Sarmad Khoosat’s Zindagi Tamasha to be Pakistan’s entry to Oscars

Watch the awards next year on April 25
Photo: Official Poster
Photo: Official Poster

The Pakistan Academy Selection Committee has selected Sarmad Khoosat’s film Zindagi Tamasha as Pakistan’s official entry to the 93rd Academy Awards.

According to a press release, the film will be submitted for Oscar consideration in the ‘International Feature Film Award’ category by the Pakistan Committee.

The final list of nominees to be decided by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences in February 2021 and will be announced on 15th March 2021. The presentation show for the 93rd Academy Awards scheduled to take place on 25th April 2021.

Related: Oscars 2021 postponed by two months due to pandemic

The Pakistani Oscar committee for 2020 was chaired by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Faisal Kapadia, Asad-ul-Haq, Hamza Bangash, Syed Muhammad Ahmed, Mehwish Hayat, Hasan Shehreyar Yasin, Asim Abbasi, Arshad Mahmud and Jamal Shah. 

Zindagi Tamasha has been directed and co-produced by Sarmad Khoosat, along with sister Kanwal Khoosat and written by Nirmal Bano. It features Arif Hassan, Eman Suleman, Samiya Mumtaz and Ali Kureshi.

The film narrates the story of a naat khwan named Rahat Khawaja and his family who find themselves ostracised when a video of Khawaja becomes public. After the video goes viral, even his own daughter, Sadaf is ashamed of him.

In October 2019, Zindagi Tamasha created a major buzz when it won big at the prestigious Busan International Film Festival in South Korea. 

Khoosat’s directorial also won The Kim Ji-Seok Award, named after the festival’s co-founder and executive programmer who died in 2017.

Zindagi Tamasha banned

On March 14, The Council of Islamic Ideology said that they will not review Zindagi Tamasha according to a decision made by the Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights.

The Senate committee had asked the Central Board of Film Censors for a copy of the film.

Related: Myths about Zindagi Tamasha

In a tweet, Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokar, the chairperson of the committee, said that the committee took notice of the ban on the film. He said he was surprised to learn that the film had been cleared twice.

“We directed that the screening for the CII should be held in abeyance till the committee views and decides whether there is something objectionable in it or not.”

The film wasn’t officially banned but it was pulled back from screening after it was cleared by the central and provincial censor boards.

Khoosat’s film was scheduled for release on January 24 but a statement issued by the censor boards of Sindh and Punjab – who had cleared the film for screening earlier, claimed that they were told that if the film was released it would cause “unrest within some segments of society”.

Sarmad Khoosat

Zindagi Tamasha

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