KARACHI: The film that has not been granted a theatrical release has sent shock waves throughout the continent. Sarmad Khoosat’s prized movie, Zindagi Tamasha has bagged not one, but two awards at the Asian World Film Festival. Not only has the film won the Snow Leopard Award for Best Film, but Arif Hassan has also won an award for Best Actor. Khoosat, who had to file a petition against the TLP over the threats he started to receive post-announcement of his movie, was handed over his award by Jury member Luba Balagova Kandor as Zindagi Tamasha won Best Film.
Renowned Pakistani writer, Mohammad Hanif took to his Twitter to applaud the cast and crew of the film over their continental acclaim. “Congratulations to makers of Zindagi Tamasha. Not tagging them as still scared for them. Not saying FU to those who stopped its release cos still scared of them.”
Cricketer Wahab Riaz also took the opportunity to express his pride in the winning film. “Zindagi Tamasha winning the best film award at 6th Asian World Film festival after competing against films from China, Iran, Japan, and many other powerhouse film industries. A big shoutout to everyone involved, this will definitely help to lift the Pakistani Industry up.”
The film has still not been out on the big screen or televised in any form. Earlier, in his letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan, Khoosat expressed his concerns over the drastic assumptions being made about his movie and how a less than 2-minute long trailer of Zindagi Tamasha was enough for many to conclude that the film holds offensive content.
“I started working on Zindagi Tamasha two years ago excited to make a contribution to the evolution of cinema in Pakistan and to cater to my need for artistic expression,” he wrote. “Like any other film, made in any part of the world, Zindagi Tamasha is a reflection of its setting. My team and I explored themes around gender constructs, class divisions, and complex human experiences,” he added. The director also stated that there was never any “intention to attack, to point fingers at or humiliate any individual or institution.” He went on to say that the film has been cleared by three censor boards. “However, a ‘complaint’ was registered against the writer, the producer, and myself, based on assumptions made from the two and a half minute long trailer.”