Mumbai, Oct 23: In a significant initiative, the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has allowed regional films dubbed in Hindi to be certified by the regional office where the original language film was issued a Censor Certificate.
An announcement to the effect was made last week by CBFC CEO Ravinder Bhakar, reversing the board's directive of April 2017 mandating that all regional language films dubbed in Hindi must be certified by the Mumbai head office prior to release.
The move shall be implemented on a pilot basis for six months, till April 20, 2024, when the CBFC shall monitor the language expertise, impact on the workload and other aspects at the regional offices before taking a final decision in the matter, said Bhakar.
Besides Mumbai, the CBFC has regional offices in New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Thiruvananthapuram, Guwahati, and Cuttack in Odisha.
The move has been hailed by the Indian Motion Pictures Producers Association (IMPPA) President Abhay Sinha and other prominent film bodies of Bollywood and regional language films.
"We had actively engaged with CBFC to streamline the certification process and the decision will bring significant relief to regional film producers, alleviate their burden, avoid delays and pay heavy fees for certifying the Hindi versions of their films in Mumbai," said Sinha.
Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) President B. N. Tiwari said that the CBFC move "is most laudable" and will prove a boon to the regional language film-makers who dub their films Hindi save on costs, delays and other hassles.
As a CBFC officer explained, if a Telugu or Tamil film producer wants to release their dubbed Hindi version, now they can get a Censor Certificate from the concerned regional office which has certified the original film, instead of running to Mumbai for the same.