Sarmad Khoosat's open letter to Imran Khan about Zindagi Tamasha
Sarmad Khoosat's upcoming film Zindagi Tamasha may have won big in South Korea but seems like it isn’t getting the same appreciation in its own country.
The filmmaker feels as it people are continuously trying to stop the film from getting released despite it being cleared by the Central Board of Film Censor.
In an open letter, Khoosat pens his contribution to Pakistani cinema and detailed the difficulties that restrict his latest film from hitting the screens and why it shouldn't be so.
Khoosat writes, "Like any other film, made in any part of the world, Zindagi Tamasha is a reflection of its setting. My team and I explored themes around gender constructs, class divisions and complex human experiences. There was never any intention to attack, to point fingers at or humiliate any individual or institution."
He went on to say, "Upon completion, the film was cleared by all three censor boards of Pakistan and had its world premiere at the prestigious Busan International Film Festival."
"24 January was set as the release date. However, a 'complaint' was registered against the writer, the producer and myself, based on assumptions made from the two and a half minute long trailer.."
Khoosat further added that, "As a law-abiding citizen and with full conviction that there is nothing offensive or malicious in the film. In response I submitted the film for another review to the censor board. It was cleared once again with a few cuts to appease the complainants. "
“Just a week before the film's release, 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 pressurising tactics,” the filmmaker continued.
"I am bringing this to your notice not just because my team and I are being bullied and pressurised but also because this series of episodes undermines a state institution like the Central Board of Film Censors and strips it of its authority and stature," he said.
He concluded his letter with, "The space for rational and artistic thinking and expression must not be annexed by a few troublemakers for their political ends but I fear this is what will happen if we buckle under this time."
Zindagi Tamasha bagged the Kim Ji-seok Award at the Busan International Film Festival last year.
Earlier this month, the trailer for the film was deleted from YouTube, on which the director had said, "Khoosat Films took down the trailer from YouTube themselves. A trailer is just a tiny part of the entire film, there's no context so a few people had some issues regarding the content of that clip and we took that into account. After minor tweaks, we'll reupload it soon enough."
Zindagi Tamasha is expected to be released on January 24.
Let’s hope we get to see the award winning film as well.
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