×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

India’s Election Commission Blocks ‘PM Narendra Modi’ Film Release

India’s Election Commission has halted the theatrical release of “PM Narendra Modi” and two other biographical films on the grounds that they potentially distort the electoral level playing field. They cannot be shown in India until after the polls close on May 19.

The decision comes just one day before the films were to have been released, and one day before polls open in the world’s largest ever election.

A court earlier approved the release of “Modi” and on Tuesday the film received a U certificate from India’s Central Board of Film Certification, with no cuts and just minor changes.

But in a ruling published on Wednesday, the Election Commission said that it had received complaints about “Modi,” “Lakshmi’s NTR,” a biopic about former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao, and “Udyama Simham,” a biopic of incumbent Telangana Chief Minister Kalvakuntla Chandrashekhar Rao. It ruled that they contravene the Model Code of Conduct, which governs the massive plebiscite.

“Any biopic material in the nature of biography/hagiography sub-serving the purposes of any political entity or any individual entity connected to it which is intended to, or which has the potential to disturb the level playing field during the elections, should not be displayed in electronic media including cinematograph during the MCC,” said the Commission. The 7-page order prevents the content being displayed in electronic and print media.

Popular on Variety

It is unclear whether overseas distributors will go ahead with their planned releases. In the U.K., “Modi” was passed uncut by censors. And, as of Wednesday lunchtime, cinemas in London continued to show it among their Friday screenings.

More Film

  • Australia' s Oscar contender BuoyancyC

    Rod Rathjen on Why Human Trafficking Tale 'Buoyancy' Had to be Made as Fiction

    Australian Rod Rathjen’s first film as director, “Buoyancy” is a powerful dramatization of human trafficking within Thailand’s offshore fishing fleet. Shot largely in Khmer and Thai, and selected as Australia’s foreign-language Oscar contender, it may also be a role model for cultural sensitivity and activism. The film plays this week in competition at the International [...]

  • Bong Joon Ho Talks 'Parasite' on

    'Parasite' Director Bong Joon Ho Makes Late Night Debut Following Three Globe Nominations

    “Parasite” director Bong Joon Ho sat down for his first U.S. late-night appearance on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” Monday night. The director, who received best director and best original screenplay Globen Globe nominations with co-writer Han Jin Won, plus a best foreign language nod Monday morning, did not give much away about the film’s [...]

  • The Cold Blue

    Erik Nelson Wants to Preserve the Past With 'The Cold Blue' World War II Documentary

    Erik Nelson describes his documentary “The Cold Blue” as “the garage band of movies” — he didn’t have the large team or crew other documentary contenders have. “The Cold Blue” is a World War II documentary that looks at raids and B-17 bombing missions that took place during the war. Nelson’s team looked at 34 [...]

  • Ray Manzarek

    Film News Roundup: Concert-Documentary 'The Doors: Break on Thru' Set for February

    In today’s film news roundup, one-night showings of a Ray Manzarek tribute and the season premiere of “Doctor Who” have been set for 2020, and the MPAA hires a copyright expert. ONE-NIGHT SHOWINGS The Doors and Trafalgar Releasing are teaming on the worldwide Feb. 12 release of “The Doors: Break on Thru – A Celebration [...]

  • Richard Jewell

    Warner Bros. Hits Back at Atlanta Paper Over 'Richard Jewell' Legal Threat

    Warner Bros. is standing behind “Richard Jewell,” the Clint Eastwood drama that is the source of controversy over its portrayal of a female journalist trading sex for scoops. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution sent a legal threat to the filmmakers on Monday asking them to include a disclaimer noting that the film took dramatic license. In a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content