Moral policing? Cinemas refusing to screen Biriyaani, says director

They are dissuading moviegoers from watching the film citing ‘explicit sexual scenes’, he has said.

Published: 31st March 2021 05:45 AM  |   Last Updated: 31st March 2021 05:45 AM   |  A+A-

Kani had earlier won second Best Actress at the Imagine Film Festival in Madrid, Spain for the film. Besides, Biriyaani won the NETPAC Award for Best Film last year at the Asiatica Festival in Rome, I

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Accusing a few theatre owners of acting like ‘super censor boards’, director Sajin Baabu has alleged they are refusing to screen his award-winning film Biriyaani in a clear act of moral policing. They are dissuading moviegoers from watching the film citing ‘explicit sexual scenes’, he has said.

Biriyaani, which had received international acclaim and a special jury mention at the 67th National Film Awards, was cleared by the Censor Board for screening with an ‘adults only’ certificate. The film was released in several theatres across the state on Friday.“The reason they give for not screening the film is that there are not enough people to watch it. But they themselves are dissuading people who come for the screening from watching it,” said Sajin. He was speaking at the ‘Meet the Director’ programme organised at the Kesari Memorial Hall in Thiruvananthapuram.

“The film first faced opposition from theatres in Kozhikode. Soon, a few others followed suit. The theatre owners are covertly telling people that the film has explicit sexual scenes. It’s disappointing to see them play the moral police. It points to our problematic cultural scenario,” he said.

Biriyaani, which had its world premiere at the Asiatica Film Festival in Italy, had fetched Kani Kusruti — who played the protagonist Khadeeja — the state film award for best female actor. The movie will be released outside the state next week. Sajin also intends to release it on online streaming platforms soon. No one can stop anyone from watching it online, he added.


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