Director Mahmoud Assad in a statement said that Jordan’s Media Commission has banned his latest film ‘Blessed Benefit’ because it “contains several scenes that undermine the state’s authority”, reported news site AgiArab on 21 February 2017.
Massad refuted the allegations by saying that security agencies granted him permission to shoot the film in 2014 and that the Royal Film Commission (RFC) had partly funded the movie.
The director told The Jordan Times that when he went to the commission to file a screening request, he discovered a ban had already been issued.
Of the seven reasons listed for the ban, he said, were the depictions of a judge and policeman, as well as an order to cut three scenes from the film, which Massad refused to do as they are “essential to character development and to the overall theme of the film”. The director added that the commission refused to give him a copy of the decision.
A commission source told the newspaper that the commission hadn’t issued a ban for the film as they never received a screening request and that filming permits are given in coordination with the RFC.
News of the alleged ban came after a special screening of the film organised by the RFC on 6 February 2017, in which Her Royal Highness Princess Rym Ali, Her Royal Highness Princess Wijdan Al Hashemi and the RFC executive commissioner were in attendance.
The film, a black comedy also written by the director, tells the story of a construction worker who ends up in prison after a bad business deal. According to Massad, the film criticizes corruption and the bureaucracy that affected the lives of average citizens in the country.
» AgiArab – 21 February 2017
Film ‘Blessed Benefit’ banned from theatres after first screening
» The Jordan Times – 21 February 2017
Local filmmaker protests ‘ban’ as commission denies receiving screening request
» SydneysBuzz – 20 February 2017
Jordanian film ‘Blessed Benefit’ banned in Jordan