“I’ll Meet You There”: Another Pakistani Film Gets Banned by Censor Board

Pakistani American filmmaker Iram Parveen Bilal’s “I’ll meet you there” is the latest film to join the queue of films banned for public exhibtion by censor board. In the recent past Sarmad Khoosat’s “Zindgi Tamasha” and Abu Aleeha’s “Javed Iqbal:Untold Story of Serial Killer” met the same fate and still await release.

In an instagram post Iram Parveen, whose debut film “Josh” was released in cinemas back in 2013, announced the news saying the film was allegedly banned citing “negative image of muslims”

The film portrays story of a Pakistani-American family living in Chicago and stars Faran Tahir, Muhammed Qavi Khan and Nikita Tewani. It was earlier nominated for the Narrative Feature Grand Jury Award at the South by Southwest film festival (SXSW) in 2020, but was delayed due to the pandemic.

Talking to Variety Parveen Bilal expressed her disspointment over the matter saying “No cuts suggested, no dialogue with the film-making team, just straight up…banned. This is a film that has already had a tumultuous journey in the wake of the lockdown-induced cancellation of its SXSW 2020 competition premiere. And then, this. Another highly anticipated premiere was cancelled within a week of its due date. But this one feels more personal and painful in a deeper way.”

Commenting on the film being banned on grounds of negative image of muslims she said “A film that was made with blood, sweat and tears by a Muslim, financed by Muslims and made in the face of a post 9/11 world and a Trump presidency, a film whose very purpose was to combat Islamophobia and to create a positive portrayal of Muslims. A film already released abroad and celebrated widely by the Muslim Pakistani diaspora and seen as a needed and humanised representation of our people. How could that intention be reframed so oppositely and so negatively?” further saying she feels agrieved on losing the potential homeland audience.

In an instagram post the film’s executive producer Abid Aziz Merchant shared his thoughts on the ban. “Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan said the world values original content and not imitation, as he criticised the films produced in Pakistan, which ‘copy’ Bollywood. The premier further elaborated: ‘I have seen the inception of Pakistan’s film industry [….] we started copying Indian films after some years.’ The prime minister went on to say Pakistan began adopting foreign cultures instead of promoting its own through the films. ‘Bring original ideas and don’t be afraid of failure’, ‘The world values original ideas’. Aziz called the ban ”an utter dissppointment”

“I’ll meet you there” was scheduled to release on today’s date (March 11) but was banned by Central Board of Film Censors, Islamabad.

Written by Web Desk


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