Rushdie film to get India release despite protests

MUMBAI, Oct 9 (Reuters) - A film based on Salman Rushdie'snovel "Midnight's Children" is set to be screened in India, itsdistributor said, a month after the movie's director said shefeared "insecure politicians" could prevent it from being shown.

The film, which chronicles the story of an Indian familyliving through the tumultuous events from India's recent pastincluding the partition in 1947 and 1970s state of emergency,features a voiceover by Rushdie.

The British author, who won the coveted Booker Prize forMidnight's Children in 1981, was forced to cancel a visit to aliterature festival in his native India earlier this year afterassassination threats were made against him.

Rushdie's 1988 novel "The Satanic Verses", which manyMuslims deemed blasphemous, is banned in India, and hisdepiction of sensitive issues like former Prime Minister IndiraGandhi's role during the Emergency in Midnight's Children hadthrown the film's screening into doubt.

Director Deepa Mehta chose to film the movie in Sri Lankainstead of India, after her previous production in the countrywas hit by protests from right-wing Hindu groups.

But PVR Pictures, the distribution company that has acquiredthe film in India, does not expect any problems.

"We are not (expecting any trouble). We don't think the filmis controversial," Kamal Gianchandani, PVR's president, toldReuters, adding that the film was expected to be released inIndia in December.

He declined to say whether Rushdie, who has promoted themovie at festivals such as Toronto and Telluride, would be inIndia to launch it there.

"If the censor board has a perspective, it will berespected," Gianchandani added. "Whatever is the law of the landwill be followed in (its) entirety."

Last month, Mehta said she feared "insecure politicians"might derail the film's release plans in India.

(Reporting by Shilpa Jamkhandikar; Editing by Henry Foy andPaul Casciato)

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