Pakistani film “Zinda Bhaag” nominated for Oscar consideration after 50 years

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.

It is co-directed by Meenu Gaur and Farjad Nabi and produced by Mazhar Zaidi. Gaur is originally from Kolkata and moved to Pakistan four years ago. She is married to Zaidi

The film has already bagged four awards in three categories at the Mosaic MISAFF festival held in August this year in Toronto.

A total of four films were submitted to the committee for consideration including Chambeli, Josh and Lamha (Seedlings).

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.

The movie was selected by means of a ballot concluded by the Committee members.

Committee member Mehreen Jabbar (director of Ramchand Pakistani, starring Nandita Das) said, “Zinda Bhaag took a risk in telling a different kind of story and did it in a very innovative way. Its content and approach are welcome contribution to the revival of cinema in Pakistan.”

PASC 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.”

The Zinda Bhaag cast is headlined by Indian actor Naseeruddin Shah, his second Pakistani film after Khuda Kay Liye. Amna Ilyas, Khurran Patras, Salman Ahmad Khan and Zohaib are the other castings of this movie.

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 journey that unfolds through the film is a telling tale of the sorts of circumstances that everyday Pakistanis find themselves in – an unfulfilled desire to achieve feats that are out of their reach, a yearning to prove themselves despite of the hurdles places before them, and an inescapable sense of melancholy that sets in when ones opportunities are dictated by forces that are out of their control.

Zinda Bhaag releases in Pakistan on September 20.