“There will be no collective cinematic experience"
Sarmad Khoosat has revealed that he will be releasing Zindagi Tamasha on YouTube after it failed to make it to the cinema screens.
Posting a video on Instagram, Sarmad said that enough was enough and he was taking matters into his own hands. Even though this meant his years of hard work would take a cash loss.
The feature film is set to be uploaded on YouTube on August 4, 2023. The statement was made when Sarmad wished his fans an advanced Happy Independence Day.
Sarmad admitted there was controversy around his movie and acknowledged that the loss was not only his, but society’s.
He said: “There is a sense of loss, and it’s not just mine. It shouldn’t just be mine. There is a sense of failure but it’s not just my failure.
“It’s a failure of the system. Of our independent voices not being strong enough.
“As a responsible and respectable citizen, I tried everything in my control related to administration and legalities.
“I spent my money and I followed the procedure and even then Zindagi Tamasha suffered an unfair fate.”
Sarmad went on to say that Zindagi Tamasha was a project that he was passionate about and that it was vital the film obtained a cinematic experience.
He felt that the movie was treated unfairly and discriminated against.
Sarmad continued: “I spent a lot of money on this film. There’s a monetary loss as well, but it’s been four years, and there’s only so much I can do about it.
“I’ve decided to be patient about it. In Punjabi, there’s a phrase that says ‘mitti pao [let it go]’, and I’m doing just that now.”
Sarmad spoke of the disappointment he felt that viewers would not get the experience they deserved by watching the movie on the big screen.
He said: “There will be no collective cinematic experience of watching the story which was meant to be yours, meant to be felt by you, meant to be received by you.
“It will now be received through YouTube.
“It is for your experience, it is entirely free so that amid all the allegations and injustices against it, you can watch Zindagi Tamasha for yourself.”
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Sarmad received messages of support from his fans and was applauded for making such a brave decision, even if it meant incurring a huge loss.
One fan said: “The saddest thing a filmmaker or even an artist could go through. I’m so sorry.”
Another wrote: “It broke my heart to listen to your speech. I really wish you all the success and hope that you get the true recognition that you deserve.”
One comment read: “It breaks my heart that you weren’t able to show your art the way you wanted to. A small part of me is happy I finally get to watch it.
“But with a heavy sense of loss. I’m sorry on behalf of a normal sensible Pakistani.”
Produced by Khoosat Films, Zindagi Tamasha won international approbation and won numerous awards. It also became the official Oscars submission for Pakistan in 2021.
However, the film was heavily criticised for its unconventional storyline and many religious groups gathered together to protest against it.
Although the movie was cleared from the censor boards, it still failed to make its way into cinemas.
Sarmad Khoosat requested that his film be received with an open mind and that all controversies be ignored.
He finished with: “Happy Independence Day to all of you. It’s yours, Zindagi Tamasha is free and it’s yours now.”
Zindagi Tamasha is based on religious poet Rahat Khawaja, who is a respected member of society.
He finds himself in trouble when he attends the wedding of a friend’s son and is recorded recklessly showing off a dance move.
The story progresses when the recording goes viral.