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Don’t take this moment of pride away from our people, says Sarwat Gilani on Joyland’s censor certificate being revoked

Don’t take this moment of pride away from our people, says Sarwat Gilani on Joyland’s censor certificate being revoked

The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting declared the film "uncertified" after written complaints, spurring anger and dismay in the entertainment fraternity.
13 Nov, 2022

A week before its release, film Joyland is now facing a major setback as the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has canceled its exhibition license issued months ago.

A copy of ministry’s notification was shared on Twitter by JI Senator Mushtaq Ahmad Khan.

The notice issued on November 11 read that the Central Board of Film Censors (CBFC) Islamabad granted the censor certificate on August 17 this year. However, after receiving complaints that “the film contains highly objectionable material which do not conform with the social values and moral standards of our society and is clearly repugnant to the norms of ’decency and morality; as laid down in Section 9 of the Motion Picture Ordinance, 1979,” the federal government has declared Joyland “uncertified”.

Actor Sarwat Gilani, who is one of the main stars of Joyland, tweeted that a “paid smear campaign” has been doing the rounds against the film, recounting that Joyland made history for Pakistani cinema and got cleared by the censor boards. She said the authorities have caved into the pressure from “some malicious people who have not even seen the film.” She called it shameful that a film made by 200 Pakistanis for over six years, that got standing ovations from Toronto to Cairo to Cannes is “being hindered in its own country”.

“Don’t take away this moment of pride and joy from our people!” she wrote. Gilani also said that no one forcing anyone to watch it so similarly no one should be forced to not watch the film. Calling the viewers smart, she said they know what they want to watch or not and the decision should be up to people.

“Don’t insult their intelligence and our hard work,” she concluded.

Singer Abdullah Siddiqui, who also made music for Joyland, took to Instagram stories and wrote, “They’re doing it again! There are smear campaigns to ban Joyland. A dark day for all artists in Pakistan yet again. We need your support to make sure we don’t let these violent, insensitive, extremists win again.”

He also requested people to tweet with the hashtag #releasejoyland.

Several other celebrities also took to Twitter to support the film and call for its release. This included actor Osman Khalid Butt who had some questions.

Butt raised the question that the CBFC members had no issue with the film prior to issuing it a clearance certificate. He said it is disheartening to see that after the nation celebrated Joyland’s many milestones and achievements, the board came under the pressure of “written complaints”, asking who complained, where and how were they able to see the film to even write a complaint.

“It’s baffling to me that even after Joyland made history at Cannes, after all the international critical acclaim it has received, after Pakistan itself submitted the film for Best International Feature at the Oscars, it is somehow (a week before release) unfit for our audience?” the Chupke Chupke actor questioned.

Butt also brought in testimonies by people who’ve actually watched the film at Cannes and Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) who claim there’s nothing objectionable about Joyland. “We’ve seen the same happen with *Verna, with Maalik, with Zindagi Tamasha can our cinema please, for once, not be held hostage by what seems to be an entirely arbitrary Ordinance?” he asked.

The 36-year-old actor said if the themes of Joyland are too sensitive or mature for the general audiences, “then give it an appropriate rating. There’s precedent. But Don’t deprive us of watching the film.”

Actor Mira Sethi called out Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb directly in her tweet.

Actor Sanam Saeed said there is no reason not to release Joyland.

Author Fatima Bhutto also posted a Twitter thread on the film’s release and called the censorship “senseless”.

Joyland was supposed to release on November 18 in Pakistan. Images has reached out to filmmaker Saim Sadiq for a comment on the development.

The film has been written and directed by Sadiq and produced by Apoorva Guru Charan, Sarmad Sultan Khoosat and Lauren Mann. The film’s ensemble cast includes debutantes Ali Junejo, Alina Khan, and Rasti Farooq alongside some of Pakistan’s beloved and respected actors like Gilani, Sania Saeed, Sohail Sameer and Salmaan Peerzada.

Comments

1000 Characters
Sga Nov 13, 2022 02:14pm
Why don't people go to court?
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Rizwan Nov 13, 2022 02:44pm
Our society has only one standard and it's called "hypocrisy"
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TenJee Nov 13, 2022 03:11pm
The usual suspects coming out crying "Why cant we be like westerners". But these people are the first to cry out when someone violates their sensitivities. In essence their argument is there should be no censorship, or self-censorship. It's interesting how every country in the world has film censorship boards, and how films must conform to the censorship rules in each country. Each country applies different standards, and the censorship rules reflect their public values. In US for example, the sensitivities are very different to those in Muslim countries. So it is right and proper for the Pakistani censorship board to apply OUR public sensitivities, not the lax wayward attitudes of celebs who share very little in common with the masses. The masses actually complain there isn't enough censorship! I say again, majority Pakistanis would wholeheartedly support content that reflects our values, but will double down on subversive art.
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Readdr Nov 13, 2022 04:05pm
A film. Propoting lgbtq will nit be tolerated
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Love Your Country Nov 13, 2022 04:28pm
Do we have any of our own red lines of the society? Say no if you want to.
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Faizan Nov 13, 2022 05:24pm
These people are free to watch it online or go abroad to wherever it can get released. By their logic even movies glorifying and encouraging violence can and should be allowed, but we know that's not the case. The ban is necessary, people don't need this movie for survival and o suspect 99.9% of Pakistanis either support or don't care about the ban.
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Imdad Nov 13, 2022 05:32pm
@Sga WHY?
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Imdad Nov 13, 2022 05:33pm
@Rizwan WHAT "society", when you are a part of it?
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Zia Nov 13, 2022 05:35pm
Desensitization of immortality is now rampant , making vulgarity a normality is a new goal for many
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نعیم ںھائ Nov 13, 2022 05:42pm
Dont spread the curse in society. Keep it within your circles.
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Ahmad Nov 13, 2022 06:01pm
Mullahs, religious parties and especially JI are the root cause of evil in Pakistan.
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Ahmed Nov 13, 2022 06:06pm
You all want democracy and when the people get what they want you start crying. We the people don't want it in our country.
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Hamid Faisal Nov 13, 2022 06:09pm
We are living in 21st Century, it is not the Era of 100 years ago. There is no many ways by which people of our beloved country will watch this Film. The Film Industry of our beloved country is already lacking way behind to Bollywood (the Paroosi Mulk). When we do have comparison in almost every segment with Paroosi Mulk, then why no the Film Industry??? When will relevant people of our beloved country will understand the Word Economics?
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Fishy Nov 13, 2022 06:15pm
Well, If they have objectionable language and scenes than redo it for Pakistani cinema and play. Why are we trying to bring western values here in the name of art?
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Hamid Faisal Nov 13, 2022 06:33pm
So much controversial artifacts were shown in cinemas during the Era of 80's and 90's in our beloved country. The relevant people of sensor ship are not able to define the basic standards during the last 75 years. The only factor is, care about job options for family and friends all around and the definition of SOP is Self-Organized Procedures.
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Anonymouseee Nov 13, 2022 06:36pm
Film May have been a great success at Cannes and Toronto but their culture and values are different than ours. We are proud Muslims and love our culture and religion. Don’t make/produce such movies to begin with that will go against OUR norm and culture.
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Ahmed Nov 13, 2022 06:37pm
For those saying it won awards, like it's a good thing. It's not. Cannes is no standard for anything. Porn movies won awards. Should we allow them to be screened aswell? These secular people shouldnt talk about these topics. They just embarrass themselves.
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Augustine Mathias Nov 13, 2022 06:38pm
Banana R.......
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H Khan Nov 13, 2022 06:41pm
Did the right thing by canceling the license! The fact that it received standing ovation in the west is no proof that it is suitable for Pakistan as well; we have different values, and social system than those western countries who can't even decide their own genders.
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H Khan Nov 13, 2022 06:41pm
Did the right thing by canceling the license!
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H Khan Nov 13, 2022 06:41pm
Did the right thing. Thank you! Censor board.
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H Khan Nov 13, 2022 06:41pm
Did the right thing Thank you! board.
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Bestbest Nov 13, 2022 06:45pm
Never heard of it..at least it will get some publicity through this Dawn article..
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Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad Nov 13, 2022 06:46pm
As you sow, so shall you reap.
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Ansari Nov 13, 2022 06:55pm
Ban all the artists as well۔
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MAFK Nov 13, 2022 06:56pm
A brilliant decision from the Government of Pakistan !!!
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S.A.M. Nov 13, 2022 06:58pm
If screening of joy land can spur violent protests leading to loss of property / human life then let’s not put it on screen. Human rights are for protecting human life so what the fun of exercising a right that can defeat the basic goal. Human life is precious. Protect it.
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Irfan Huq Nov 13, 2022 06:58pm
There should be a specific reason or a specific scene specific dialague for not certifying it a .Allow a limited certificate. What Islamic values our TV dramas are propagating lying cheating and deceiving.?
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Ali Nov 13, 2022 07:29pm
The reaction of our showbiz stars has been hollow and sentimental. They have not put forward a persuasive case that the the movie does not contain “highly objectionable material” and that the movie is “repugnant to the norms of ’decency and morality”. Perhaps the charge then is correct.
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Nayyar Rashid Nov 13, 2022 08:45pm
How is someone's personal achievement a source of pride for the whole country. It's all about money and fame. People should be called out for using these twisted words to further their own base interests.
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Ammer Nov 13, 2022 08:55pm
@Ansari sure, but on the condition that you should stop using internet as well for the rest of your life.
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Asfar Nov 13, 2022 09:04pm
@TenJee beautifully put.
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Jaweed Nov 13, 2022 09:35pm
Killing of a minor boy selling toys is an example of how we "conform with the social values and moral standards of our society".
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Dragden Nov 13, 2022 09:54pm
Very good decision to ban this filth. Let them cry
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GreatestIdea Nov 13, 2022 10:14pm
@Jaweed wrong news article I think
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Ahmed Nov 13, 2022 10:15pm
@Jaweed stop changing the topic. No one says we are perfect. Both things are wrong.
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Changez Khan Nov 13, 2022 10:27pm
The corrupt govt. should not make this political and abuse their power. Certify the film.
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whenandwhy Nov 13, 2022 11:00pm
If one wants to t's & a's, walk on. Beauty is to be appreciated.
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AJU Nov 13, 2022 11:02pm
Everyone making empty statements, but the point of contention (Transgender issue) is not discussed.
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Ehsan Nov 13, 2022 11:39pm
Regressive and hyper religious forces have destroyed the basic fiber of our society
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Irfan Huq Nov 14, 2022 01:12am
@Ali If I call someone stupid then it is not the duty of the person to prove he is not stupid but it is the job of the accuser to prove what hes saying
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Syed Nov 14, 2022 01:48am
A country where any country can simply come in and fund any type of extremism, where the state consciously spreads extremism in the society for strategic gains, banning of anything that challenges the official narratvie is not strange. The society was far more hypicritical before the wretched Gen Zia era when the religious narrative officially started. We are in ideological hell now. We don't deserve creative expression or any artistic endeavour. What have we done to Pakistan?
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ABE Nov 14, 2022 02:03am
If you don't like the customs, traditions rules or values of the land, you can always move to Canada. Many women in Iran have been influenced by external elements to dry the country's religious standards and rules by burning their head-scarfs, cutting their hair in public and even condemning 'Islamic Republic'. While Muslim women in France are fighting for a right to wear headscarves. Girls in India are challenging rules by some schools and colleges which have prohibited headscarves. The same could be suggested for either groups in both countries. But the fact is India has more muslims then even Pakistan. So all citizens have certain rights. As much as France welcomed immigrants from many former colonies with full knowledge of their cultural norms and traditions which cannot be moulded merely by relocation to a non-Muslim country. These Pakistani actors have no excuse to go over the tolerable limits in the Pakistani culture. Don't try to be Western. Go where no such rules apply.
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Akil Akhtar Nov 14, 2022 03:56am
Good...if it has objectionable material as our media is trying to promote borrowed rubbish....
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Truth is bitter Nov 14, 2022 04:13am
The film and music industry often use art as a trojan horse to encourage Western values. However I think a charter is needed so film makers artists etc are clearly shown where the boundaries are. A document showing this is Islamic values please do not disrespect them. If you do we will ban your film
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JustBecause Nov 14, 2022 04:17am
Moral standards of the society involve teenage boys getting raped, children getting raped and killed, absconders being issued diplomatic passports, corruption being legal!
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Khalid iqbal Nov 14, 2022 06:52am
People should come out , what is it that is against social norms , be objective in criticizing it , R rated films get acclaimed in the west , so that’s not how we should rate films in Pakistan , films in Pakistan should be rated on social values in Pakistan , and if something is objectionable it could be sensored.
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Khalid iqbal Nov 14, 2022 06:58am
@Ahmad , liberalism can be a curse if it goes unrestricted , I don’t think lgbtq is art or culture , it’s a deviation or mutation of culture , a mutation to the abnormal curve.
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Khalid iqbal Nov 14, 2022 07:02am
@Irfan Huq we should ban those dramas , no wonder Every one in the govt is on bail , for some sort of corruption.
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zubaida k Nov 14, 2022 07:45am
@Sga because it's a licensing issue.
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Sga Nov 14, 2022 07:59am
@Imdad To challenge the censorship imposition...
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jsav123 Nov 14, 2022 10:39am
So JI will allow item numbers but not a story humanising trans people? Khula Tazaad
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