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The Kashmir Files movie has been cancelled, banned and protested against

The Kashmir Files has finally arrived on the ZEE5 OTT streaming platform following a film that has been cancelled, banned and protested against en masse.

The phrase ‘there’s no such thing as bad publicity’ gets tossed around all too often, but this is exactly the case for The Kashmir Files.

Despite having press events for the promotional campaign canceled and its distribution even banned around the world, the Vivek Agnihotri-directed film used this to its advantage as fans flocked to theaters to see what all the fuss was about.

Whatever your opinions on the film are, the journey from theatrical delays to being banned internationally is certainly one that will cement The Kashmir Files in the 2022 Hall of Fame.

The Kashmir Files | Official Trailer

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The Kashmir Files | Official Trailer

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The biggest Hindi movie of 2022 lands for streaming

Today, May 13thThe Kashmir Files was finally released for OTT streaming around the world via ZEE5.

The movie had originally been scheduled to premiere in theaters back in late-January, but was postponed due to the surge in COVID-19 Omicron variant cases. The Kashmir Files would then make its theatrical debut on March 11th to a decidedly mixed response between viewers and critics.

For the most part, critical reviews of The Kashmir Files were extremely poor, with scores of 1/5 on The Indian Express, only slightly rising to 1.5/5 for Rolling Stone India and The New Indian Express.

Despite the negative response from industry analysts, fans flocked to cinemas to experience The Kashmir Files on the big screen. In fact, the number of theaters showing the movie had to be increased to cope with fan demand, from 630 to 4,000 screens just a few days after its premiere.

The movie is currently being rated at an 8.3/10 on IMDB and 95% on Rotten Tomatoes; earning around Rs 339 Crore at the global box office – making The Kashmir Files the highest-grossing Hindi-language movie of 2022 so far.

When and where was The Kashmir Files banned?

On May 9thit was revealed that The Kashmir Files had been banned in Singapore because of its “potential to cause enmity between different communities”.

Responding to questions from Channel News Asia, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) shared the news alongside the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

According to the article, “The film will be refused classification for its provocative and one-sided portrayal of Muslims and the depictions of Hindus being persecuted in the on-going conflict in Kashmir.”

“These representations have the potential to cause enmity between different communities, and disrupt social cohesion and religious harmony in our multiracial and multi-religious society.” – IMDA statement via Channel News Asia.

They add that classification for any film would be refused is “any material that is denigrating to racial or religious communities in Singapore.” This is despite being, as pointed out by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Twitterpromoted by India’s ruling party.

Following the ban of The Kashmir Files, director Vivek Agnihotri called Singapore “the most regressive censor in the world.”

Press events for The Kashmir Files canceled

However, the controversy surrounding The Kashmir Files had already been exacerbated following a press event for the movie being canceled earlier the same week.

Per India Times, director Agnihotri had organized a press conference after the Foreign Correspondents Club in New Delhi canceled the May 5th press conference.

Agnihotri would then take to Twitter to call the decision to cancel the press conference “an undemocratic manner as part of a hate-campaign against #TheKashmirFiles.”

“To my shock, yesterday I received a call from their president saying that the event has to be canceled as some very powerful media have taken strong objection to this conference and have threatened to resign en masse if it is allowed.” – Vivek Agnihotri, via Twitter.

According to India Today, the PCI responded by stating “Mr Vivek Agnihotri’s comments are misleading. The said agency may have spoken to our Office Secretary for a booking. However, the Press Club of India is not in receipt of any application to book for a press conference on his behalf for any event on May 5, 2022. ”

By Tom Llewellyn – [email protected]

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