Subhash K Jha (DNA; March 14, 2017)

It’s finally happening. As early as March 15 or 16, censor certification in India will go completely digital. A source at the Central Board Of Film Certification (CBFC aka the Censor Board) says everything is finally in place.

“It has taken us more than a year to get the details in place, but we are now ready to go digital. Henceforth, all films will be censored online, which completely eliminates all possibilities of producers jumping the queue to get their films certified. Things had come to such a sorry pass that producers had begun to lie to us about their release date so as to get their censor certificates on priority. Now, when censor certification goes digital you can’t get your film certified out of queue even if your release date suffers. It’s strictly first-come-first-serve now.”

The most serious fallout of digitalised certification would be felt on the advance advertisement and publicity of films. Says the source, “Producers can no longer advertise their release dates until they have a censor certificate in hand. How can they be sure their film will be certified? And until they are sure, how can they announce their release dates?”

This simply means that producers now have to bring their films to the Board at least four to six weeks ahead of the release. “If they come to us a few days before release, they won’t meet their deadlines,” concludes the source.