TORONTO // The Bollywood film Mausam (Seasons) has been pulled from the Toronto International Film Festival, forcing the cancellation of tonight's sold-out gala premiere.
A statement released by Tiff organisers Tuesday stated that “due to regulatory delays in India, all screenings of Mausam have been cancelled”.
“We are extremely disappointed that the studio has informed us that the film will not have received the necessary regulatory approvals in India, forcing us to cancel all screenings of Mausam,” said Cameron Bailey, co-director of Tiff, in the statement.
“It’s a shame that our Festival audiences will be left disappointed.”
The Indian Air Force (IAF) is required to give its final approval on the film, as per an understanding with the film’s production studio: Eros International Media Limited. Following the IAF’s approval, the film still has to clear the Indian censor board.
The approval has not yet been granted.
“We ran into a delay getting approvals from the Indian Air Force and the Board of Film Certification in India,” said Sheetal Talwar, the film’s producer.
The film – a star-crossed romance between an Indian Air Force pilot and a Kashimiri woman – is Pankaj Kapoor’s directorial debut, and stars his son, Shahid, and actress Sonam Kapoor. It was meant to have its world premiere tonight with most of the cast and crew present.
A festival insider called the announcement “abrupt and completely unexpected”. Some believe the reason for the cancellation was because the producers feared pirating. There were also rumours of security concerns at the gala event.
Mausam was scheduled to open in the UAE tomorrow, and in India on Friday. The release is expected to be pushed back one week, and instead arrive in UAE cinema’s on Thursday, September 22.