Web Desk: The filmmaker of Indian version of ‘Manto’ Nandita Das has expressed her disappointment about her film Manto not getting cleared for release in Pakistan.
Pakistan’s Information and Broadcasting Minister Fawad Chaudhry has extended help while an online petition has urged Prime Minister Imran Khan to lift ban on its screening.
On Saturday, Nandita tweeted, “Disappointed that Manto will not be seen in theatres in Pakistan. I was keen as he belongs to both countries equally,”.
Her post, which included the link of an article — which she penned for a news website, explaining why the film won’t be crossing India’s borders — led Chaudhry to respond.
“I am trying to pursue importers to bring this movie to Pak(istan). I hope someone will definitely take risk of showing a less commercial film to the viewers,” he wrote of the film, which traces the life of writer Saadat Hasan Manto.
Danyal Gilani, Chairman, Pakistan’s Central Board of Film Censors (CBFC), told IANS via social media: “Manto wasn’t cleared by the Board as the members found it in violation of the censorship code.”
However, he said an importer had the right to request a review.
Nandita on Saturday said the reasons cited by the Pakistan censor board for not clearing Manto were that “the film has anti-Partition narrative theme and explicit scenes, which is against the norms of Pakistani society”.
Online petition has been initiated to demand that Prime Minister Imran Khan lift a ban on its screening.
The open letter says: “Manto, a critically acclaimed film, directed by Nandita Das, celebrates the life of the Urdu writer who chose Pakistan as his home during the Partition but is collectively owned and revered by the people of the sub-continent. The audiences and critics worldwide have appreciated the film.
“However, it is a matter of huge concern that Pakistan has recently decided to ban the film. The disappointing decision to ban the film has created a hue and cry among writers, poets and intellectuals in the literary circles of Pakistan”.