How recently abolished FCAT came to aid of films like Lipstick Under My Burkha, Kaalakaandi

By: |
April 09, 2021 6:14 PM

With the abolition of the FCAT, the filmmakers will now have to fight a bigger battle for their film as they will have to approach the High Courts directly against the decision taken by the CBFC.

The tribunal, situated in New Delhi, consisted of a chairperson and four members which included a government appointed secretary as well.

In a major decision related to the film industry, the central government has passed an ordinance to abolish the Film Certificate Appellate Tribunal (FCAT). The FCAT was the go to body for the filmmakers who were either denied the film certification by the Central Board of Film Certification or were unhappy with the changes suggested by the CBFC in their films. With the abolition of the FCAT, the filmmakers will now have to fight a bigger battle for their film as they will have to approach the High Courts directly against the decision taken by the CBFC, the Indian Express reported.

Functions of Film Certificate Appellate Tribunal(FCAT)
FCAT acted as an appellate body for the filmmakers who were unhappy with the decision of the CBFC and in many cases overturned the decision taken by the CBFC and took the decision in favour of filmmakers. In case, the filmmaker is not satisfied with the FCAT verdict then she was free to reach the respective High Court of her jurisdiction. However, with FCAT gone, filmmakers-small and big, well off and not so well off- will have to take up the issues related to their film by the High Court. The tribunal, situated in New Delhi, consisted of a chairperson and four members which included a government appointed secretary as well.

Disputes resolved by FCAT
For public exhibition of any film in the country either in cinema halls, television or even in open gatherings needed a CBFC certificate-cum-approval. It is pertinent to note that the OTT platforms do not need the CBFC certificate for their release online however the government has sent signals recently that it intends to regulate the OTT medium as well.

The films which were given certificates by the CBFC were often asked to make changes in their films including clipping several scenes for a variety of reasons leading several filmmakers to approach the FCAT which reviewed the CBFC verdict and usually found the middle ground. Take for instance Kaalakaandi (2018) which was asked to make 72 cuts by the CBFC but finally got released after a single cut directed by FCAT. Similarly, Alankrita Shrivastava’s Lipstick Under My Burkha was denied a certificate by CBFC, however the FCAT allowed the film to release with an A(adult only) certificate.

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