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House: Two Stories




Pakistan's Film Censor Board Gets Dissolved

Party Members Took Advantage of the System

The job as a film examiner seems to be quite fun. You can watch many movies without having to pay for it and usually much earlier than the public. While e.g. German members of the ratings board take their work seriously and have to fight their way through some films they'd never watch in their private life, many of their colleagues in Pakistan have used this system simply to watch the newest movies for free.

Yes, Pakistan. Once more, we're looking at the other end of the world. In Pakistan, the Central Board of Films and Censor (CBFC) is responsible for the ratings of theatrical films. However, they obviously didn't keep their infrastructure as structured as other organizations and now, this led to the board being shut down and its chairman being fired. What prompts some Pakistanis to rejoice because they hope that there are no censorship issues with films any more, might not come into effect, though. Still, censorship isn't the topic here. It's the misuse of the CBFC.

With nearly 60 members, the CBFC's committee was already quite equipped but then there also were about 160 film coordinators. And coincidentally, almost all of them were members of the Pakistani party PPP, who used their political influence to get a post as film coordinator. As it happens, they were all big film fans, as well.

As soon as a new film hit the cinemas, these film coordinators went to work and checked whether a cinema was in fact screening the version of the movie that was approved (and maybe even censored) by the CBFC. Apparently, that wasn't coordinated too well and often led to the situation that a bunch of film buffs went to a new movie on premiere night, showed their film coordinator badges and took the best seats in the theater. The paying cinemagoers had less space and neither did that make them, nor did it make the owners of the cinemas happy since they had less revenue.

But at some point, every fun thing has to stop and the owners of the cinemas could evoke so much pressure that the prime minister of Pakistan noticed the situation and stopped the whole thing. The CBFC doesn't really show understanding for the decision.

Release: Oct 14, 2012 - Author: Doc Idaho - Translator: Mike Lowrey - Source: u.a Dawn.com

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