Prasoon Joshi replaces Pahlaj Nihalani as CBFC chief
Veteran producer Pahlaj Nihalani was replaced by writer-lyricist-adman Prasoon Joshi as the head of the Central Board of Film Certification on Friday. The ministry of information and broadcasting confirmed the news.
“In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 3 of the Cinematograph Act, 1952 read with rule 3 of the Cinematograph (Certification) Rules, 1983, the central government is pleased to appoint Sh. Prasoon Joshi as chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification in an honorary capacity from 11th August, 2017 for a period of three years or until further orders, whichever is earlier,” it said in a statement.
Nihalani and Joshi did not respond to Mint’s queries for comment.
Nihalani, a filmmaker, was appointed head of CBFC in 2015 and his incomplete tenure has been mired in a number of controversies. Nicknamed ‘Sanskaari Nihalani’ on social media, he has often been criticised for his orthodox approach to censoring, and not necessarily certifying films. These include stands on intimate scenes, cuss words and characters shown smoking or drinking in films. Among many other instances, director Alankrita Shrivastava’s Lipstick Under My Burkha, which made it to theatres last month, had initially been refused certification by the CBFC. The film was ultimately passed by the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT).
Nihalani has been a film producer for close to 35 years now and has backed projects like Shola Aur Shabnam (1992) and Aankhen (1993).
Joshi, who is associated with films like Rang De Basanti (2006) and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (2013), is chief executive officer at marketing firm McCann World Group India and continues to work on film lyrics and scripts.