Islamabad, Pakistan
The Sunday Review

Pakistan’s government has blocked the nationwide release of “Joyland,” The first Pakistani movie It was shown at Cannes Film Festival just one week before it was to be released in theaters in South Asia.

“Joyland” tells a love story Between the youngest and oldest son of “a happily patriarchal joint family” He meets a transgender starlet, after secretly joining an exotic dance troupe. synopsis On the Cannes Film Festival Website.

In August, the country’s Central Board of Film Censors (CBFC), granted a certificate that allows the movie To be released on Friday Pakistan’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting sent a notice stating that it was now “uncertified.”

According to the official notice, written complaints were received and that they had been addressed to the movie Includes “highly objectional material” That is inconsistent with the “social values and moral standards of our society.”

The ministry’s notice said cinemas that fall under the CBFC’s jurisdiction cannot show the movie.

“Joyland” It was awarded the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize, and the unofficial Queer Palm at Cannes, May. It was then submitted for consideration by the Oscars. Pakistan’s official entry for the international feature film award. To be eligible for the awards, however, it must be in cinemas for at most seven days prior to November 30.

Despite being banned release In Pakistan, “Joyland” If it is not, it could still be included in this category. “theatrically exhibited outside of the U.S. and its territories for at least seven consecutive days in a commercial motion picture theater for paid admission,” According to the Academy rules.

A close aide will be available on Tuesday Pakistan’s Prime Minister tweeted This is a “high level committee” Joyland was being investigated and its ban was reviewed.

“The committee will assess the complaints as well as merits to decide on its release in Pakistan,” Salman Sufi, advisor

This review follows the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan Published a statement on Sunday, condemning the government’s withdrawal of Certification “Joyland” As “rabidly transphobic” A violation of The movie producers’ right to freedom of expression.

“Pakistan’s audiences have the right to decide what they will watch,” According to the statement.

Saim Sadiq, movie’s director, argued in a post on Instagram that the ministry’s reversal was “absolutely unconstitutional and illegal,” I urged them to reconsider.

“Return the right of our citizens to be able to watch the film that has made their country’s cinema proud world over,” Sadiq wrote.

“Our film got seen and certified by all three censor boards in August 2022. The 18th amendment in the Pakistani constitution gives all of provinces the autonomy to make their own decision. Yet the Ministry suddenly caved under pressure from a few extremist factions – who have not seen the film – and made a mockery of our federal censor board by rendering their decision irrelevant.”

The ban has caused a public outcry, and social media campaigns using the hashtag #releasejoyland.

Rasti Farooq is one of The actresses in movie, posted Instagram support efforts to get it published.

“I stand by my film, and everything that it says, with every fibre of my being,” Farooq stated.

Humayun Saeed from Pakistan, who appears in the fifth season of Netflix series “The Crown,” Also, he weighed in.

“Joyland has made Pakistan proud by becoming the first South Asian film to win the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. It is a story of our people told by our people for our people. Hoping for it to be made accessible to these very people #ReleaseJoyland,” He tweeted.