Published: 12th November 2020

BBC’s Ashanti Omkar FRSA features as special guest on new BBFC podcast to celebrate Diwali

  • Podcast part of the BBFC’s Indian cinema and Bollywood social media takeover week to celebrate the festival of lights

  • Featuring special guest, BBC’s Ashanti Omkar FRSA

  • Panga (2019), Taare Zammen Par (2007) and Bigil (2019) all discussed in detail

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has released a new episode of the BBFC Podcast as part of their Indian cinema and Bollywood takeover week, with the BBC’s Ashanti Omkar FRSA to discuss films that families can watch this Diwali.  

Listeners can hear about the classification of films such as Panga, Taare Zammen Par and Kaaka Muttai at the U and PG category and find out about how the BBFC rates Hindi, Tamil, Punjabi, Urdu, Malayalam and Telugu language films in the UK.

Ashanti discusses high profile classification decisions, including last year’s Diwali release Bigil, alongside a BBFC compliance officer.

Faye Harcourt, Director of Marketing and Outreach at the BBFC, said: “Cinema is a huge part of Indian culture - so it’s unsurprising that so many families love to celebrate Diwali by going to see a film on the big screen. Due to lockdown this year Diwali will be looking very different for families, who will be celebrating the festival at home. A movie night could be the perfect way to bring the family together, and still watch those much loved films - and you can also download a ‘Movie Night with the BBFC’ pack from our website to help structure your evening. This podcast provides parents and carers with useful information about family friendly films you can watch to mark the occasion, so that you can be confident so they can choose content well.”

Ashanti Omkar FRSA, Presenter at the BBC Asian Network, said: “I was delighted to take part in this podcast episode. Deepavali aka Diwali is one of my favourite times of year, and the festival is all about celebrating with the family, and many would go to the cinema, in normal circumstances. I believe that it’s really important for South Asian parents to be confident when choosing content for their families, and be aware of the BBFC's trusted age ratings and ratings information, to make an informed decision about a film being fit for the mental health of the child and all those viewing it, more so in today's world of streaming platforms and Video On Demand. What better way to get in the festive mood this year than a cosy movie night, with something the entire family can enjoy.”

To mark Diwali, the BBFC will be throwing a Bollywood takeover week across all their social channels. Followers will be treated to posts about interesting classification decisions and insights on the BBFC’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts, and the regulator has also created a useful listicle for parents of films to watch to celebrate Diwali on their brand new website. 

Teachers can also check out a new case study for the Hindi language Indian romantic thriller Dil Se… (1998), a film which appears on the A-level WJEC / Eduqas specification. 

Listen to the podcast on Spotify.