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Pakistan lifts ban on Oscar-nominated film Joyland, Imposes minor cuts

Pakistan lifts ban on Oscar-nominated film Joyland, Imposes minor cuts

Islamabad: Pakistan's government has lifted the ban on its Oscar-nominated, Cannes-winning film 'Joyland'. The film will now be released in Pakistan after some "minor cuts."

Sufi told Variety that the decision to lift the ban is a simple yet powerful message that the government stands by freedom of speech and safeguards it, and cannot allow mere smear campaigns or disinformation to be used as choking creative freedom.

The film received a censor certificate on August 18 which was overturned on November 11 after written complaints called the film "repugnant" and said it contained "highly objectionable material which does not conform with the social values and moral standards" of Pakistan society.

The news was announced on Twitter by Salman Sufi, head of Prime Minister Sharif's Strategic Reforms unit who has been vocally opposing the ban.

After the film was banned on November 13, Sufi tweeted: "I personally do not believe in banning films that highlight issues faced by marginalised segments of our society. People should be trusted to watch & make their own mind." He also requested Mrriyum Aurangzeb, Pakistan's Minister for Information and Broadcasting, to review the ban and meet with the team of Joyland.

The next day, Sufi said Sharif had constituted a high-level committee to assess the film as well as complaints and review its ban. Two days later, Sufi said the committee recommended a full board review by the censor board to "reevaluate its suitability for screening" because it is important to not negatively speculate about content without proof.

Saim Sadiq's directorial debut tells the story of a middle-class family living in Lahore. The wheelchair-bound patriarch wants his two sons to give him grandchildren. However, his younger son joins an erotic dance group and falls in love with a transwoman. This creates unhappiness in the family.

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