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Sharmeen Obaid highlights the struggle of filmmakers in Pakistan | The Express Tribune


Amidst the heated debate surrounding Saim Sadiq’s directorial Joyland and its sudden ban in Punjab even after being cleared by the censor board, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy voiced her concerns about the ongoing situation on social media.

Taking to Instagram, the Oscar winning filmmaker lamented the obstacles faced by film directors in the country. She highlighted the underlying struggles of filmmakers and how they should receive a “medal” for their “bravery.”

By dubbing the film industry a war zone, Chinoy stressed how courageous it is to release non-commercial films and deal with the unfair interferences, backlash and censorship cuts that come along with it.

She wrote, “As a rite of passage every time, a filmmaker who makes a film in Pakistan he/she should get a medal of bravery.” The Saving Face director then drew comparisons to how filmmakers like herself “go to war” for their “art” in this nation and should start collecting medals for it.”

The cryptic Instagram Story appears to back her fellow directors who have laboured their way to release their films in Pakistan.

In November, just a few days before its release, Joyland was banned in Pakistan due to its allegedly immoral and objectional content. However, after many protests, the film was cleared by the censor board committee formed at the direction of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

Regardless of the film receiving a go ahead for release countrywide, it remains banned in Punjab. In the last decade, the following films have also been barred from being released in Pakistan: Maalik, Zindagi Tamasha, I’ll Meet You There, Durj and Verna.

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