Filmmaker Sarmad Khoosat has confirmed that the release of his film Zindagi Tamasha has been "postponed".
The film — which was barred from being shown in Pakistani cinemas due to political controversy — was due to be released in Pakistani cinemas on March 18. Directed and co-produced by Sarmad and Kanwal Khoosat and written by Nirmal Bano, Zindagi Tamasha’s cast includes Arif Hassan, Eman Suleman, Samiya Mumtaz and Ali Kureshi.
Sarmad told Images that the film has been "postponed" and will "come out soon". The filmmaker did not share why Zindagi Tamasha's release has been delayed. He said an official press statement on the postponement will be released today.
Khoosat Films had re-released the trailer for Zindagi Tamasha in December, showing the new release date for the film as March 18. Earlier this week, Suleman's excitement at seeing a poster of the film at a local cinema was captured by her husband for Instagram. "Finally will get to see my jaanu [sweetheart] on the big screen," he wrote.
According to the film's description on YouTube, Zindagi Tamasha is "an intimate portrait of a family as well as a scorching political commentary on the little gods on this earth who police private passions".
The film had its premiere at the Busan International Film Festival in 2019 and was the first Pakistani film to win the prestigious Kim Ji-Seok Award at the festival. It also bagged the Snow Leopard Award for Best Film at the 6th Asian World Film Festival (AWFF) in 2021. The movie was also Pakistan's official film entry in the International Feature Film Award category for the 93rd Academy Awards in 2020.
Zindagi Tamasha faced controversy after Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) called for protests against its original release on January 24, 2020, alleging it was “blasphemous”. Sarmad had filed a petition against the TLP in a Lahore court for "trying to interfere into the smooth running, public screening/releasing" of Zindagi Tamasha in January, 2020.
In July 2020, the Senate Committee for Human Rights had approved the movie for screening as well, dismissing all objections raised against the film.