Just a week before its nationwide release, Sarmad Khoosat’s upcoming film, Zindagi Tamasha, is being put through the ringer, even though the director has complied with every demand of the censor board on two prior occasions, before receiving the NOC (No Objection Certificate).
A man who believes in institutions and has deep abiding respect for them, Sarmad Khoosat, is being pressurized now.
In a sincere note on his social media, addressing the President of Pakistan as well as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Chief of the Army Staff and the Information Minister, Sarmad Khoosat has noted that after receiving clearance by all three censor boards of Pakistan, the film “had its world premiere at the prestigious Busan International Film Festival”. The film also won an award during its festival run.
“24th of January was set as the release date. However, a ‘complaint’ was registered against the writer, the producer and me, based on assumptions made from the two and a half minute long trailer.”
He added that the film is neither offensive nor malicious. The film, as Sarmad wrote, was sent to the censor board for another review and came back with some cuts but was cleared.
But as the promotional campaign of the film has begun, says Sarmad, “another attempt is being made by the same group to stop the release of the film and this time they are hell-bent on using pressurizing tactics”.
Sarmad notes that he is bringing this out in the open because “it undermines a state institution like the Central Board of Film Censors (CBFC) and strips it of its authority and stature.”
The director concluded the note by stating: “The space for rational and artistic thinking and expression must not be annexed by a few trouble makers for their political ends but I fear this is what will happen if we buckle under this time.”