‘Football’ booted by India censor

Helmer Kumar's Kashmir-themed doc denied certification by board

Helmer Ashvin Kumar, whose 2005 short “Little Terrorist” was nominated for a live-action short-film Oscar, has run afoul of India’s Central Board of Film Certification.

Kumar’s documentary “Inshallah, Football” looks at soccer in Kashmir against the backdrop of the long-simmering violence there. Kashmir has been a political hot potato in India-Pakistan relations, with both countries claiming sovereignty over the region. The pic had its world premiere at the Pusan fest this year and won a special mention at the Dubai Film Festival earlier this month.

The CBFC’s review committee initially denied “Inshallah, Football” a censor certificate, which is essential for a film to screen in public. The CBFC chair, actress Sharmila Tagore (“The World of Apu”), intervened, and the doc was screened for a second review committee. This panel also denied certification, saying that the film was critical of the Indian government. Kumar can appeal this decision.

CBFC officials were not available for comment.

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