KARACHI: In a major turn of events, Verna’s Lahore premiere was cancelled earlier this week due to non-issuance of the censor board certificate. Statement provided by a senior board member at the Islamabad Film and Censor Board read, “There are many reasons as to why the objections have ascended. Firstly, it shows a governor’s son involved in a rape case – which was the biggest objection. Secondly, it includes many bold dialogues and scenes. The general plot of the movie revolves around rape, which we consider to be unacceptable.”
The censor board had agreed to conduct a second review of the film before clearing it for release on November 17, however officials at HUM Films have not been informed of an uncut release yet.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, Badar Ikram, senior vice president of HUM Films said, “The Karachi premiere which was to be held tonight has been called off because we still haven’t received any written word from the board. Cinemas across the country have already starting selling tickets but we cannot confirm, at the moment, if the movie will be released tomorrow. However, Verna hits international screens as promised on November 17. The film will be released tomorrow in the UK and USA without any omissions. In Australia and the Gulf countries, the film will be released next week as the cinema owners there did not want the movie to clash with Justice League which is releasing this weekend as well.”
He also quoted, “We are waiting for the Karachi board to respond. Lahore board has informed us that they will now do a full board review despite the fact that we submitted the film last Friday. In regards to the Islamabad board, we are in appeal against the cuts and the very honourable Minister will prevail and release our film uncut as she is a big supporter of the artistic community and industry as a whole. We are fully prepared to release the film as promised, once all the three boards approve.”
Twitterati was quick to judge the untimely incident as a publicity stunt to promote the movie. Haroon Shahid, who plays the male in Verna, tweeted earlier today denying that the ban is a publicity stunt.
In a recent development, Badar has confirmed, “Verna will not be released in Punjab tomorrow (November 17) as Zeba Begum, chairperson of the Punjab censor board, will not be able to review the film till 4pm tomorrow. This means we will not be able to hear back from them till 8pm, in turn meaning that we will be losing all the prime time shows.”
He added in dismay, “They have had the film since November 8 so this news is just disappointing.”
And this just happened too…
We are still awaiting confirmation if the film will be released uncut in Pakistan.
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