First Pak film for Oscar in 50 years

Faisal Aziz (
Filed on September 16, 2013
First Pak film for Oscar in 50 years

Comedy and thriller Zinda Bhaag has been selected as the first Pakistani film in over half a century to be submitted for Oscar consideration in the ‘Foreign Language Film Award’ category at the 86th Academy Awards to be held next year.

Naseeruddin Shah and other actors in a still from Zinda Bhaag

Directed and written by Meenu Gaur and Farjad Nabi, and produced by Mazhar Zaidi, Zinda Bhaag is a comedy/thriller about three young men trying to escape the reality of their everyday lives through the use of the unconventional methods available to them.

The film features Bollywood legend Naseeruddin Shah, Amna Ilyas and
Khurram Patras in leading roles.

The selection was made by the Pakistani Academy Selection Committee,
which got a total of four submissions for consideration. The other three films were Chambeli, Josh and Lamha (Seedlings). The committee was chaired by Emmy and Academy award winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy and included actress Samina Peerzada. Pakistan has only submitted two films to the Academy since its inception, with the last submission dating back to 1963.

“Pakistan will finally have a film in contention this year at the Academy Awards and I feel proud that today we are taking a small step towards recognising our own filmmakers,” said Chinoy.

“Zinda Bhaag is proof of the fact that sheer will, passion and talent can achieve incredible feats, and I would like to congratulate the team behind the film on a compelling and cinematic film.”

According to the committee, the movie was selected via a secret ballot and was the overwhelming film of choice of the members.“The genre Zinda Bhaag belongs to can only be called ‘cinema of conviction’. May the tribe increase! I am proud to be a part of this film,” Naseeruddin Shah said in a statement.

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