After Pakistan’s Central Board of Film Censors (CBFC) suspended the distribution of Saim Sadiq’s LGBT film Joyland this month, actor and plastic surgeon Fahad Mirza defended it on Sunday. The film stars his wife, Sarwat Gilani.
The Parizaad actor tweeted his support for the film and called it a “true work of art”.
Joyland is a true work of art! It shows you life through the eyes of a transgender, someone who is born in that condition, it tells the story of people being forced to live in situations and how they cope! Don’t ban it, watch it, learn from it!#Joyland #ReleaseJoyland https://t.co/F7yuPF9I97— Fahad Mirza (@FahadZMirza) November 13, 2022
Against a film that made history for Pakistani cinema, got passed by all censor boards, but now authorities are succumbing into pressure from certain spiteful people who have not even seen the film, Sarwat Gilani wrote that the ban is a part of “a paid smear campaign” on social media.
The MoIB issued a notification on November 11 saying that the previously certified movie is now “uncertified” because it contains “objectionable content” in response to many complaints.
The announcement caused a rift on the internet, with some individuals supporting the choice and many others claiming that the ban is unfair.
الحمدللہ! @GovtofPakistan— Senator Mushtaq Ahmad Khan (@SenatorMushtaq) November 12, 2022
نےمتنازع فلم جوائےلینڈکوجاری کردہ نمائش کالائسنس منسوخ کردیاہے۔نوٹیفیکیشن جاری،یہ حکومت کااحسن اقدام ہے۔پاکستان اسلامی مملکت ہےیہاں کوئی قانون، کوئی اقدام،کوئی نظریہ خلافِ اسلام نہیں چل سکتا۔#BanJoyland pic.twitter.com/tib00zo6Dd
Director Saim Sadiq’s provocative movie, which stars Sarwat Gilani, Ali Junejo, Rashti Farooq, and transgender performer Alina Khan, has had enormous success abroad. It was the first Pakistani film to compete at the Cannes Film Festival.
Joyland, which also won this year’s Queer Palme, also took home the Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard competition, which highlighted up-and-coming, creative filmmakers.