Abu Aleeha, the director of the film featuring Yasir Hussain and Ayesha Omar, which delves into the life of Javed Iqbal, Pakistan’s most infamous murderer, announced last month that he had changed the name of the film to Kukri. The director also shared that he had made the necessary edits to the film and resubmitted it to the censor board, hoping for a green light for release. Fortunately, Aleeha’s efforts paid off, as he recently confirmed that Kukri has been approved by the censor board and is scheduled to release on May 19th, as stated in an interview with a private news channel.
“The Almighty has been mighty kind to me this Ramazan,” the director said. The censor board has cleared the film on Javed Iqbal and we have renamed it to Kukri. The film will release on May 19. Congratulations to the entire team.”
Aleeha had previously informed that the movie’s new title, Kukri, was derived from Javed Iqbal’s nickname, which was given to him due to his distinctive sitting posture.
“We tried to release our film Javed Iqbal last time independently,” said the director. “We didn’t have a proper distributor. Once we received the censor certificate, the way it was returned, a lot has already been written about that.”
“Keeping that in mind, we have now joined hands with Eveready Pictures, a very credible distributor in Pakistan, and will resubmit Javed Iqbal through them. We submitted a request to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and the federal censor board to review the film again and whatever changes they want to make, we’re agreeable, if they give us the permission to play this in cinemas,” he further added.
Aleeha added, “They watched the movie and requested us to change the film’s name from Javed Iqbal since it might appear as if we are glorifying him. Additionally, they suggested that we include a message at the end of the film, explaining the reason behind our decision to make this film. We have consistently stated in all of our interviews that our objective was not to glorify Javed Iqbal or his heinous acts.”
The movie was initially planned to be released in October 2021, but due to censorship problems, its premiere was postponed to December of the same year. Although the film had its first showing in Karachi in January 2022, it was subsequently suspended by the Punjab government.
The movie Kukri is inspired by the real-life account of Javed Iqbal, a Lahore-based serial killer who admitted to killing 100 boys in 1999. Aleeha has penned the screenplay, and Javed Ahmed Kakepoto has produced the film. Despite facing various obstacles during its production, the movie has already had its global debut at a film festival in the UK and has been chosen for the Berlin International Art Film Festival. Additionally, a sequel to the movie is currently in the works and is slated for release in theaters during the upcoming summer season.