The director of the upcoming Pakistani film ‘Zindagi Tamasha’ has written an open letter to Imran Khan and the government of Pakistan to attempt to stop the restrictions on the realise of the film.

In an open letter posted on Twitter and Instagram, filmmaker Sarmad Khoosat claimed there have been attempts to restrict the release of his film ‘Zindagi Tamasha’ in Pakistan.

These attempts are being made despite the film getting clearance from the Central Board of Film Censors twice.

In the detailed letter addressed to the Prime Minister, President, Chief Justice, Chief of Army Staff and Minister of Information, he explained his contribution to Pakistani cinema and delved into detail about the controversy surrounding his latest film.

Khoosat writes, “Like any other film, made in any part of the world, Zindagi Tamasha is a reflection of its setting. My team and I explored themes around gender constructs, class divisions and complex human experiences. There was never any intention to attack, to point fingers at or humiliate any individual or institution.”

He further added, “Upon completion, the film was cleared by all three censor boards of Pakistan and had its world premiere at the prestigious Busan International Film Festival.”

“24 January was set as the release date. However, a ‘complaint’ was registered against the writer, the producer and myself, based on assumptions made from the two and a half minute long trailer.”

Khoosat went on to clarify, “As a law-abiding citizen and with full conviction that there is nothing offensive or malicious in the film. In response I submitted the film for another review to the censor board. It was cleared once again with a few cuts to appease the complainants. “

He ended his letter with, “The space for rational and artistic thinking and expression must not be annexed by a few troublemakers for their political ends but I fear this is what will happen if we buckle under this time.”

Zindagi Tamasha premiered at the Busan International Film Festival, where it won the Kim Ji-seok Award.

Earlier this month, the trailer for the film was taken down from YouTube. The director explained this by saying, “Khoosat Films took down the trailer from YouTube themselves. A trailer is just a tiny part of the entire film, there’s no context so a few people had some issues regarding the content of that clip and we took that into account. After minor tweaks, we’ll reupload it soon enough.”

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