Indian filmmaker Alankrita Shrivastava's Lipstick Under My Burkha, which has been denied a certificate by the country's movie censor board, has bagged the Audience Award at the Glasgow Film Festival 2017 here. The director says the honour couldn't be better timed.
Scottish actor David Tennant presented Shrivastava with the award, which was voted for by the festival's audience, on Monday.
The Prakash Jha production, starring Konkona Sen Sharma and Ratna Pathak Shah, chronicles the secret lives of four women of different ages in a small town in India as they search for different kinds of freedom.
India's Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) on February 23 refused to give a certificate to the film for its sexual references and use of abusive words, among other reasons.
"I am so deeply honoured that 'Lipstick Under My Burkha' has won the ScotRail Audience Award at the Glasgow Film Festival. Right now, when the film has been denied certification for exhibition in India because it is a women-centric film with a female point of view, I think the award could not have been more timely," Shrivastava said in a statement.
"The fact that the people of Glasgow have loved the film is an affirmation of the relevance of the film across cultures and nations. It is an affirmation of the fact that women's stories need to be told, through the female point of view. This award gives me hope. It gives me courage. It makes me believe that as women, we must continue to tell our stories, undeterred by those who want to silence us," she added.
The CBFC's decision has drawn flak from a string of celebrities, including Pooja Bhatt, Farhan Akhtar and Vivek Agnihotri.