The Pakistani Academy Selection Committee has selected Kamal Khan’s directorial debut, Laal Kabootar, as their pick for this year’s Oscar consideration in the International Feature Film Award category at the 92nd Academy Awards.
Chaired by two two-time Academy Award and Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, the committee responsible for the selection also includes actress and director Zeba Bakhtiar , journalist Zarrar Khuhro, Assistant Professor of Film Studies at LUMS Zebunnisa Hamid, the multi-talented Sarmad Khoosat, director Asim Abbasi, fashion designer Rizwan Beyg, CEO of Nueplex Cinemas Jamil Baig, actress and model Sanam Saeed as well as journalist Hamna Zubair.
“This is very exciting news. This is a moment of immense pride for the entire team, from the investors who put their faith in us, to the cast and crew that worked tirelessly to tell a daring story,” gushed the producers, Hania and Kamil Chima.
Kamal Khan, the talented director behind the critically acclaimed movie also expressed his delight at the news of his debut being considered at such a prestigious level. “Humbled by the news! This is an extremely proud moment for the entire team, we are all very excited. I want to thank the Pakistan selection committee and audiences for giving Laal Kabootar so much love,” he said.
Talking about why they chose Laal Kabootar this year, the committee had nothing but praises for the gritty thriller. “Laal Kabootar is an authentic representation of the new wave cinema in Pakistan. Karachi’s raw and fierce beauty has never been shown like this on screen before,” said Sarmad Khoosat.
“Laal Kabootar is one of the finest films to come out of Pakistan in recent years. Gritty urban-scapes and the dark underbelly of Karachi has never been explored and visualized for cinema like this before. Taut, crisp storytelling and first rate performances grip you from the first shot,” said Asim Abbasi, whose movie, Cake, was sent as a consideration for Oscar last year.
Laal Kabootar, released in March 2019, is an urban crime thriller that brings Karachi’s grittiness to the big screen in the perfect way. Following the lives of a hustling taxi-driver (Ahmed Ali Akber) and a strong headed girl (Mansha Pasha), the movie incorporates action packed sequences at a blinding pace, and also stars Rashid Farooqui, Saleem Meraj, Ali Kazmi, Shamim Hilali, Akbar Islam, Syed Arsalan, Saad Fareedi, Hammad Siddiq, Ishtiaq Omar, Meesum Naqvi, Faiza Gillani, Mohammed Ahmed and Kaleem Ghour etc.