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Cinematography Act 1952

Updated: Dec 17, 2022


When a movie gets released, its run time is always lesser than what that movie’s director initially intended for it to run for and its deleted scenes get viral on YouTube. One of the reasons for a director to cut certain scenes from his films is that it violated the guideline provided by Cinematography Act 1952. In other words, Cinematography Act 1952 provides rules that regulate the ideas, opinions and imaginations any person put ahead of the world via:

1. Films

2. Videos

3. Advertisements

4. Trailers

5. Promos

6. Video Songs

In short, it controls all sorts of Visual representations that get put in the public domain, in the Indian Territory. The Central Board of Film Certification is the statutory authority which guarantees the proper implementation of this Act.

•Important sections of this Act:

1. Section 3:

# This Section authorizes the Central Government to form the Board of Film Certification, which will permit the films that are to be shown to the public.

# Central Government appoints the Chairman and 12-25 other members which this board contains.

2. Section 4:

# According to this section, the first step for any person who wants to show their films to the public, is to submit an application to the Board of film certification and after inspecting the films, this Board provides their certification according to the nature of those films.

# The basis on which the Board provides certifications to applicants’ films are:

~ Sanction of the film which can be shown to the public without restrictions (U).

~ Sanction of the films which can be only watched by grown-ups or people who are above the age of 18 years. (A)

~ Sanctions of the films which can be watched by children of the age below 12 years but in the presence of adults and children above 12 years can watch it without the parental presence (UA).

~ Sanction of the films which can only be watched by particular professionals like doctors, scientists etc (S).

~ The Board can refuse to Sanction a film if it is inappropriate for public exhibition in their view.

# Applicants can be instructed by the Board to make certain changes in the film to make it appropriate for public presentation within 30 days period.

3. Section 5(A):

# This section answers the question of many people WHAT IS THE MEANING OF ‘U’ and ‘UA’ WHICH IS SHOWN AT THE BEGINNING OF MOVIES? The answer is that these are the certifications which are provided by the Board of certification for the films.

# Let's understand the meaning of certifications given by this Board.

~ ‘U’: this certificate is given to the movies which can be seen by people of any age group without any constraints. For example Shrek and Mary Kom.

~ ‘UA’: this certificate is given to movies which are although can be watched unrestricted by people above the age of 12, but the presence of adults is necessary for people below the age of 12 to watch that movie. For example Thor love and thunder and Gangubai Kathiawadi.

~ ‘A’: this certificate signifies that that movie can be watched by an adult only. For example Udta Punjab and The Wolf of the Wall Street.

~’ S’: this certificate is given to the films which can be watched by professionals or degree holders of the particular fields to which that movie belongs to. For example The Birth.

~ If the movie gets refused to be certified by the Board then this news gets published by the Gazette of India.

# These certificates remain valid for 10 years, throughout India.

4. Section 5(c):

# This section gives the power to the applicants to write an appeal to the Tribunal if they are unsatisfied with the certification provided by the Board of film certification.

5. Section 5(d):

# This section facilitates the establishment of the Tribunal to hear the appeals made by the applicants according to section 5(c).

# This Tribunal is made by the Central Government along with the notification in the Official Gazette.

# The Tribunal comprises a chairman and 4 members, appointed by the Central Government.

6. Section 13:

# This section gives the power to the Central Government and Local Authorities to suspend the public display of films under certain conditions for 2 months. In these 2 months, the films will be deemed uncertified.

# The conditions which lead to suspension of the films by this Act are:

~If India’s sovereignty and integrity are threatened by any part of the film.

~ If any movie is against India’s security.

~if any part of the film can hurt the friendly relationship of India with other nations.

~if Public disorder or public distress can be caused by any movie.

~ if any film is indecent.

~ if crimes like defamation and contempt of court are being done by any films.

~if encouragement to commit a crime is being provided by the films to their viewers.

•Objectives of this Act:

# It ensures that society’s needs are being considered while making a film.

# It ensures that Artists are being given the freedom to express their creative ideas.

# It ensures that the film medium provides a healthy and clean environment.

# It ensures that all the films get thoroughly investigated by the board and certain details get instructed to be deleted from the films like:

~ Scenes showing extreme violence.

~Scenes consisting of obscene language and vulgarity.

~ Scene which can cause Contempt of Court and Defamation.

~Scenes which insult national symbols or wrongly portray personalities, religions etc.


# Section 7 of this Act provides Punishments in case any film is exhibited without certification by the Board of fil Certification and they are:

~Imprisonment for 3 years

~ Fine of 1 lakh rupees

~ or both

~ If this crime is committed again by any person after getting convicted once then rs 20,000 will get add up everyday, as the offence will continue. In other words if the person will continue to show a film lets suppose for 10 days even after getting convicted of showing that uncertified film once before, then according to 10 days, he /she will have to pay 2,00,000 rs fine (20,000*10).


At last, This Act is much needed to ensure that the Movie is fit to be watched by public. This Act makes the movie experience, healthy and safe for people from all walks of life, be it 75 years old adults or 10 years old kids. It helps to avoid all situations of distress in a nation which otherwise could have happened because of the representation of certain scenes of a movie. Movies and other forms of visual representations are put in the public domain for knowledge-sharing purposes or the enjoyment of the public so this act ensures that films and movies are providing just that to the public and not harming the integrity and sovereignty of India.

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