Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 2pm

Distributor pulls "BLUE JASMINE" from Indian screens after Woody Allen refuses to add Smoking Disclaimers

Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine” will not be screened in India after the legendary director refused to have no-smoking ads plastered all over his wildly acclaimed new movie.

The Indian government requires the ubiquitous adverts - now increasingly featuring often unappetising images of the results of smoking along with the usual, long-winded disclaimers - to play before and during movies that feature scenes of characters smoking.

A source for distributor PVR Pictures told Reuters that Allen refused to make “customisations” in the film to accommodate the ads.

“Allen was adamant that he wanted the film to be shown as he had made it, without any additions to the print,” the source was quoted as saying.

“Blue Jasmine” has received widespread praise from critics and has been called Allen's best film in years.  Several critics were even moved to compare the film to 1951's 'A Streetcar Named Desire', the adaptation of Tennessee Williams' Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name and featuring Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh.

'Blue Jasmine' features a stunning performance by Cate Blanchett - a shoe-in for Best Actress at next year's Oscars - as a wealthy New York socialite who endures a humiliating fall from grace after her husband is arrested for financial fraud.

One of Allen’s publicists confirmed the sources.

“Due to content in the film, it cannot be shown in India in its intended manner.  Therefore, the film is not scheduled to play there,” said a spokesman for Allen at the firm 42 West.

In addition to the no-smoking and anti-tobacco ads the government requires before and after the film, filmmakers are required to show health warnings whenever a character lights up.

Many filmmakers have criticized the practice including Vishal Bhardwaj and Danny Boyle, saying there is little evidence to back up the suggestion that a disclaimer is an effective tool in encouraging people to quit smoking whilst also disrupting a filmmaker's "vision".

- Agencies (Edited by Poonam Joshi)



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