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Opposing proposed changes to Cinematograph Act, Anurag Kashyap, Hansal Mehta, Shabana Azmi, Farhan Akhtar, Zoya Akhtar and Dibakar Banerjee write an open letter

After Actor-politician Kamal Haasan has joined the campaign. Actor and filmmakers, including Anurag Kashyap, Hansal Mehta, Vetri Maaran, Nandita Das, Shabana Azmi, Farhan Akhtar, Zoya Akhtar and Dibakar Banerjee, also stood up against the proposed Cinematograph Act 2021. This will give power to the Center to override the film certification board and “re-examine” films it has cleared.

The group of actors and filmmakers have written an open letter to the Information & Broadcasting Ministry against the government’s proposed amendments to the 1952 Cinematograph Act. according to the movies has the potential to “endanger freedom of expression and democratic dissent.”

“As another blow to the film fraternity, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has proposed new amendments to the Cinematograph Act under which the Central Government would have the power to revoke or recall certification of films which have already been cleared by the Censor Board. Undermining the sovereignty of the Censor Board and the Supreme Court, this provision will effectively give the Central Government supreme power over cinema exhibition in the country potentially endangering freedom of expression and democratic dissent,” the letter said.

Earlier, Kamal Haasan – one of the most prominent actors and filmmakers from south India in a series of tweet said, “Cinema, media and the literati can’t afford to be the three iconic monkeys of India. Please act, voice your concern for freedom and liberty”.

If the proposed amendment comes into existence then it will give power to the Centre to “re-examine” films that have already been cleared by the Central Board of Film Certification.

This has raised concern, if the Centre have the power this might threaten freedom of expression.

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