Zindagi Tamasha Gets Delayed as Religious Party Gets To Clear Film for Release

What does this say about the future of films in Pakistan?

Zindagi Tamasha - TLP

Our worst fears were confirmed as the Zindagi Tamasha release date has been delayed. Now there will be another viewing of the film by the censor board, only this time a representative of the extremist rightwing religious party Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) will also be included for the same.

A few days ago, director Sarmad Khoosat penned an open letter and requested that;

“Space for rational and artistic thinking and expression  must not be annexed by a few troublemakers for their political ends.”

However, it seems that the government of the day has caved in to threats by the TLP.


Sarmad Khoosat Reveals He is Still Getting Threats over Zindagi Tamasha

According to Express Tribune, even though Zindagi Tamasha has been cleared by the censor board twice, and the movie will now be reviewed by a representative of TLP and a representative of the information ministry.

These people will be part of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) board members meeting to review the film.


Despite the whistleblowers letting the cat out of the bag, authorities are not confirming if a member of TLP will indeed be part of the review board.

According to the news outlet’s sources, TLP canceled their protest scheduled for Wednesday after this development.

“Film will only be cleared if the members of the religious party and government officials approve of the content.”

Legal Battles

Adviser to the Prime Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Dr, Firdous Ashiq Awan was the bearer of bad news. She announced that the producers of Zindagi Tamasha have been prohibited from screening the film for now.

Provincial censor boards followed suit, and are delaying certification until February.

Zindagi Tamasha
Provincial censor boards also delayed film release

In the meantime, the government is consulting the Council of Islamic Ideology for its views over the film.

The filmmakers already began to suspect the worst and filed a lawsuit against TLP for interfering with the release of Zindagi Tamasha.


Irfan Khoosat had filed the petition in a Lahore court requesting that irrelevant pressure groups having nothing to do with film and art not be allowed to interfere with its release. The petition stated that the;

“concerned quarters have allowed the defendant to release his film, hence the defendant is not entitled to interfere in the smooth running affairs of release.”

Zindagi Tamasha legal
Irfan Khoosat’s lawsuit in Lahore court against TLP

It is stated in the petition that this international-award-winning film aims to project a positive image of Pakistan and is offensive to no one.Zindagi Tamasha legal

Sarmad Khoosat’s ‘Zindagi Tamasha’ aims to project a positive image of PakistanZindagi Tamasha legal

While the petition names the Sindh Film Censor Board, Punjab Film Censor Board, and the Markazi Film Censor Board as respondents, it does not claim relief from them. The appellant states that the censor boards were ‘mere defendants and the plaintiff has not claimed any relief against them’.

Civil Judge Zia-ur-Rehman directed all respondents to appear in court on January, 22, 2020.


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Audience Reactions

Then there are concerns about the long-term consequences of allowing a politico-religious group onto the CBFC review board.


The future prospects of artistic creation and cultural preservation are also being questioned.


This development presents a lot of questions for Pakistan’s entertainment and political spheres. Will religious parties now get their way with every single film to come out of Pakistan? Will better sense prevail with the state pushing back against these miscreant elements who threaten to disrupt the daily lives of people over any excuse they can possibly get?


Written by Lens Staff


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