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News Malayalam

Theatres are acting like super censors, complains Biriyaani filmmaker Sajin Baabu

According to reports, theatre employees have been dissuading people from watching the multi-award-winning film, refusing to screen it on occasion.

Our Correspondent

Sajin Baabu’s award-winning Malayalam language feature film Biriyaani (2019) was released in Kerala on 26 March, making it one of the few independent films to be released in theatres. The film portrays the life of a young Muslim woman, Khadeeja (Kani Kusruti), who fights patriarchal and religious norms.

Screened at several festivals across the world, the film has won multiple awards, including the NETPAC award for Best Film at the 20th Asiatica Film Festival, Rome; Best Film at the Caleidoscope Indian Film Festival, Boston; and a Special Mention at the recently announced 67th National Film Awards.

Lead actress Kani Kusruti won the Kerala State award for Best Actress and the Best Actress award at the Moscow Film Festival. Besides, the film has won other laurels.

However, in a bizarre case as reported by The Hindu newspaper, some theatre employees in Kerala have been dissuading people from watching the film and refusing to screen it even when there are 20 or 25 patrons present in the hall.

The film has been given an 'A' certification for its sexual content. So the attitude of the employees has been baffling for the filmmaker. Some theatres have even refused to screen the film.

Commenting on the issue, Sajin Baabu said, “People in Kerala claim to have high literacy and feel that they have evolved culturally, but they have difficulty in seeing cinema as it is, or its politics. Instead, they want to see it as just some scenes. Even in this time of social media, digital platforms and OTT releases, theatres are acting like super censor boards.”

In view of this attitude of the exhibitors and their staff, Sajin Baabu is now planning to release the film on an OTT platform.

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