Banned in India, 'Unfreedom' to be released in North America

Washington, Feb 11 (IANS) "Unfreedom", a new Indian film banned in filmmaker Raj Amit Kumar's native India, will be released in North American theatres and simultaneously on digital channels via Film Buff on May 29.

"Unfreedom" will be the first release of Dark Frames, a new distribution company dedicated to bringing high-quality, non-Bollywood Indian films to North American and international audiences through theatrical and digital channels.

"Unfreedom" represents the type of challenging socio-political film that Dark Frames will be bringing to theatres in the future," said Dark Frames' founder Kumar, who also wrote and directed the feature.

"Too many wonderful Indian independent films have gone unseen and I'm very proud to finally bring the best of these to audiences," he said.

Veteran film marketer and distributor Mark Urman of Paladin is partnering with Dark Frames to lead the marketing and distribution of its release slate.

Dark Frames will also partner with Film Buff to distribute "Unfreedom" at the same time on Cable VOD and other digital platforms.

According to a media release "Unfreedom" juxtaposes two powerful and unflinching contemporary stories about religious fundamentalism and intolerance.

Shifting between New York and New Delhi, one tale follows a Muslim terrorist who kidnaps a liberal Muslim scholar in order to silence him, while the other charts the travails of a young woman whose devout father tries to force her into an arranged marriage, which she resists because she is secretly in love with another woman.

The four characters come face to face with gruesome acts of violence in battles of identity, sexuality, religion, love, and family.

Recently, "Unfreedom" was banned in India, where homosexuality was criminalised in 2013, by the Censor Board of Film Certification (CBFC), rendering much of its content too controversial for general audiences.

Kumar is mounting an appeal at the same time that he is launching a crowd-funding campaign to finance a release in India via alternative methods.

Based in Mumbai and Florida, Dark Frames will distribute Indian cinema to a US and global audience theatrically and via digital channels.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

--Indo-Asiain News Service

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