Diljit Dosanjh starrer Punjab ‘95, based on Jaswant Singh Khalra, removed from TIFF 2023 line-up due to political reasons?

Ever since Diljit Dosanjh starrer Punjab ‘95 was announced, the film has been in the headlines. A biopic based on the life of eminent human rights activist Jaswant Singh Khalra, the film was set for the premiere at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). However, it seems like the movie has been removed from the line-up of the festival.

While the makers nor the festival organizers have not commented on why the film is not on the line-up anymore, as per Variety, a source told the publication that “there are political forces at play in the film being pulled from Toronto. Canada has the second largest Sikh population in the world after India.”

The film also made headlines as the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) took six months to provide a certificate to the movie. They even cleared the movie with 21 cuts and asked to change the title from Ghallughara to Punjab ‘95. RSVP, the production house of Ronnie Screwvala appealed the decision in the Bombay High Court and the decision is still pending.

Talking about the film, it is based in the thick of a troubled and hostile decade of the early 1990s in Amritsar, Punjab, where protagonist Jaswant Singh Khalra, a bank employee and human rights activist lives with his wife, a librarian, and their two little kids. Inclined to stay detached from the hostility that surrounds them, he wants nothing more than a regular, middle-class existence when his hopes of living such a life are thrown into turmoil when he learns of the disappearance of his late friend’s mother, Bibi Gurpej. And so begins his journey to find his old aunt, and he soon realizes that the deeper he digs in his search, the murkier and more dangerous the situation becomes, for him as well as his family.

Helmed by Honey Trehan, Punjab ‘95 is produced by Ronnie Screwvala in association with MacGuffin Pictures. The film also stars Arjun Rampal, and Surinder in pivotal roles.
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