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Mumbai Film Festival Pulls Classic Pakistani Film After Political Pressure

A.J. Kardar's "Day Shall Dawn" has been yanked from the festival after political upheaval.

“Day Shall Dawn”

The Mumbai Film Festival has cancelled its planned screenings of A.J. Kardar’s “Day Shall Dawn” (aka “Jago Hua Savera”), reports Variety. The 1958 Pakistani film had previously been selected and announced as part of the festival’s retrospectives section. As the outlet notes, no announcement of the programming decision was posted on MAMI’s festival website, and the website currently does not include any reference to “Jago Hua Savera.”

“Given the current situation, the JIO MAMI 18th Mumbai Film Festival with Star has decided not to programme ‘Jago Hua Savera’ as part of the Restored Classics Section,” the festival said in a brief statement that was sent to Indian media and shared with Variety.

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The decision to pull the film is believed to be a result of rising tensions between India and Pakistan, acerbated by a border incident that took place a few weeks ago. India reportedly launched “surgical strikes” inside Kashmir, which is currently controlled by Pakistan.

As Variety reports, “as a reaction to the military skirmish the powerful Indian Motion Picture Producers’ Association (IMPPA) called on its members to stop working with Pakistani talent and technicians until the current political tensions ease.” Elsewhere, the political party Maharashtra Navnirman Sena asked that all Pakistani artists leave India and that their films subsequently be banned. Over the weekend, yet another organization, the Sangharsh Foundation, reportedly filed a police complaint against the MAMI for its planned screening of “Day Shall Dawn.”

The film, a black and white drama, was recently restored, and it previously screened as part of the Cannes Classics section of the Cannes Film Festival. It has also screened in London and Edinburgh.

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