Woody Allen pulls 'Blue Jasmine' in India over smoking warning
Agence France-Presse in New Delhi
Woody Allen has pulled his latest film Blue Jasmine in India because he objects to mandatory anti-tobacco warnings during smoking scenes.
The Indian distributor of the critically acclaimed film, PVR Pictures, said the director considered the required additions - written warnings that appear on-screen during smoking scenes - unacceptable.
The country's anti-smoking rules have been challenged on free-speech grounds, but its Supreme Court has upheld the compulsory warnings.
The film, starring Cate Blanchette as a rich widow who falls on hard times after her husband is arrested for fraud, was slated for release in India last weekend.
Critics have declared that Blanchette's performance could win her an Oscar, and say Blue Jasmine is Allen's best movie accomplishment in recent years.
The warnings shown during smoking scenes in India are in addition to graphic anti-tobacco warnings that are typically shown before films start and during intermissions.
The movie has two smoking scenes that require on-screen warnings in India about the dangers of tobacco use.
PVR Pictures said: "Allen feels like when the scroll comes, attention goes to it rather than the scene."
Leading Indian filmmaker and producer Shoojit Sircar praised Allen's action.
He said he was "glad" Allen took a stand. "Those visuals are disturbing for viewers," he said.
India bans smoking in public places, but it is widely ignored.