The Pakistani Academy Selection Committee has selected the recently released Saawan to submit for Oscar consideration in the ‘Foreign Language Film Award’ category at the 90th Academy Awards. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will choose the final nominees for all award categories including Best Foreign Language Film in January next year. The complete and final list of Oscar nominees will be announced on January 23rd, 2018 with the presentation show for the 90th Academy Awards scheduled to take place on 4th March 2018.
It is to be reminded that none of the Pakistani movies has ever been selected for the final list of Oscar nominees in the Foreign Language Film Award category. Last year, Anjum Shahzad’s Mah e Mir was submitted for the nomination in the same category and there were much hopes but it got rejected during final selection.
Read: Mah-e-Mir: Pakistan’s bid for Oscars 2017
Directed by Farhan Alam and written and produced by Mashood Qadri, Saawan is based on a true story of a disabled child who lives in a valley in the mountains of Balochistan and is rejected by his father, intimidated by society, harassed by friends and left alone due to his disability. Strengthened by memories and dreams of the love of his mother, he begins a perilous journey back to his family in the main city.
The film features Saleem Mairaj, Syed Karam Abbas, Arif Bahalim, Najiba Faiz and Imran Aslam in the lead roles. The other cast includes Tipu Sharif, Hafeez Ali, Sehrish Qadri, Sohail Malik, Shahid Niazmi, Muhammad Abbas, Danial Yunus, Mehek Zulfiqar and Syed Muhammad Ali. The film won ‘Best Foreign Language Feature Film‘ award at the Madrid International Film Festival 2017 and the ‘Best Film’ and ‘Best Soundtrack Award’ at Salento International Film Festival in Italy earlier this month.
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The committee was chaired by two-time Academy Award and Emmy winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and includes Jerjess Seja [CEO ARY Digital Network] , Nadeem Mandviwalla [Managing Director Mandviwalla Entertainment], Asim Raza [Film and Television Commercial Director and Producer], Momina Duraid [Director and Producer Hum Films], Talat Hussain [Radio, Film, Television and Stage Actor], Sakina Samo [Actress, Producer and Director], Rizwan Beyg [Fashion Designer], Mohammad Hanif [Author and Journalist] and Ali Hamza [Singer, Song-writer and founding member of Noori].
“Today is the happiest day for Saawan Family. Saawan carries a message of hope. The story is based on “Voyage for Survival”. Mind is mightier than might is a lesson for those who consider disability a liability. It will be an inspiration to such children to become a valuable asset to the society. Saawan promotes understanding and remove misconceptions surrounding polio vaccination that may facilitate polio eradication in Pakistan. Other sensitive topics explored in Saawan are water crisis, child trafficking and the bravery of women,” says Mashood Qadri
“Saawan is a unified success of robust script-writing by Mashood Qadri, meticulous editing by Aseem Sinha, captivating soundtrack by Emir Iselay, Emmy Award Winner Sound designer Justin Lebens, brilliant cast, infinite cinematography and thorough crew members dedications. Saawan bonds human relations in harmony on a bigger screen. We are humble to received such an encyclopaedic audience applause and praised with such accolade. Team Saawan extends special thanks to GEO Films, specifically Babar Javed, Rehmat Karim Fazli, Sulaiman Lalani and Irfan Alam for all their efforts and support,” adds the director of the movie.
“I feel that our films have strong subjects & artistic statements, however, there are multiple technical departments where we are still lacking. In light of this unfortunate reality, I believe Saawan is the best option for Pakistan’s submission for Oscar consideration,” told Ho Mann Jahaan director and also a jury member Asim Raza.