‘What a shame’: Celebrities demand release of Joyland in cinemas

Govt of Pakistan banned Oscar contender for containing highly objectionable material
<p>Photo: Khoosat Films Official/Instagram</p>

Photo: Khoosat Films Official/Instagram

Pakistani celebrities are demanding the release of this year’s Pakistan’s nomination for Oscars, Joyland – which the government banned yesterday for containing ’’highly objectionable material“.

On Saturday, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MoIB) issued a notification banning Saim Sadiq directorial Joyland stating that movie defies the social norms of Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

After the notification went viral, many people and celebrities have voiced for the release of the movie.

One of the cast members of Joyland, Sarwat Gilani, criticized the people who are ‘campaigning’ against the movie who have not even watched it yet. She also demanded the MoIB to revoke their decision.

Also read: Revoke u-turn: Joyland team calls for movie release in Pakistan

In a thread of tweets she wrote, “There’s a paid smear campaign doing rounds against #Joyland, a film that made history for Pakistani cinema, got passed by all censor boards, but now authorities are caving into pressure from some malicious people who have not even seen the film.”

The famous Pakistani actor, Osama Khalid Butt also tweeted in support of the movie and wrote, “If the themes of Joyland (and this is a hypothesis – I haven’t seen the film) are too sensitive/mature for general audiences, then give it an appropriate rating.”

Other notable personalities of Pakistan including Sanam Saeed, Fatima Bhutto, Imran Ahmad Khan, Raza Ahmed Rumi and many others also raised voice for the release of the movie.

The hashtag #ReleaseJoyland is trending on Twitter and the internet users are also demanding the release of the movie.

Check out how the public reacted to the ban on Joyland.

The film was due to release on November 18, in nationwide cinemas.

The directorial debut of Saim Sadiq, Joyland stars includes 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 the critics’ association NETPAC and the Griffith Film School.

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