Code of Practice

(Based on the guidelines followed by the Press Complaints Commission, United Kingdom)

PSBT proposes the following code of practice for all its filmmakers. While recognising that this involves a substantial element of self-restraint by filmmakers, it is designed to be acceptable in the context of a system of self-regulation. The Code applies in the spirit as well as in the letter.

All filmmakers have a duty to maintain the highest professional and ethical standards. In doing so, they should have regard for the provisions of this Code and to safeguarding the public’s right to know. They should satisfy themselves, to the extent possible, that all material accepted by them for their film is obtained in accordance with this Code.

Filmmakers should take care not to include inaccurate, misleading or distorted information/ material in their films.

Opportunity to Reply
A fair opportunity for reply should be given to individuals, groups or organisations, directly or indirectly implicated in the film for some misdeed or wrongdoing.

Comment, Conjecture and Fact
Filmmakers, while free to be partisan, should distinguish clearly between comment, conjecture and fact.

Intrusions and enquiries into an individual’s private life without his or her consent are not acceptable and their inclusion in the film can only be justified when in the public interest. This could include:
Detecting or exposing crime or serious misdemeanour.
Detecting or exposing seriously anti-social conduct.
Protecting public health and safety.
Preventing the public from being misled by some statement or action of that individual.

Filmmakers and their teams/ crews making enquiries at hospitals or similar institutions should ordinarily identify themselves to a responsible official and obtain permission before entering non-public areas.

Filmmakers should not generally obtain or seek to obtain information or consent through misrepresentation or subterfuge.

Filmmakers should neither obtain nor seek to obtain information or consent through intimidation or harassment.

Payment for articles
Payments or offers of payment should not be made to any individual, group or organisation for gaining consent to participate in the film, except in case a professional service is being provided for the project.

Intrusion into Grief or Shock
In cases involving personal grief or shock, enquiries should be carried out and approaches made with empathy and discretion.

Victims/ Witnesses of Crime
Filmmakers should not identify victims or witnesses of crime or include information that may aid their identification, if there is reasonable doubt that their identification may be dangerous for their life or being.

Filmmakers should avoid any prejudicial or pejorative reference to a person’s sex, gender, sexual orientation, religion, caste, class, colour, race or any physical or mental illness or handicap.

Confidential Sources
Filmmakers have a moral obligation to protect confidential sources of information.

Use of Animals
Where animals are used in a film in a way which may give the mistaken impression that they have been harmed, it is wise to include a reassuring caption in the end credits: No animals were harmed in the making of this Film.

Misconduct and Wrongdoing
Filmmakers should ensure they follow rules and regulations pertaining to lawful and professional behaviour with all individuals and institutions they interact with in the making of the Film. All services, information and assistance on the Film should be consensual and no one should be harassed, intimidated, lured or forced into participating in the Film in any manner.

Broadcasting Code and Censorship
Filmmakers shall be guided by the Broadcasting Code, the Cinematograph Act and conform to other technical and generic guidelines pertaining to broadcasting and Censorship Rules as laid down by the Government of India and modified from time to time at the time of completion of the Film.

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