Sarmad Khoosat's Zindagi Tamasha wins best film at 6th Asian World Film Festival

Sarmad Khoosat's Zindagi Tamasha wins best film at 6th Asian World Film Festival

The movie might have not seen the light of day in Pakistan, but has gained international acclaim.
Updated 18 Mar, 2021

Sarmad Khoosat’s Zindagi Tamasha might have been through the ringer but hey, there’s a silver lining. Despite the movie not having seen the light of the day in Pakistan, it has been receiving appreciation and acclaim internationally.

Following the movie as Pakistan's official entry to Oscars, it has now bagged the Snow Leopard Award for Best Film at the 6th Asian World Film Festival (AWFF) held on March 15. Director Sarmad Sultan Khoosat received the award from jury member Luba Balagova Kandoor.

Arif Hassan was awarded Best Actor award for his performance in the film.

According to the official synopsis, Zindagi Tamasha, or Circus of Life as it is known, is "an intimate portrait of a family as well as a scorching political commentary on little gods on this earth who police our private passions.”

Unfortunately, Pakistanis haven't gotten the chance to watch the movie yet. Zindagi Tamasha was slated to be 2020's first Pakistani film release, meant to hit cinemas on January 24. However, it has been stopped from being released, despite being cleared by multiple censor boards twice and it's fate still hangs in the balance.

Khoosat, who had gone to the extent of writing a letter to the Prime Minister Imran Khan, had opened up about the threats he was receiving pre-release.

"I did not make Zindagi Tamasha to hurt, offend or malign anyone," he had said. "It’s a story about a ‘good enough Muslim’ — there was/is no mention of a sect, party or faction of any sort. Neither in the uncensored version nor the censored one. If a bearded man is to be generically called a molvi, then trust me, this is/was a film about a good molvi. An empathetic and heartfelt story of a bearded an who is so much more than just that. He is a human being portrayed through a very humane eye. Well, forget it!"

Actor Eman Suleman too shared the director's sentiments, adding, "I don’t know what to say except, I’m sorry you might not get to watch this, which is a tragedy, because this film was made for Pakistan."


Faisal Ghani Mar 18, 2021 03:44pm
Sadly we may never get to watch it.
Chrís Dăn Mar 18, 2021 04:03pm
Congratulations,Mr. Khusat :)
Taha Mar 18, 2021 04:12pm
Looks like a brilliant piece of art, I hope there is no censorship. It is important to say things how it is. And from the trailer, it appears that way. A social commentary.
Ali Mehdi Mar 18, 2021 04:22pm
Why do we fear to talk about issues that create so much problems in our society. We should be brave enough to look right into the eye of the problem. Else how we will get rid of the thorny issues.
Hassan Baloch Mar 18, 2021 04:58pm
I don't know what's stoping the producers of this film to release it on Netflix. Even leaking it on the torrent sites would be beneficial as lot of people would watch it, as certainly they won't be making money off this film.
Moosa Al Athar Mar 18, 2021 07:03pm
It is a shame that Pakistanis can’t see this great movie. What happened to freedom of speech? Hats off to Sarmad Khoosat.
Ibrahim S Mar 18, 2021 07:37pm
“Unfortunately, Pakistanis haven't gotten the chance to watch the movie yet. “ Because it directly challenges the grip of fanatic mullahs and the establishment using them to create chaos for their selfish reasons
M. Saeed Mar 19, 2021 12:52am
It is irony of fate that we refuse to see, what we do and how we act in our every day life.
Glen D'Abreo Mar 19, 2021 04:09am
Censorship leads to one faction of society restricting the free thought process