Zindagi Tamasha by Sarmad Khoosat might have been through a lot of ordeals, but there is still some hope for it. Although the film was never released in Pakistan, it has earned international recognition and acclaim.
Following its selection as Pakistan’s official Oscar entry, the film has now earned the Snow Leopard Award for Best Film at the 6th Asian World Film Festival (AWFF), which took place on March 15. Luba Balagova Kandoor, a jury member, presented the award to director Sarmad Sultan Khoosat.
Arif Hassan won the award for Best Actor for his work in the film.
Zindagi Tamasha, also known as Circus of Creation, is “an intimate portrayal of a family as well as a scorching political satire on little gods on this planet who police our private passions,” according to the official synopsis.
Sadly, Pakistanis have not yet had the opportunity to see the film.
Zindagi Tamasha was expected to be the first Pakistani film to be released in 2020, with a January 24 release date. Despite being cleared by several censor boards twice, it has been halted from being released, and its fate remains unknown.
Khoosat had spoken out against the threats he was facing prior to his release. He even wrote a letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan. The director wrote, “I did not make Zindagi Tamasha to hurt, offend or malign anyone,” he had said. “It’s a story about a ‘good enough Muslim’ — there was/is no mention of a sect, party or faction of any sort. Neither in the uncensored version nor the censored one. If a bearded man is to be generically called a molvi, then trust me, this is/was a film about a good molvi. An empathetic and heartfelt story of a bearded an who is so much more than just that. He is a human being portrayed through a very humane eye. Well, forget it!”
Actor Emaan Suleman also resonated with Khoosat’s sentiments. She said “I don’t know what to say except, I’m sorry you might not get to watch this, which is a tragedy, because this film was made for Pakistan.”