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Bollywood director Anurag Kashyap criticises anti-smoking adverts

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Nov 27, 2013 | 6:24am EST

Bollywood director Anurag Kashyap is reportedly challenging health officials in India over the mandatory insertion of anti-tobacco advertisements into films and TV shows featuring characters smoking. Indian law requires health warnings to be displayed onscreen when characters smoke, and Kashyap has allegedly filed a petition in the Bombay High Court challenging the health ministry's rule. The move comes after officials confirmed the filmmaker's upcoming movie Ugly will have the warnings inserted into smoking scenes. Ugly was due for release in India last month (Oct13), but has been delayed until next year (14) because producers were involved in negotiations with health officials over the anti-smoking adverts. Kashyap writes in his court petition, "This clearly restrains the rights of filmmakers to freedom of speech and expression. This warning destroys the aesthetic value of a film and distracts audiences from the movie thus ruining the experience of watching a film." Hollywood director Woody Allen pulled his film Blue Jasmine out of Indian cinemas last month (Oct13) because on-screen disclaimers were inserted into two smoking scenes.

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