Pakistan’s Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry on Saturday assured Indian filmmaker Nandita Das that he will help in releasing her film Manto in his country.
“I am trying to pursue importers to bring this movie to Pak [Pakistan], I hope someone will definitely take risk of showing a less commercial film to the viewers,” Chaudhry tweeted.
He was replying to Das’s tweet in which she had said that she was “disappointed that Manto will not be seen in theatres in Pakistan”. Das thanked the minister on Sunday.
On December 14, Das wrote in Scroll.in that Manto had not been passed by the Pakistani censor board. She said the reasons cited were an “anti-Partition narrative theme and explicit scenes, which is against the norms of Pakistani society”. “Without a trace of doubt, censorship anywhere, and in all forms, is dangerous as it silences voices that need to be heard,” Das said.
Danyal Gilani, chairperson of Pakistan’s Central Board of Film Censors, told IANS, that Manto was not cleared as members of the board found it in violation of the censorship code. Gilani, however, said an importer could request for a review.
Meanwhile, a group of 16 people signed an open letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan raising concerns over the ban on the Das’s film. The letter was signed by activists, journalists and Manto’s daughters.
Manto is a biopic about Urdu writer and iconoclast Saadat Hasan Manto starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Rasika Dugal. The film traces Manto’s years as a writer in Bombay, his move to Pakistan and the impact of India’s Partition on his life and work.