The Punjab Government has banned Joyland for release in the province less than 24 hours after the Federal Government cleared the movie for a nationwide release in cinemas. According to the details, the Punjab Government has issued a notification to the film’s producer and banned them from exhibiting the controversial film, Joyland, across the Punjab province due to persistent complaints received from different quarters.
“I am directed to inform you that the Government of the Punjab in exercise of the powers conferred under Section-9 (1&2) Motion Pictures Ordinance, 1979 and rules made thereunder has decided to recall your above titled film in the wake of persistent complaints received from different quarters.” the notice sent to Sarmad Sultan Khoosat, Joyland’s producer, reads. “You are, therefore, directed not to exhibit above titled film in the jurisdiction of Punjab province till the further orders of the Government.” the notice added.
The Central Board of Film Censors (CBFM) banned the nationwide release of Joyland on 11 November 2022 after complaints were received regarding “objectionable and immoral content” being portrayed in the movie that goes against the “social values and moral standards of our society.”
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif formed an eight-member committee to review Joyland and decide whether it was appropriate for release in Pakistan after number of complaints received over the ban of the movie on social media, which left netizens divided using hashtags #BanJoyland and #ReleaseJoyland.
The committee comprised of the minister for political affairs and economic affairs and law and justice chairperson, minister for information and broadcasting, minister for communications, minister for board of investment, minister for information technology and telecommunications, adviser to the PM on Gilgit-Baltistan, PTA chairman and PEMRA chairman.
In its decision, the committee said that the movie could be released in the country, but certain scenes would have to be edited out of the film. However, the Government is yet to withdraw its notification regarding the “uncertified” status in order for the film to be screened in cinemas.
Joyland has already won Pakistan’s first Cannes entry, while bagging several other awards at international film festivals and it is Pakistan’s entry for the Oscars, which can only be eligible if the film is screened in the country for at least seven days with daily screenings at least three times as per the rules for the submission of a feature film.
Furthermore, Joyland stars the likes of Ali Junejo, Rasti Farooq, Alina Khan, Sarwat Gillani, Salman Peerzada, Sohail Sameer and Sania Saeed. However, it appears that Joyland will not make it to the big screen within the province of Punjab after this ban by the Provincial Government.
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