In a major turn of events, Mahira Khan’s Verna premiere in Lahore 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.
However, while the while the fate of Shoaib Mansoor’s Verna remains unclear in Pakistan, the film appears to be set for release in cinemas tomorrow internationally.
According to an entry on the website of British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), the film has been approved for screening with no cuts.
The BBFC made note of Verna’s scenes of rape and strong threats and has given the film a rating of 15, which means the film is suitable only for 15 years and over
Hum Films’ PR team confirmed that the film is releasing internationally on schedule.
In the US and Canada, an online survey of cinema showtimes confirms this.
Similarly, in the US, Verna is running at multiple cinemas, including several AMC screens.
The film is also said to be releasing in seven Australian cities, as well as France and Denmark.