Pakistan bans Qavi Khan's film for 'negative image of Muslims'

Pakistani-American filmmaker Iram Parveen Bilal has directed it
Photo: Parveen Shah Productions
Photo: Parveen Shah Productions

I'll Meet You There by Pakistan-American filmmaker Iram Parveen Bilal has been banned in Pakistan for showing "a negative image" of Muslims, according to international reports.

The Central Board of Film Censors halted the film a week before its scheduled theatrical release. I'll Meet You There stars senior Pakistani actor Qavi Khan, Faran Tahir, Nikita Tewani, Shawn Parsons, Michael Pemberton, among others.

“I’ve been mulling over the decision by the Central Board of Film Censors, calling our film I’ll Meet You There a ‘negative image of Muslims’," said Iram Parveen in a statement, according to Variety.

"A film that was made with blood, sweat and tears by a Muslim, financed by Muslims and made in the face of a post 9/11 world and a Trump presidency; a film whose very purpose was to combat Islamophobia and to create a positive portrayal of Muslims."

Iram added that the film was already released internationally and received widespread appreciation.

The plot of I'll Meet You There follows the story of a Chicago policeman named Majeed and his teenage daughter Dua, who is a gifted Ballerina. The two are unexpectedly visited by Majeed's estranged father from Pakistan, Baba.

Majeed then gets a career-making opportunity, but he will have to gain access to the local mosque through his father for it. Dua, on the other hand, begins to question her passion for dance under the guidance of Baba.

"Let’s please end the elitism that a nation or religion can only belong to a select few," said Iram. "Such fearful silencing is not the way forward for a country that is vibrantly developing in population, promise and identity. We as artists have a responsibility to showcase and provoke thought, to inspire and engage with a society that is equally provoking and expanding."

I'll Meet You There was scheduled for screening in Pakistan today, March 11.

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