The Centre on Friday notified the new Cinematograph (Certification) Rules, 2024 which introduces new age-based certification for films and the validity of certificates in perpetuity. It has made a comprehensive revision of the rule to fully align with the adoption of the online certification process through the “e-cinepramaan portal”.

The Information and Broadcasting Ministry said that the rules remove the restriction of validity of Central Board of Film Certification for only ten years and will be given for “perpetual validity”. “Recertification of the edited film for Television broadcast, as only Unrestricted Public Exhibition category films can be shown on television,” the rules added.

Age-based categories

The UA category has been divided into three age-based categories, which include seven years (UA 7+), thirteen years (UA 13+), and sixteen years (UA 16+), instead of twelve years. “These-based markers would be only recommendatory, meant for the parents or guardians to consider whether their children should view such a film. The age-based certification system with UA markers is being implemented to ensure young viewers are exposed to age-appropriate content,” the Ministry added.

The Ministry said that the reduction in new rules will also enable a reduction in timelines for the processing of film certification and adoption of complete digital processes for eliminating all transactional time. Movies/feature films will also have accessibility features for certification to make them inclusive for disabled persons, as stipulated in the guidelines issued in this regard from time to time, it noted.

The rules are also provide for greater representation of women in the CBFC Board and CBFC’s Advisory Panels as it is stipulated that “one-third of the members in the Board shall be women and preferably half shall be women.”

It also has provisions for “priority screening” for expediting the screening of film for certification, in case of any urgency felt by film-makers, due to their prior commitments of release of the film in line with ease of doing business, it added.

Last year, the government had amended the Cinematograph Act, 1952, after almost 40 years to address the issues relating to film certification. “Notifying the new Cinematograph (Certification) Rules, 2024 compliments that journey of making the certification process simpler, more contemporary and in line with best global practices. These updated regulations will foster a more efficient, transparent and inclusive film certification process, supporting the continued growth and success of Indian cinema.” the Ministry stated.