‘Zindagi Tamasha’ threatened into delayed release – A timeline

Critical View

Zindagi Tamasha – Circus of Life, what was supposed to be a thought-provoking film to come out of Lollywood this year, with the release of a trailer has indeed made transparent the circus that is the tolerance for artistic expression.

30 Sept 2019

The official trailer of the film was released on YouTube.

12 Oct 2019

Zindagi Tamasha gets its world premiere and wins the Kim-Ji-seok Award at Busan Film Festival in South Korea.

2 Jan 2020

The trailer ‘disappears’ from YouTube. It was taken down by Khoosat Films and said it will re-uploaded with minor tweaks. The film was announced to be released nationwide on 24th January via an Instagram post where Khoosat called it “a piece of his heart” and shared it was cleared by all three censor boards.

3 Jan 2020

The trailer was uploaded for the second time. The cast of the movie began promoting the movie.

16 Jan 2020

Khoosat pens an open letter on Instagram to the government and authorities to allow the release of his film which was being opposed by religious groups. In the post, the director says, “main bhi Pakistani hoon.”

17 Jan 2020

A countrywide protest against the film announced. The film was submitted again for review.

20 Jan 2020

Khoosat pens another open letter saying the film was screened thrice in front of the censor boards and cleared each time. Resistance has persisted and the cast has been receiving death threats. Following this, Khoosat shared a screenshot of texts in which his cell and CNIC number had been circulating within groups.

21 Jan 2020

Firdous Awan said in tweet that the censor board approached the Council of Islamic Ideology for a critical review and directs to delay the release. A promotion event in Karachi was cancelled amid persisting threats, MAG confirmed with venue management. Irfan Ali Khoosat files a petition for ‘interference of smooth public screening’ in Lahore civil court.

22 Jan 2020

Provincial censor boards ban the release despite clearing it, citing “it may cause unrest within a segment of the society.”

25 Jan 2020

The CII refuses to give a verdict; says, “It does not come under the responsibilities of the body to give an opinion about films and dramas.”

This is a developing story, follow us on Instagram for updates. – Eman