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Pakistan's prime minister orders review of ban on Oscar-entry 'Joyland,' an aide says

This image released by all caps/Khoosat Films shows a scene from the film <em>Joyland</em>.
This image released by all caps/Khoosat Films shows a scene from the film Joyland.

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan's prime minister has ordered a review of the ban on the country's Oscar entry, the movie Joyland, days after the measure was imposed, one of his advisers said.

The movie, which features a love story between a married man and a transgender woman, is Pakistan's entry for next year's Academy Awards and was a prizewinner at this year's Cannes Film Festival.

But the film has caused controversy in Muslim-majority Pakistan and state censors last week banned its showings at movie theaters, reversing a previous all-clear for release.

According to a tweet late on Monday from Salman Sufi, an adviser to Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, a high-level committee is being set up to assess Joyland and review the ban.

Transgender people are considered outcasts by many in Pakistan, despite some progress with a law that protects their rights and a landmark Supreme Court ruling designating them as a third gender,

"The committee will assess the complaints as well as merits to decide on its release in Pakistan," Sufi tweeted. He could not immediately be contacted for more details.

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The movie's director, Saim Sadiq, called the ban "unconstitutional and illegal."

Joyland was scheduled for release in Pakistan on Friday.

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The Associated Press
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