Absolutely fuming: Woody Allen refuses to release Blue Jasmine in India after censors wanted smoking ads inserted

The director didn't want his film ruined by anti-smoking adverts

Liam O'Brien
Tuesday 08 October 2013 05:40 BST
Cate Blanchett and Woody Allen
Cate Blanchett and Woody Allen

Woody Allen's acclaimed film Blue Jasmine was not released as planned in India this weekend after the director refused to bow to censorship laws over smoking.

In India, films and television shows in which a character smokes a cigarette must carry anti-tobacco ads before the movie begins. In addition, whenever a character smokes, there must be a health warning on the screen.

Smoking is by no means an integral part of Blue Jasmine, which stars Cate Blanchett and Alec Baldwin, but Allen didn't want the mandatory changes to corrupt his artistic vision.

A source told Reuters India: "Allen was adamant that he wanted the film to be shown as he had made it, without any additions to the print."

The director's spokesperson added: "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."

The film's Indian distributor, PVR Pictures, said Allen "wasn't comfortable" with the no-smoking disclaimer, believing that "when the scroll comes, attention goes to it rather than the scene."

Allen won't be too disappointed by the lost box office that the Indian non-release will cost him. Blue Jasmine has done stellar business for a small arthouse movie, having grossed almost $50m (£31m) worldwide.

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