While the trailers of forthcoming Bollywood flicks such as Ekta Kapoor’s Kya Super Kool Hain Hum and Mahesh Bhatt’s Jism 2 and Madhur Bhandarkar’s much-hyped Kareena Kapoor starrer, Heroine, earned an A certificate label from the Central Board of Film Certification, the makers are not making much hue and cry over not being able to air these on big screens (in theatres), TV, as they are taking the Internet route to reach the targeted audience for their movies.
Recently, the promo of Pooja Bhatt’s Jism 2, starring porn actor Sunny Leone, got an A-certificate, which essentially means the trailers of the film are not given the go-ahead for promotion on television. After this hiccup, Bhatt decided to release the promo on the internet and it is instantly hit with more than half-a-million hits so far on YouTube.
Following the censorship row over Kya Super Kool Hain Hum, Ekta Kapoor, producer of the film also decided to launch the promo via Internet. Also, producers of Heroine are planning to launch the ‘adult’ version of its promotional trailer on Internet (Youtube, to be most precise). Apart from that, Harud, a movie that talks about status quo of Kashmir also faces censorship whip on its promotional trailer. Surprisingly enough, while the censors have taken objection to the promos, the film has been approved and given a U/A certificate, with the controversial scene intact. Following this move from censor board, Aamir Bashir, director of Harud has decided to air trailers over the internet.
However, this is not the FIRST time when mainstream films have chosen the Internet over big screen (in theatres) television to promote the censored trailers. Earlier in January this year, Bittu Boss uploaded its trailer on YouTube when Censor Board refused to clear it for big screen and TV. In the same month, Censor Board had raised its eyebrow over word ‘sex’ being used in promos of Ekk Main Aur Ekk Tu and over a scene where Karina Kapoor pinched Imran’s butt.
The Censor Board, meanwhile, is mulling over online action too. “There is only a marginal change (in the number of ‘A’ certificates being handed out to promos). The board is deliberating on the issue of internet censorship,” says Censor Board chief Leela Samson. So the question arises – in which ways Censor Board can control the controversial trailers/promos over internet? The probable answer to this – Censor Board should lay guidelines for releasing trailers/promo online ( such as uncensored trailers/video meant for 18 + only). However, by doing so Censor Board cannot assure that under age (below 18) will not watch them. In India even an underage can watch ‘Kamasutra’ a prohibited flick for underage (available on Youtube) and not only Kamasutra, underage can also have access to hard core porn sites if they impersonate them as above 18, which is otherwise very easy to do.
So where do we draw the line? Does the onus (again) lies on the Youtubes of the world?