Pakistan bans Joyland, its official Oscar entry, over ‘highly objectionable material’, director reacts

Pakistani film Joyland, which is the country’s official entry in Oscars 2023, has been banned by the authorities over highly objectionable content.

In Short

  • Pakistani authorities have banned director Saim Sadiq’s Oscar entry Joyland.
  • Joyland was Pakistan’s official entry into the Oscars 2023.
  • The film is banned over allegations that it contains highly objectionable material.

By Prachi Arya: Pakistani authorities have banned acclaimed director Saim Sadiq’s Oscar 2023 entry Joyland, alleging that it contains “highly objectionable material”. The move comes months after when the film was given a clearance certificate for public viewing. The film, which was selected for Oscars 2023, has won acclaim all over the world at various film festivals.


Joyland was granted the certificate for screening by the government on August 17. However, later the movie faced objections over its contents which forced the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to pull down the film apparently to avoid a backlash by conservative elements of the country.

Senator Mushtaq Ahmad Khan shared a post on Twitter and shared a notification by the ministry that stated, “Written complaints were received that the film contains highly objectionable material which does not conform with the social values and moral standards of our society and is clearly repugnant to the norms of ‘decency and morality as laid down in Section 9 of the Motion Picture Ordinance, 1979.”


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