TLP (Tehreek-e-Labbaik Party) employees vowed in January of this year to hold a nationwide demonstration against the screening of Sarmad Khoosat’s Zindagi Tamasha. The Federal Ministry of Information & Broadcasting then intervened to call for the publication of the film to be delayed.
Though 10 months after scheduled release, the fate of the film’s cinema screening still hangs in the balance, Zindagi Tamasha was selected as Pakistan’s entry to the upcoming Oscars. Khoosat is incredibly modest about the range, for once.
The director said, speaking of the uproar his venture had triggered earlier, All the heartbreak that Zindagi Tamasha brought me has also restored my confidence in the power of art somehow the sheer, almost physical power of art to make it resemble life. For me this news is a really bright light shining at the end of this year-long dark tunnel. I made this film in Pakistan, and above all, for Pakistan, for my country, and my artistic heart is very heavy with the misfortune that my people have remained robbed of it.
He went on to say, while some pride kicks in slowly and no matter how far we go with this official pick, Zindagi Tamasha will represent all of us – our ‘Pakistan’. On behalf of my whole squad, I feel proud and I am highly indebted to the committee for considering it worthy enough.
Exploring the concept of tolerance was what was most important to me. Tolerance not only to others to encourage persons to live the way they are) but also self-tolerance, and this is where the idea of guilt, permission desire, etc. comes into play, Khoosat told Variety at Busan. “I was in circumstances where I felt that I should have been more tolerant of others and more accepting of myself.”
Industry insiders took to social media shortly after the announcement and congratulated the celebrated film-maker on this achievement.
Film-maker Asim Abbasi declared it the best Oscar submission to date in Pakistan. “For me, Zindagi Tamasha is the strongest submission from Pakistan since 2013,”For me, Zindagi Tamasha is Pakistan’s strongest submission since 2013. “Grateful to have been on the committee and to have seen this film, memories of which still haunt me, weeks after. Kudos to Sarmad and the team!” wrote Abbasi.
“Divine justice Mubarak ho, Sarmad.”Mubarak ho, Sarmad, Divine Justice.”I have a feeling you are going to win. However, you are already a winner in my eyes.”I have a feeling that you are going to win. You are already a winner in my eyes, however.
She was proud to be part of the Oscar selection committee that selected Zindagi Tamasha as the Oscar nominee, Mehwish Hayat said.
Featuring Arif Hassan, Eman Suleman, Samiya Mumtaz, and Ali Kureshi, Zindagi Tamasha is directed and co-produced by Khoosat and written by Nirmal Bano. The film is set in Lahore and chronicles the turmoil that ensues when a video featuring him gets posted to social media in the life of a staid, faithful elderly man.
At the 2019 Busan International Film Festival, where it received the coveted Kim Ji-seok award, the film had its world premiere.