The government of Pakistan has banned Saim Sadiq’s debut directorial Joyland and declaring it as an uncertified film for the whole of Pakistan.
On Friday, the famous Pakistani fashion designer shared a series of Instagram stories, demanding a ban on Pakistan’s this year Oscar nomination Joyland, saying the movie defies the social values of Islam and Pakistan.
In no time, her stories went viral, and many other people joined hands with her, and a hashtag “#BanJoyland” became a Twitter trend in Pakistan.
Taking notice of the issue, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting issued a notification declaring the feature film uncertified for Pakistan.
The notification read, “On the release of the film, written complaints were received that the film contains highly objectionable material that does not conform with the social values and moral standards of our society and is clearly repugnant to the norms of ‘decency and morality’ as laid down in Section 9 of the Motion Picture Ordinance, 1979.”
The order further stated, “The Federal Government declares the feature film titled Joyland as an uncertified film for the whole of Pakistan in the cinemas which fall under the jurisdiction of the CBFC with immediate effect.”
The fashion designer commended the decision of the government, calling it a win for Pakistani families.
The Jamaat-e-Islami Senator, Mushtaq Ahmad Khan, welcomed the government’s decision to ban the film, which he said is against Islam.
The storyline of Joyland follows a patriarchal family as they crave for the birth of a baby boy to continue the family line, while their youngest son secretly joins an erotic dance theater and falls for a trans woman.
Joyland was due for release in Pakistan on November 8.
The film is directed and written by young filmmaker Saim Sadiq, and stars Sania Saeed along with Ali Junejo, Aleena Khan, Sarwat Geelani, Rasti Faruq, Salman Pirzada, and Sohail Samir.
Joyland became the first Pakistani movie to be screened at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, and it also made its way to the Toronto Film Festival.
The movie won the Cannes Queer Palm prize for best LGBT, “queer” or feminist-themed movie. The film also won the Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard segment.
On Friday, it won the Asia Pacific Screen Awards’ young cinema award, given in partnership with critics’ association NETPAC and the Griffith Film School.