This will be the 6th consecutive Oscar submission for the ‘Foreign Language Film Award’ category from Pakistan and the Pakistani Academy Selection Committee has asked filmmakers to send their films for consideration for the upcoming 91st Academy Awards by August 20, 2018.
Once the entries are received, the committee, which is chaired by two-time Academy Award-winning filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and comprises novelists Kamila Shamshie and HM Naqvi, actor-director Saira Kazmi, singer-songwriter and philanthropist Hadiqa Kiani, singer and writer Ali Sethi, singer-songwriter Zoe Viccaji, journalist, author and critic Nadeem Farooq Paracha, hairstylist and entrepreneur Nabila Maqsood, actor and RJ Khalid Malik, and actor-host Faisal Qureshi, will choose one of them as Pakistan’s official submission for the ‘Foreign Language Film Award’ and announce it by September 2018.
The previous five submissions for the category include critically acclaimed films like Meenu Gaur and Farjad Nabi’s Zinda Bhaag (2013), Afia Nathaniel’s Dukhtar (2014), Jami’s Moor (2015), Anjum Shahzad’s Mah e Mir (2016) and Farhan Alam’s Saawan (2017). But do we have any films worth the Oscar this year?
Well, there are 3 films we feel deserve consideration this time:
Starring Sanam Saeed, Aamina Sheikh, and Adnan Malik in pivotal roles, the film – directed by Asim Abbasi – explores a dysfunctional Sindhi family trying to deal with skeletons in their closet. Regarded as a gamechanger for Pakistani cinema, Asim Abbasi’s directorial debut has bagged him the Best Director award at the UK Asian Film Festival London. It is also the first ever Pakistani film to be premiered at London’s iconic home for international film premieres, Leicester Square.
“I enjoyed the film very much,” said Nandita Das, who came all the way from India for the Pakistan International Film Festival. “It was very layered and not at all simplistic; the performances were all very strong. It’s a universal kind of a story,” she added. “It’s about relationships, which everybody can connect to – friendship, love, guilt, betrayal – all these are human, universal emotions. I hope they distribute the film in India.”
While Cake was a gamechanger for the industry, Motorcycle Girl was the film that took the vision forward. Directed by Adnan Sarwar, the film explores the real-life story of Zenith Irfan (essayed by Sohai Ali Abro). Featuring her mission to fulfil her dad’s dream of going to the Khunjerab Pass on a motorcycle, the film takes the audience on a beautiful journey through Punjab and the Northern Areas.
Shattering stereotypes and talking about women empowerment, this is the Pakistan that we need the world to see!
“Don’t tell me what rights Islam gives women; tell me what rights Muslims give women.” In a world that has stereotyped Muslims as terrorists and extremists, it is very important to know the difference between what Islam is and how Muslims interpret it. While Verna, as a film had its weaknesses, the message is the reason the film could get Oscar level recognition.
Read More: Verna – the message is bigger than the movie
What are your thoughts? Do you think any other film can make the cut?