Entertainment & Arts

Woody Allen pulls Blue Jasmine in India

Cate Blanchett Image copyright Presser
Image caption Cate Blanchett has received rave reviews for her performance in the film

Woody Allen has stopped his latest film, Blue Jasmine, from being screened in India after learning mandatory anti-tobacco adverts would be inserted into its smoking scenes.

Indian law requires health warnings to be shown on screen when characters smoke in films, while cinemas must play anti-smoking ads before every movie.

According to Reuters, Allen refused to accommodate the ads during his film.

It had been due to open in around 30 cinemas at the weekend.

Blue Jasmine stars Cate Blanchett as a wealthy New York socialite who suffers a humiliating fall from grace after her husband is arrested for financial fraud.

The actress's critically acclaimed performance has seen her odds of winning an Oscar next year slashed to 1/4 from an initial 7/1 in August.

The film features two smoking scenes that would have given cause for the on-screen disclaimers - typically scrolling text warning viewers of the dangers of tobacco use.

A publicist for Allen told Reuters: "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 films, told DNA newspaper the director had overall creative control over the film.

"He wasn't comfortable with the disclaimer that we are required to run when some smoking scene is shown in films," Deepak Sharma said.

"He feels that when the scroll comes, attention goes to it rather than the scene. We had to abide by the law and we don't have control over the film."

India's film censor board regularly requires changes to films and while some directors allow the alterations, others have refused.

Many, including Martin Scorsese and David Lynch, argue changes to their films - including changing the aspect ratio in which some movies are shot - are unacceptable because they corrupt the artist's vision.

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