Pakistan’s Oscar contender and critically acclaimed film has come under fire from religious groups. Pakistani authorities have now banned the screening of this film in cinemas.
Officials in Pakistan said that they have banned the movie “Joyland”. The film is based on the story of a man who falls in love with a eunuch. Earlier the Censor Board had allowed its release, but now its screening in theaters has been banned.
The film ‘Joyland’ has won several other international awards in addition to winning the ‘Queer Palm’ in the LGBTQ category at the Cannes Film Festival.
After premiering at the Toronto Film Festival and the American Film Institute’s festival, the film opened to rave reviews and rave reviews.
After the authorities issued the screening certificate, the film “Joyland” was to be released in cinemas of Pakistan this week itself. But later religious leaders started calling for a ban on the film, calling it objectionable, and after receiving such complaints, the authorities withdrew their permission to screen it.
However, in 2018, the Parliament of Pakistan took an important step towards protecting the rights of transgenders by passing a law to provide them with legal recognition. However, some conservatives and hardliners have been campaigning to withdraw these rights.
Pressure from religious parties
The film has been nominated by the Government of Pakistan for Oscar 2023 in the Best International Feature Film category.
Directed by Saeem Sadiq, the film tells the story of a married young man from a middle-class family, who goes to a hot dance theater and falls in love with a transgender actor there. becomes
Religious groups have accused the film of promoting homosexuality, and following pressure, Pakistan’s censor board said in a statement that the film contained “highly objectionable material”.
Senator Mushtaq Ahmed Khan, a member of a religious political party campaigning against the film’s release, wrote on Twitter that he was relieved to hear about the ban. He further said, “Pakistan is a good initiative, Pakistan is an Islamic state, no law, no initiative, no ideology can work here against Islam.”
Produced by Sarmad Sultan Khost, the film was slated to hit theaters across Pakistan on November 18.
The co-producer and casting director of ‘Joyland’, Sana Jaffrey, said that the film is going for Oscars, for which it must be released in Pakistan. What’s the use if you get it?’