Filmmaker Sarmad Khoosat’s film Zindagi Tamasha, which was barred from being shown in Pakistani cinemas due to political controversy, is finally going to see the light of day in local cinemas in 2022.
The trailer for the movie has been re-released by production studio Khoosat Films on YouTube, showing the new releases date for the film as March 18, 2022.
Directed and co-produced by Sarmad and Kanwal Khoosat and written by Nirmal Bano, Zindagi Tamasha’s cast includes Arif Hassan, Eman Suleman, Samiya Mumtaz and Ali Kureshi. According to the film’s description on YouTube, Zindagi Tamasha is “an intimate portrait of a family as well as a scorching political commentary on the little gods on this earth who police private passions”.
Zindagi Tamasha had its premiere at the Busan International Film Festival in 2019 and was the first Pakistani film to win the prestigious Kim Ji-Seok Award at the festival. It also bagged the Snow Leopard Award for Best Film at the 6th Asian World Film Festival (AWFF) in 2021. The movie was also Pakistan’s official film entry in the International Feature Film Award category for the 93rd Academy Awards in 2020.
Zindagi Tamasha faced controversy after Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) called for protests against its original release on January 24, 2020, alleging it was “blasphemous”. Sarmad had filed a petition against the TLP in a Lahore court for “trying to interfere into the smooth running, public screening/releasing” of Zindagi Tamasha in January, 2020.
The petition said that by releasing Zindagi Tamasha, Khoosat Films aimed to “bring the soft image of the society among the public at large”, “to reduce the stress from the minds of people” and to “promote the positivity in the society”. It also pointed out how the movie had been originally cleared for release by all censor boards in the country.
In July 2020, the Senate Committee for Human Rights had approved the movie for screening as well, dismissing all objections raised against the film, however, it never got a public screening.