Film certification in India

For the past few months I’ve been trying to find the website of the Central Board of Film Certification in India. Google kept telling me that the URL which was still evident on other websites was no longer working. Finally, last night I stumbled across it. If you too have been trying to find it, here it is:

Given all the brilliant IT people trained in India I’m often struck by how ropey many important websites are. The new CBFC site is not wonderful. All I wanted to do was find out the most recent numbers of films in each major language. It took a long time to decode the minimalist menus to eventually find the statistics. The trick is to go to ‘Publications’ and download the two useful pdfs on offer. The first tells you about Film Censorship in India and the second leads you to comprehensive stats about Certification in 2009.

I’ve translated the stats on films certificated in 2009 into a chart. What’s interesting is that 53% of the 1288 films in that year were produced in the four South Indian languages. Of course this doesn’t mean all of them were released or that they all found audiences.


The number of Indian films certificated by language in 2009


The other interesting stats refer to the certification of foreign films. A total of 283 foreign films were certificated in 2009. The principal sources of foreign features were as follows:

  • US  198
  • Hong Kong  18
  • France  15
  • Thailand  13
  • UK  11

Finally the stats cover dubbing. 202 Indian films were dubbed into another (Indian) language. 73 films were dubbed into Hindi, 47 into Telugu and 44 into Tamil. 130 ‘foreign films’ (probably all Hollywood films) were dubbed into the three main Indian film languages, Hindi, Telugu and Tamil.

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