Pakistan reverses ban on official Oscar entry Joyland, movie could launch on Friday as scheduled

Authorities in Pakistan have lifted the ban on filmmaker Saim Sadiq’s critically-acclaimed movie Joyland. Their choice comes days after the ban was put in place by the Ministry of Info and Broadcasting which stated it comprises ‘highly objectionable material’. Joyland is Pakistan’s official entry for the upcoming 2023 Academy Awards and has obtained vital acclamation at movie festivals around the globe. Additionally learn: Pakistan bans its official Oscar entry Joyland over ‘extremely objectionable materials’

On Wednesday, journalist Rafay Mahmood, who writes for Specific Tribune, tweeted, “After the full board review by the censor board, #Joyland has been allowed for release all across Pakistan with minor cuts. Distributors are optimistic for November 18 release as initially planned. Congratulations to the entire team and all those who campaigned.” He also mentioned that the film was never banned officially, however, now film distributers await for a NOC certificate to take things further.

“#Joyland has been cleared for release across Pakistan. The persistence of so many activists and artists has paid off,” added journalist Ailia Zehra of Naya Daur.

Earlier in August, Joyland obtained the screening certificates from the federal government. It was met with protests and considerations inflicting the Ministry of Info and Broadcasting to ban the movie on the grounds that it ‘does not conform with the social values and moral standards of our society and is clearly repugnant to the norms of decency and morality’.

Joyland marks Saim Sadiq’s directorial debut. It was slated to launch in theatres throughout Pakistan on November 18. The movie revolves round a patriarchal household, who needs a child boy to take their household line ahead. Issues take an attention-grabbing flip when the household’s youngest son, the protagonist, secretly joins an erotic dance theatre and falls for a trans lady. Joyland stars Sania Saeed, Ali Junejo, Alina Khan, Sarwat Gilani, Rasti Farooq, Salmaan Peerzada and Sohail Sameer.

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