The first ever Pakistani film to receive awards, accolades, a 10-minute-long standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival and then a nomination at the Golden Globes may not be able to hit the theatres in Pakistan.
The shocking news came after a letter initiated by a Pakistani lawmaker associated with the Jamaat-e-Islami, Mushtaq Ahmed, suggested the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has deemed the previously certified film ‘uncertified’.
The senator urged the Pakistani government to ban the release of Saim Sadiq’s directorial in Pakistan because of the ‘anti-Islam’ morals it preaches.
The senator stated, “It’s a Trans love story that has already won the Queer Palm award at the Cannes Film Festival and has been lauded for the LGBT themes it explores. This is nothing short of an anti-Islamic attack on the institutions of Nikkah and marriage. The Information Ministry must immediately stop the film from releasing in Pakistan.”
Joyland was certified for release by the censor boards with minor objections and edits recommended.
Now the lead cast and many Lollywood celebrities have come forward to express their disappointment with the ‘lack of freedom’.
Celebrities including Alina Khan, Rasti Farooq, Abdullah Siddiqui, Sarwat Gilani, Tooba Siddiqui and Osman Khalid Buttt took to Twitter to allege that a paid smear campaign was maligning the film, prompting a ban on it ultimately.