DD Plays Its French Connection

New Delhi: | Updated: Jul 26 2002, 05:30am hrs
Time was when the government wanted to take Fashion TV (FTV) off the Indian television screens for all the skin that the French channel was exposing the desi audience to. Several months and many high-level meetings later, not only does FTV continue to thrill thousands in the cable and satellite homes, but another channel has started airing French fare, though this time it’s all censored. Move over from FTV to Doordarshan (DD)!

Censor or no censor, one tends to associate hemlines and all things steamy and adult with anything French. But DD is cautious. DD never shows anything adult on its channels, boasts an official. After all, the public broadcaster has to act in a responsible manner. Despite the censor axe, DD does not want to ruffle any feathers. So, the broadcast time has been fixed at 11 p.m every Friday, immensely adult time!

The 26 French films, that DD Metro is showing over a period of six months till the end of the year, have to undergo the sometime ruthless cuts of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). While six films have already been cleared by CBFC, out of which three have already been shown on DD Metro, the remaining 20 films are yet to get the nod of the board.

At a time when film certification is a touchy issue, with the government rubbishing a proposal on legalising exhibition of soft porn films and the subsequent resignation of the CBFC board chief Vijay Anand, DD’s on a long-term date with the French. Interestingly, France is the first country to go for a long-term association with India in the broadcasting sector, when Canal France International (CFI) of France signed up with DD for the French films. Other countries too have had cultural exchange agreements with India, but none for a long-term period.

With its current offering ranging from old classic movies to newer ones such as Witch Way Love, Fanfan The Tulip, The Black Tulip and Damned Nuisance, all software free of cost, France’s CFI may talk money at a later stage.

According to a DD official, revenue-sharing between DD and CFI is likely to be explored. Some sponsors have already been tapped, he said, as an indicator.

As for now, every Friday it’s French time on Indian tele, post-scissors, of course!