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Petitioning Vice Chairman, Central Board of Film Censors in Pakistan Adnan Akram Bajwa (Vice Chairman, Central Board of Film Censors in Pakistan)

Stop the Ban on "Among the Believers," a Documentary on Pakistan's Radical Red Mosque.

Our names are Hemal Trivedi and Mohammed Ali Naqvi, and we spent five years filming our documentary, “Among the Believers,” which explores the, often violent, ideological battle shaping Pakistan and the Muslim world.  

Unfortunately, the censor board of Pakistan just banned our film, claiming it “projects the negative image of Pakistan in the context of the ongoing fight against extremism and terrorism.”

We now fear that "Among the Believers," and the critical issues it explores, may never reach the very audience it most needs to impact: the Pakistani people.

That possibility is devastating. We spent five years building relationships with the film’s participants, gaining what Variety called “unprecedented access” to Maulana Abdul Aziz, the chief of the radical Red Mosque and its madrassa network.

Our film shadows Aziz as he wages a war against the Pakistani government with the aim of imposing Shariah law throughout the country. It also chronicles the lives of two teenage students who are pawns in his ideological war, and showcases the brave Pakistani activists fighting to stop the spread of extremism.

Among the Believers has been shown in 50 film festivals in 25 countries and five continents, won 12 awards, and received near-universal acclaim from critics like the BBC, Washington Post and the Guardian. 

But this film is an indigenous Pakistani story, and above all, we want it to play in Pakistan. 

Unfortunately, all the major outlets in Pakistan have been too scared to screen it.  That's why we were thrilled when Islamabad's Face Film Festival agreed to host its Pakistani premiere in April of 2016. But the recent ban prevented Face Film Festival from screening our film.

We now want to host theatrical screenings of this film in Pakistan.  We also want to show the film on Pakistani television. Without your help, this film will never reach Pakistan.

We ask you to appeal to the government of Pakistan to allow us to show the film in Pakistan. We are confident that if this film is allowed to screen, it will catalyze conversations about grassroots solutions to terrorism in Pakistan. 

Thank you for your support, and we ask you to share this message widely.

Please visit the film's website for more information: http://www.amongthebelieversfilm.com/

This petition was delivered to:
  • Vice Chairman, Central Board of Film Censors in Pakistan
    Adnan Akram Bajwa (Vice Chairman, Central Board of Film Censors in Pakistan)


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