Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love is a 1996 historical erotic romance film co-written, co-produced, and directed by Mira Nair. It takes its title from the ancient Indian text, the Kama Sutra and serves as a common link between the characters. The film stars Rekha, Indira Varma, and Naveen Andrews in pivotal roles. The film was produced by Indian, British, German and Japanese studios.
The plot takes its origin from a short story by Urdu author Wajida Tabassum titled "Utran" ("Hand-Me-Downs" or "Cast-Offs"). The portion of plot derived from "Utran" takes place from the film's beginning until the scene where Maya says: "Now something I have used is yours forever." After that the story is the screenwriter's creation.[better source needed] Declan Quinn won the 1998 Independent Spirit Award for Best Cinematography for his work in the film. Kama Sutra was nominated for the Golden Seashell award at the 1996 San Sebastián International Film Festival and was screened at the Cannes Film Festival. The film generated controversy at the time of its release and was banned in India and Pakistan due to its erotic theme and sexual content.