Lipstick Under My Burkha Will Be The Opening Film At The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne

Lipstick Under My Burkha won critical acclaim at several international film festivals but in India, the film got stuck amidst a controversy with the Censor Board

Lipstick Under My Burkha Will Be The Opening Film At The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne

A still from Lipstick Under My Burkha



  1. The film won critical acclaim at various festivals across the globe
  2. It is a great honour, said director Alankrita Shrivastava
  3. Lipstick Under My Burkha releases on July 21 in India
The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne 2017 has selected Lipstick Under My Burkha as its opening film for 2017. Though this film has won critical acclaim at various festivals across the globe, back home it has turned out to be the most controversial films of the year even before its theatrical release. The film got stuck amidst a controversy with the Indian censors, the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) refused to certify it for its abusive content and audio pornography, which led to the ban of the film. The makers then moved The Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) against CBFC's decision to ban it. The FCAT then ordered that the film be granted an 'A' certificate with "voluntary and some additional cuts and deletions" and the filmmakers were also asked to reduce the duration of sex scenes in the film. Speaking at the trailer launch of Lipstick Under My Burkha, producer Ekta Kapoor blamed the society at large for these problems, she said, "I don't have any issue with the CBFC. I have a problem with society. The CBFC is actually mirroring society. We will make the issue very small if we just relate the movie with the CBFC. It is actually a big issue. The film is about an ideology, not about CBFC or men in particular."

The story is set in Bhopal, where four women who rebel and escape their tiresome lives. Ratna Pathak Shah plays a 55-year-old widow who rediscovers her sexuality through a romantic relationship over the phone. Konkona Sen Shrama is a mother of three kids and an oppressed housewife who tries to fulfill her desires, alongside performing her daily duties as a mother and a wife. Aahana Kumra plays a young beautician who is planning to elope with her lover and Plabita is a college girl and an aspiring pop singer who struggles with her cultural identity.

Speaking about being the opening film at The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne, director Alankrita Shrivastava expressed her joy, "It is a great honour that Lipstick Under My Burkha will be opening the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne. While the film has travelled to many parts of the world, it will be screened in Australia for the first time. I am really looking forward to the reaction of the Australian audience. Breaking through the cacophony of mainstream Indian cinema, it is wonderful that there is an Australian film festival that highlights independent Indian cinematic voices. Independent films are telling important stories, challenging the status quo and are important artistic expressions. I'm delighted to participate in the festival with Lipstick Under My Burkha."

This year, the festival (IFFM), which earned the Melbourne Award in 2016, is all set to screen 60 films in 20 languages, which have been carefully curated to sync with the central theme of diversity. The festival will have popular Bollywood stars and filmmakers in attendance. It will kick off on August 10, with the opening night screening of Lipstick Under My Burkha, which releases in India on July 21.

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