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Lipstick Under My Burkha can now compete for a Golden Globe Award

The film, directed by Alankrita Shrivastava, has been denied certification to screen in India. However, since it has been screened several times in film festivals in the US, it is now eligible to compete for a Golden Globe award.

Sonal Pandya

Director Alankrita Shrivastava’s Lipstick Under My Burkha was the opening film at Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA). Before the film was screened, the director of IFFLA, Christina Marouda told the audience that the film now qualified to compete for a Golden Globe Award.

Lipstick Under My Burkha review: Fine performances guide this well-written drama of women and their dreams

“We are honoured that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has chosen our opening night film, Lipstick Under My Burkha, to be an official Golden Globes qualifying screening. The director of the film will now have the opportunity to properly plan a Golden Globes campaign should she choose to submit the film for nomination,” Marouda said.

This gives the film and its makers, who are trying to get it released in India, a big reason to cheer.  The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) denied the film a certificate saying it was 'lady oriended [sic], their fantasy above life.' The producers have submitted the film to the Film Appellate Tribunal for a final clearance.

Lipstick Under My Burkha has also been picking up awards since it had its world premiere at the Tokyo International Film Festival in October last year. Competing for a Golden Globe will be another feather in the cap for the film and its team.

Previous films from India have competed in the category ‘Best Motion Picture - Foreign Language’ including the UK/India co-production Gandhi (1982) and Mira Nair’s Salaam Bombay (1989) and Monsoon Wedding (2001).

According to the rules of Hollywood Foreign Press Association, whose journalists view and decide on the films' nominations, Lipstick Under My Burkha qualifies due to a specific guideline which states, “A motion picture also qualifies if censorship prevented it from being released in its country of origin, but it had a one-week release in the United States during the qualifying period.”

Because it has now screened at IFFLA, it can now compete for a Golden Globe. Alankrita Shrivastava told the tabloid Mumbai Mirror that the announcement was “really unexpected to me. This is a big leap for me and my team.”

The producer of the film, Prakash Jha, also replied to Mumbai Mirror in an email. He wrote, “It's a character driven story of four women exploring the idea of freedom in the Indian society. I am very hopeful towards the CBFC. I hope the judgement will be reversed soon. Lipstick Under My Burkha is a very universal film, it transcends cultures and countries. I am glad that the Hollywood Foreign Press association recognised that quality and made the IFFLA opening of Lipstick Under My Burkha an official screening of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, thus making our film eligible for the Golden Globes.”