There is an uproar on social media ever since the government has blocked the release of Sarmad Khoosat’s Zindagi Tamasha. Several users are either celebrating or criticising the decision on Twitter while celebrities are calling it a ‘suppression of art and expression’.
Questions are being raised especially after the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) was directed to include a representative of the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) and a representative of the information ministry in the board reviewing the film.
‘What a sad day for freedom of expression for democracy. Art is to help the human spirit be free without judgment. Live n let live dear people.
#ZindagiTamasha !!!!,’ wrote famous web show host and veteran TV actress Samina Peerzada.
— Samina Peerzada (@SaminaSays) January 21, 2020
Filmmaker Jami Moor also expressed his disappointment over the matter.
Firing Atif Mian as the first critical misstep as PM but TLP mullah taking over censor board screening of Zindagi Tamasha is going to be a life long circus for the dying art form. Revival hogya #ZindagiTamasha
— Jamiazad (@azadjami1) January 22, 2020
TV and film actress Mansha Pasha used the moment to remind the government of it’s the mantra of promoting Pakistani cinema by banning Indian content.
‘It is so difficult to make and release a film in Pakistan! What’s the point of using big words saying “we want to promote Pakistani cinema” by banning Indian content when u cant ensure the smooth release of films that are being made despite all the difficulties?’, the actress wrote on Twitter.
It is so difficult to make and release a film in Pakistan! Whats the point of using big words saying "we want to promote Pakistani cinema" by banning Indian content when u cant ensure the smooth release of films that are being made despite all the difficulties? #ZindagiTamasha
— Mansha Pasha (@manshapasha) January 21, 2020
Celebrities have been supporting the release of Zindagi Tamasha even before the film was blocked for release and there was uncertainty around the film’s release with the director receiving disturbing threats on social media.
Time and again we are made to realise our power and our influence. A film ( that people haven’t seen) can make some this scared.
Mushkil ko bata ke tera Allah kitna bara hai @KhoosatSarmad https://t.co/AGVeTl8Dfh
— Mahira Khan (@TheMahiraKhan) January 19, 2020
The government must address this at the earliest. Filmmaking in Pakistan is already a tough challenge; those who dare to venture into it need to be encouraged and appreciated https://t.co/H2ZP1Wjd8H
— Humayun Saeed (@iamhumayunsaeed) January 18, 2020
Directed and co-produced by Sarmad, along with his sister, Kanwal Khoosat and written by NCA graduate Nirmal Bano, Zindagi Tamasha is a bilingual film, mostly shot in Lahore. The movie’s cast includes Arif Hassan, Samiya Mumtaz, Eman Suleman and Ali Qureshi in pivotal roles and the soundtrack has been composed by Lux Style Award winners, Saakin.
The film was scheduled for a January 24 release.