Pakistani writer delighted over shortlisting in Hollywood contest

Published October 9, 2013
“I am delighted to learn that my script has been appreciated because I am working hard to make this film as my singular achievement,” said Mumtaz Hussain.  —  Dawn.com  video grab
“I am delighted to learn that my script has been appreciated because I am working hard to make this film as my singular achievement,” said Mumtaz Hussain. — Dawn.com video grab

NEW YORK: A Pakistani-American writer Mumtaz Hussain, whose “The Kind Executioner” was last week shortlisted for its gripping script in drama category of the Hollywood screenplay contest, says he cannot wait to turn it into a film.

A team of writers and experts evaluated hundreds of submissions and Mumtaz Hussain's script, which is said to be intense and moving in both dialogue and drama, was listed among the official finalists in the annual competition.

“I am delighted to learn that my script has been appreciated because I am working hard to make this film as my singular achievement,” said Hussain, who has held several exhibitions as modern artist and has also published a collection of his short stories in Urdu language.

The story in English language is derived from the last years of the life of Pakistan's former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who was executed in 1979.

He said the story is a piece of fiction, not a reality documentary, says, Hussain, who hails from Jhang, Pakistan and has lived in New York for the last several years.

The production, he says, will portray relationship between the popular prime minister and his executioner, Tara Masih, who believed Bhutto was a savior of the nation.

As has been the case with Hussain's previous productions, The Kind Executioner would be an attempt to cinematically answer questions invoked in the audience's mind by symbolism.

But Hussain is confident that average citizen, who has not much interest in history or politics, would also be able to enjoy the film.

The film, he says, promises to be full of meanings, unique experiences, transformations and expressions.

At the same time, he wants to preserve curiosity of the audience until it is ready for release.

According to Hollywood Screenplay Contest, the winning scripts are forwarded to several leading production companies and literary agencies.

“As one of the world's most visible and recognised screenplay competitions, our aim, quite simply, is to discover and recognise the brightest new talent and original voices in film and television storytelling from around the world. We identify emerging talent and place top new screenwriters firmly on the industry's radar directly in the heart of the motion picture capital of the world,” the contest website says.

The screenplays are scored and evaluated on a multipoint scale with criteria including concept, structure, plot, pacing, character, dialogue, style, theme and marketability.

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