Pak Suspends Release of ‘Zindagi Tamasha’ Post Religious Outrage

The film had its world premier at Busan International Film Festival. 

2 min read
Poster of <i>Zindagi Tamasha</i>

The release of an award-winning film Zindagi Tamasha has been put on hold by Pakistan after the Islamist political party, Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) objected to it. The party said the film “might lead (people) to deviate from Islam and the prophet”, with officials warning screening it could lead to unrest.

Zindagi Tamasha revolves around a man who is shunned after a video of him at a wedding goes viral. The film’s director, Sarmad Khoosat posted a clarification on Instagram, saying that he ‘did not make the film to hurt, offend or malign anyone.’ In his post, he wrote that he was considering not releasing the film as he was getting dozens of threatening phone calls and messages.

“I am a believer. A man of faith. Please don’t, I repeat, please do not spread hatred and anger using the name of my Prophet Muhammad.”
Sarmad Khoosat

Zindagi Tamasha had its world premier at the Busan International Film Festival last year, where it was awarded the top fiction prize. It was to have hit Pakistan's screens on 24 January.

On Tuesday, Firdous Ashiq Awan, advisor to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting, tweeted that the producer of the film had been told to delay the release until the film censor board consulted with the Islamic Ideological Council. This is, despite the film being cleared by the censor board.

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