and harmony among the people.
The film industry in India needs a thorough overhaul. First of all, the Government should lay down a clear cut policy on films. All films should be purposeful. They should have some message for the people. They should educate the masses. They should aim at promoting unity and national integration. Film producers should not be allowed to exhibit crime thrillers or violence-packed sexy films. They should be given incentives to produce films with a social purpose. The Censor Board should be given clear-cut guidelines. The stranglehold of big stars should also be broken. Therefore, films with new faces should be encouraged.
The film industry is on a roll. It has been a steady climb, according to the secretary of the Film Federation of India (FFI). In 2005 India produced 1,042 films; in 2004, a little over 900; in 2003, it was 842. Surprisingly the hub of Bhojpuri film industry is Mumbai, where 72 of the 76 Bhojpuri Films were produced. Another surprise: more Telugu films were made in 2006 than Hindi. Against 223 films in Hindi, Telugu banners produced 245 films in 2006 the Tamil industry, which was in first place five years ago, slipped to third with 162 films. As expected, Mumbai was the biggest centre for film production accounting for 403 of the 1,091 films produced. Hyderabad followed with 220 titles, while Chennai was a close third with 205 films.
The Indian film industry, with its major centres at Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad, produced 1,132 feature films in 2007. In comparison, the American film industry in 2008 produced 520 feature films, Japan 418 and China400. The fact that India also has the cheapest movie tickets for any major film producing nation may help explain the high cinematic churn as well as India’s huge movie-going audience. As for theatre admissions, India’s count of 3.3 billion for 2008 was higher than the combined total of the next nine biggest film producing countries. The US was the only other country to have more than a billion admissions.
The value of India’s film industry in 2006 is Rs. 7,875 crore. The figure is projected to double to Rs. 15,300 crore by 2010.