Rash driving in films needs cautionary notice: Guild


Filmmakers not amused at appeal from film & TV body

A few years ago when his film Ugly was denied a Censor certificate because of his refusal to make the mandatory anti-smoking insertions, Anurag Kashyap had spoken about other possible advisories a filmmaker may be forced to contend with. He had said in an interview: “If speeding of a car has to be shown owing to the demand of the script, the next day someone will go and register a complaint against it. For that matter a film like Race will then come under ‘rash driving’ and will never be made.” Kashyap’s words seem prophetic today.

A circular from the Film and Television Producers Guild of India to its members, sent on Wednesday, (and tweeted by filmmaker Hansal Mehta) requests them to exercise caution, wherever possible, while depicting rash, negligent and dangerous driving scenes in films and television shows. If such scenes need to be depicted as integral part of the story/film scenes, then the producers should voluntarily put in a disclaimer at the beginning stating that performing such scenes in real life may violate traffic laws/rules and hence should not be emulated.

The official communication came after a meeting on road safety called by the Committee on Road Safety (constituted by the Supreme Court) with the Director (Films), Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and the various bodies representing the film and television industry.

It has left filmmakers wondering if, in the garb of curbing “the glamorisation of speeding” another attempt was being made to tamper with a film. It strikes a prickly note at a time when the government is otherwise trying to get liberal with, and is intent on, rehauling the censorship guidelines.

Cinema would seem to be an easy scapegoat, singled out without any conclusive studies on its influence. To film makers, it also boils down to policing and infantilising of viewers. How many other “ills” portrayed in a film could see such disclaimers? “Inspired by true events”, smoking, cruelty to animals, and now driving.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 2:15:04 AM |

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