ISLAMABAD: The fate of Pakistan’s Oscar entry, Joyland, hangs in the balance, as a special committee formed by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to evaluate complaints filed against the recently banned film recommended that the Central Board of Film Censors should conduct a full board review and take a final decision about its suitability for screening in the country.
The Urdu film was banned for being ‘indecent and immoral’, almost a week before its release.
The committee comprising minister for political affairs, economic affairs, and law and justice, minister for information and broadcasting, minister for communications, minister for board of investment, minister for information technology and telecommunications, adviser to the PM on Gilgit-Baltistan, PTA chairman and Pemra chairman met on Tuesday.
A notification earlier issued by PM House regarding the formation of the special committee suggested that it would “consider the complaints against the said film being against the social and moral norms, and recommend follow-up action”.
Despite being Pakistan’s first Cannes entry bagging several awards at international film festivals and being chosen as the official entry for the Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars, Joyland was banned from a cinematic screening in the country. The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting cancelled its exhibition licence, which had been issued months ago.
The ban drew a strong backlash from the cast and crew of the project. Director Saim Sadiq said: “We, as a team, are gutted by this development. I am compelled to say that this sudden U-turn of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is absolutely unconstitutional and illegal.”
Published in Dawn, November 16th, 2022