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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Nandita Das’s ‘Manto’ may not release in Pakistan

News Desk |

Nandita Das’s Manto starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui may not release in Pakistan. The internationally acclaimed film may face barriers in screening in Pakistan. The authorities have cited no absolute reason for the uncertainty looming in the release of the movie in the cinema.

The anticipations were made after ‘Manto’ was removed from the coming soon section of the cinema websites. The director though announced the screening of the movie in Pakistan soon but its sudden disappearance has raised several questions.

Neither the Federal Censor board nor the owners of cinemas have stated specific reasons. They, however, added that none of the distributors have contacted them for the clearance of the movie.

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One of the senior critic and authors Aslam Farrukhi while talking to a local media outlet said that “It is the politics — that aspect of Manto is very important. In Pakistan, he becomes Indian and across the border, they say at the end of the day, he was a Pakistani,” he said, adding that even today Manto was a very relevant and important short story writer.

“I teach young people and I find that they react to him in a positive manner. Ismat Chughtai was bold and daring. She broke norms and so did Manto,” said Mr. Farrukhi.

According to another rumor the director, Nandita Das is dissatisfied with the marketing and release of the film by her co-producers Viacom 18 Motion Pictures. It was reported that many morning shows had to be canceled due to a technical glitch on its release day. Moreover, she complained the movie did not get enough primetime shows.

“Unfortunately, the technical glitch will impact the numbers, which, in turn, will affect perceptions. After all, it did throw the film off on the first day,” she says.

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But she is happy with the appreciation comments from the audience. “The audience can play an important role in deciding the kind of films that reach them. They need to watch Manto in theatres for the sake of this film as well as others that explore diverse stories,” she says.

The filmmaker also admits that the film could have been marketed better. “I wish it had had a wider release and a more robust marketing plan, as mainstream commercial films do. Then it would have had a level playing field. But word-of-mouth publicity is going strong, so let’s hope for the best,” she concludes.