Sarmad Khoosat’s sophomore directorial effort Zindagi Tamasha generated some noise early last year when its theatrical screening was postponed on the heels of objections made by certain religious groups. While the film was later green-lit by the censors, its nationwide rollout was halted by the closure of cinemas in wake of the pandemic.
The jinx seems to have been broken with the movie finally getting some recognition come its way. The film won two awards at the Asian World Film Festival, held online this year from March 10 to 15. Competing amongst 40 features from 20 countries, the film won the Snow Leopard award for Best Film, whereas its lead actor Arif Hassan won the Snow Leopard Award for Best Actor. According to its official description, the festival ‘predominantly screens Oscar and Golden Globe submitted films from Asia for the Best Foreign Language Film’, and Zindagi Tamasha made the cut after it was chosen as Pakistan’s entry to the Academy Awards last year.
Said to revolve around the themes of tolerance and religious extremism, the film follows the journey of a poet and naatkhwan who ends up embroiled in controversy after a video of him dancing at a wedding goes viral – a plot that ironically echoes the film’s own travails. Receiving the award for Best Film, Khoosat stated that the film’s win was the “right kind of morale boost and the emotional boost as well” for him personally, whereas Best Actor winner Arif Hassan described being “overwhelmed by the recognition.”
While we await the film to hit the theaters, you can check out its theatrical trailer below to get a whiff of what is on offer. Stay tuned to PakistaniCinema for the latest on Zindagi Tamasha and the best from Pakistani showbiz.