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Pakistan allows screening of controversial film Joyland

The film initially had to release on November 18th. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had asked the cabinet committee to look into the matter after objections were raised on the movie from religious groups.

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Censor Board has announced the screening of the banned film Joyland in Pakistan on Wednesday. The decision came after the censor board reviewed the decision and the film upon the directions of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

The full board has allowed the screening of the movie after deleting some parts of the movie. The film initially had to release on November 18th. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had asked the cabinet committee to look into the matter after objections were raised on the movie from religious groups.

The critically acclaimed film, Joyland has won several international accolades and is also the official entry to the Oscars next year. The story revolves around the love affair between a married man and a transgender woman. The ban on the movie by the censor board was strongly protested by certain several rights activists and netizens on social media. The ban by the censor board has triggered a new debate on social media regarding censorship in Pakistan. The cast and crew of the movie had asked the government to review the decision of the ban on Joyland.

Read more: Pakistan bans Joyland for screening on ‘objectionable content’

Joyland got the initial clearance in August. The decision was reversed after objections were raised by the leader of the religious party in Pakistan. The movie was declared ‘ineligible for the whole of Pakistan.’

“Written complaints were received that the film contains highly objectionable material which does not conform with the social values and moral standards of our society,” the notification issued last Friday stated. The license for the screening of the movie was suspended.

 

Earlier this year, Joyland represented Pakistan at the Cannes Inte Sarwat Gilani, Salman Peerzada, Sania Saeed, Ali Junejo, Alina Khan, and Rasti Farooq are among the cast members. Sarmad Khoosat, Apoorva Guru Charan, and Lauren Mann are the producers of the film. It won the Cannes “Queer Palm” prize for best LGBT, “queer” or feminist-themed movie. It was the first-ever Pakistani competitive entry at the Cannes festival