Director Rahul Dholakia"s latest movie Lamhaa starring Bipasha Basu, Sanjay Dutt, and Kunal Kapoor, has been banned the Middle East. The film is releasing in India tomorrow on July 16. Lamhaa deals with the controversial Kashmir issue, which has been much politicized in these years. The content of the film has been the reason behind the ban as the subject is believed to be a controversial and objectionable one.
Because of some tensions in Kashmir, the premiere of film was cancelled in the valley few days back. These continuous cancellations have made the producer Bunty Walia extremely upset. Walia said, “The Indian government and censor board has already passed the movie. But the censor of that country considers it to be a highly controversial and objectionable subject. I don"t know why their country doesn"t want to screen the movie".
Lamhaa was slated to release in Middle East on Thursday. The distributor of the film is discussing with the censors there. But the producer is not sure whether they will be able to convince them or not. Walia added, “They did not suggest removing any particular scene from the film. They have completely denied screening Lamhaa there".
Bunty Walia further said, “I am completely disheartened by this news. Bollywood movies have a huge market in the Middle East and ban of the film there can cause a huge loss. We can recover a lot of money if the film is screened there. But I am sad for the people there, who cannot watch a beautiful film like Lamhaa". This decision of banning Lamhaa has been termed 'unnecessary" by the cast and crew of the film. Several actors and directors from the Bollywood have come out to defend the film on the micro blogging site twitter.
Renowned Indian filmmaker, Madhur Bandarkar tweeted, “I support the makers of Lamhaa whole heatedly. Banning a film in any country is just a 'cultural tourism". I am very upset for the ban on Lamhaa in Gulf counties". Lead actress of the movie, Bipasha Basu said, “Why this ban on an honest film like Lamhaa? Where is the freedom of expression? It is sad that now people of Qatar, Baharain, Kuwait, and Oman cannot watch this movie". Lead actor Sanjay Dutt said, “First the premiere of lamhaa was not allowed in kashmir.. Now the middle east puts a ban on the release of the film in their countries.", expressing his disappointment.
The producer Bunty Walia has informed that Lamhaa will be released on 750 screens all over India.