Depicting the lives of four women in small-town India, the film sees the women dealing with contrasting pressures, including society’s expectations and relationships.
Originally banning the film after deciding that its female-centric plot was inappropriate due to its “lady-oriented” content and "contentious sexual scenes, abusive words [and] audio pornography", the censor decided to grant adult certification to the film on the condition some adjustments are made.
The CBFC also requested that the filmmakers take out a small number of Hindi words, including one which refers to prostitutes having earlier denounced the use of “abusive words, audio pornography [meaning phone sex]."
Director Shrivastava filed an appeal with the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal to get a reversal on the initial ban, speaking out about the censorship, stating her desire for a theatrical release rather than a digital one.
"I don't have a Plan B – I'm very determined to fight it out and see a theatrical release,” Shrivastava said.
“When you make a choice that you will not exhibit commercially, it's one thing. But when you're being forced to do a digital release because the CBFC of India is not letting you release your film, it's a completely different situation."
Having been shown at a number of festivals, Lipstick Under My Burkha has received a number of awards, including the Best Film on Gender Equality at the 2016 Mumbai Film Festival and the Audience Award at the 2017 Glasgow Film Festival.