With a limited selection of films available for the Oscar Committee in Pakistan to select from this year, there are questions being raised to whether any film will be able to stand its ground in front of critically-acclaimed narratives from all over the world. However, despite all odds – and mediocre movies – there’s one film that may be Pakistan’s saving grace and that’s Saawan. Here’s why.
Amongst the few films which may have some luck with the Committee, Saawan is the only one which has three awards to its name from various festivals in Europe. Directed by Farhan Alam, the film has done its round of the festival circuits in Italy and Spain, and does by far, cater to the niche that the Academy Awards also look for.
That being said, the film’s narrative – which is inspired by a true story of a child suffering from Polio in Skardu, Pakistan – is something that the local audience may connect to as well. Narrating the story of the eponymous Saawan – 9-year-old polio victim child who is gentle and has deep insight – the film looks at his how poverty and helplessness are quenched by the will to survive.
Set to be screened in Pakistan on September 15th, Saawan is being released by Geo films under the banner of Kalakar Films production and has been written by the award-winning screen-play writer, Mashood Qadri. Apart from an ensemble of Pakistani talent, the film also features a cornucopia of production hands from Hollywood and India.
Akin to Iranian films, the minimalistic approach to Saawan calls for attention, and that’s probably something that may get the film noticed by the Oscar Committee. For all of its apparent melodrama, the good part is that the film does not have any hidden agendas behind it. It touches the heart with the harsh reality of life and that’s what makes it work.
Until the film releases in Pakistan, you can check out the trailer here: