Approval delays in India halt screenings

The Toronto film festival has been forced to cancel the Wednesday world preem and subsequent screenings of “Mausam,” the much anticipated directorial debut of thesp Pankaj Kapoor, due to regulatory delays in India.

In the Bollywood-style romance, featuring songs by Pritam, a young Hindu man (played by Shahid Kapoor, the helmer’s son) falls in love with a Muslim girl and joins the Indian Air Force.

The pic’s distributor and sales agent Eros International Media has a memorandum of understanding with the Indian Air Force, giving them final approval prior to clearing the Indian censor board. These approvals are not forthcoming.

“Toronto audiences have been powerful champions for the promotion and growth of Indian cinema abroad,” said festival co-director Cameron Bailey in a statement. “It’s a shame that our festival audiences will be left disappointed.”

“Mausam” producer Sheetal Talwar commented “We are very disappointed not to be able to present the world premiere in Toronto and accept full responsibility for our absence.”

The festival is refunding all customers holding tickets to “Mausam” screenings.

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