Sarmad Khoosat is known to be one of the finest directors in our industry and is someone who believes in institutions and has deep abiding respect for them. Just when Sarmad Khoosat was all excited about promoting his upcoming movie ‘Zindagi Tamasha’ in which he and his team has explored themes around gender constructs, class division and complex human experiences when the director met with serious backlash.
Despite that the movie has been cleared by the censor board thrice, the unofficial sensor board – one that wields street power is threatening Sarmad though Sarmad has clearly stated that he had no intention to attack or point out fingers at or humiliate any individual or institution.
Sarmad Khoosat took on social media to share his open letter which he written to the PM Imran Khan seeking for help to save his film. Soon after celebrities and people from social media came in support and made his letter go viral.
Time and again we are made to realise our power and our influence. A film ( that people haven’t seen) can make some this scared.
Mushkil ko bata ke tera Allah kitna bara hai @KhoosatSarmadhttps://t.co/AGVeTl8Dfh
— Mahira Khan (@TheMahiraKhan) January 19, 2020
The government must address this at the earliest. Filmmaking in Pakistan is already a tough challenge; those who dare to venture into it need to be encouraged and appreciated https://t.co/H2ZP1Wjd8H
— Humayun Saeed (@iamhumayunsaeed) January 18, 2020
The official censor board has cleared this film.
The unofficial censor board – the one that wields street power – is threatening Sarmad Khoosat and his team.
Deeply disturbing and problematic. https://t.co/m6hac9qKOC
— Mira Sethi (@sethimirajee) January 19, 2020
You wrote two open letters to the concerned people and still facing threats.
So I thought to reply to your open letters on behalf of every Pakistani that cares and stands against the extremism.
— anastipu (@teepusahab) January 20, 2020
Art and culture are a means for us to better understand the society we live in. @KhoosatSarmad is one of Pakistan’s most talented and respected directors who has the courage to question social norms. Without such critique we can never build a better world. #ZindagiTamashapic.twitter.com/yJIAz1QF2Z
— Roshaneh Zafar (@RoshanehZafar) January 21, 2020
— Javeria (@javzirks) January 20, 2020
If I will find anything unethical, I will definitely criticize it openly. But for that I have to watch the movie.
If I will find the issues relatable. I will appreciate, for that too I have to watch the movie. So, I Support the release of @KhoosatSarmad's #ZindagiTamasha. pic.twitter.com/4dm0eiZQU9
— Mehwish Ashraf (@mehwish_ashraf) January 20, 2020
The movie had its World premiere at the prestigious Busan International Film Festival and also became the first Pakistani feature film (fiction) to win an award at a major international film festival. The movie was all set to release on the 24th of January but as a report has been filed against the director (Sarmad), the write and the producer the movie’s future is at stake.
Sarmad is receiving life threatening messages and calls, with all the support from his friends in the industry and fans on social media yet he is thinking of withdrawing as he has got no support from the government.
Sarmad took on twitter to ask for an opinion whether he should withdraw from releasing the movie or no to which the social media and celebrities came forward and posted tweets on how art and expression is being threatened in the country.
Getting dozens of threatening phone calls and msgs. Should I withdraw Zindagi Tamasha? pic.twitter.com/OJB396B1xq
— Sarmad Khoosat (@KhoosatSarmad) January 19, 2020
Khoosat Films have filed a petition against Tehreek-i-Labbaik (TLP) for trying to interfere into the smooth running, public screening/releasing of the movie ‘Zindagi Tamasha’.
We really hope this feud settles soon and the team’s hard work pays off!