News Desk |
The scheduled premieres for Verna in Lahore, Islamabad, and Karachi were all canceled yesterday when news broke about the censorship board’s disapproval of the content of this film. A full board review took place on the evening of the 14th of November 2017 in Islamabad, to decide whether Verna will be given permission for its screening or not.
However, this was an informal private viewing by a select few individuals representing the censorship board. The censorship board has not given another official decision yet.
HUM TV, the official sponsors, and distributors of the film have requested for a formal official viewing of the film by a larger group of the censorship board. This will take place today in the evening in Islamabad today, the 15th of November. If the screening certificate is still refused and no NOC (no objection certificate) is provided, the distributors can request an appellate review.
The secretary of information conducts this review and he can choose to overrule the decision of the censorship board after sighting his reasons. Past appellate reviews have been known to change the decision of the censorship board so Verna still has some hope of getting released.
Sources state that the distributors of the film are thinking of inviting prominent citizens, public figures and members of civil society like television anchors and editors so they can view the film and convey their opinion about it to the public.
Influential television personalities and activists have expressed their disgust with the ban with the following tweets:
Shoaib Mansoor's movie, "Varna" is not about "Rape Scenes", its about police & FIA manipulating evidence & legal system to exonerate the influential rapist; its an "art product" that holds mirror to the system of injustice in Pakistan; should it be banned?
— Moeed Pirzada (@MoeedNj) November 15, 2017
The #vernaBan is in fact a ban on awareness. It is the promotion of ignorance. It is also a ban on the evolution of women. In the age of social media? It won't work bcoz it is unstoppable.
— Tehmina Durrani (@TehminaDurrani) November 14, 2017
Parading women naked, raping 3 years old, raping women's dead bodies is okay but the theme of film #Verna that is trying to address this issue is not ok. Are we a shamless nation. Uncut Verna shd b passed. @Razarumi @MaryamNSharif @Gulalai_Ismail
— Dr. Fouzia Saeed (@FouziaSaeed) November 15, 2017