The Pakistani Academy Selection Committee has selected “Zinda Bhaag” as the first Pakistani film in over fifty years to be submitted for Oscar consideration in the 'Foreign Language Film Award’ category at the 86th Academy Awards.
The film has already bagged four awards in three categories at the Mosaic MISAFF festival held in August this year in Toronto.
Apart from ZInda Bhaag, three other films were submitted to the committee for Oscar consideration including Chambeli, Josh and Lamha (Seedlings). The movie was selected by means of a ballot concluded by the Committee members.
Films selected by each country's Academy selection committee are then submitted for screening, shortlisting and voting with the official Oscar nominees announced at a later date.
“Zindaa Bhaag took a risk in telling a different kind of story and did it in a very innovative way.
It also stayed true to its content and approach and that I feel is a very welcome contribution to the revival of cinema in Pakistan", speaking of the nomination, Committee member Mehreen Jabbar said.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will choose the final nominees for all award categories including Best Foreign Language Film by 8th January 2014.
The complete and final list of Oscar nominees will be announced on 16th January 2014 with a presentation show for the 86th Academy Awards scheduled to take place on 2nd March 2014.
Around 71 films were submitted for Oscar consideration in the Best Foreign Language Film category alone, at the 85th Academy Awards held in 2012. The number of internationally submitted films for this category is expected to be even greater this year.
Well, only time will tell if Zinda Bhaag will make it - Although it’s exciting to see Pakistani movies again strive for an identity after all these years we have seen a number of local releases and many more to look forward to this year.
Speaking about the selection of Zinda Bhaag, Chairperson of the Committee Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy said,
“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 recognizing our own filmmakers.
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”.
Zinda Bhaag is a comedy/thriller about three young men trying to escape the reality of their everyday lives through unconventional methods. The journey unfolds tales of circumstances that an average Pakistani's finds themselves in on a daily basis and their desire to set free.
Speaking of the nomination, Committee member Mohsin Hamid said,
"Zinda Bhaag is funny, natural, hip, and casually audacious - A real step forward for contemporary Pakistani cinema and a pleasure to watch”.
“Zinda bhaag is a great film about the price you pay for dreaming dreams, it is painful but true.” added Samina Pirzada who is also a committee member.
Directed and written by Meenu Gaur and Farjad Nabi, produced by Mazhar Zaidi the film features Bollywood legend Naseeruddin Shah, Amna Ilyas and Khurram Patras in leading roles.