'Zindagi Tamasha' is Pakistan's submission to the Oscars

Shunned by govt endorsed by the Oscar committee, the bittersweet journey of Khoosat's film continues

Our Correspondent November 28, 2020


The Pakistani Academy Selection Committee has selected Sarmad Khoosat's Zindagi Tamasha to be submitted for Oscar consideration in the 'International Feature Film Award’ category for the 93rd Academy Awards, stated a press release. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will choose the final nominees for all award categories including International Feature Film in February 2021. The complete and final list of Oscar nominees will be announced on 15th March 2021 with the presentation show for the 93rd Academy Awards scheduled to take place on 25th April 2021.

Directed and co-produced by Sarmad Khoosat, along with Kanwal Khoosat and written by Nirmal Bano, Zindagi Tamasha features Arif Hassan, Eman Suleman, Samiya Mumtaz and Ali Kureshi. Shot in the backdrop of holy celebrations in old Lahore, Zindagi Tamasha is a brave and timely film. It’s an intimate portrait of family and scorching political commentary.

The Oscar committee for 2020 was chaired by two-time Academy Award and Emmy winning filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and includes Faisal Kapadia, Asad-ul-Haq, Hamza Bangash, Syed Muhammad Ahmed, Mehwish Hayat, Hasan Shehreyar Yasin, Asim Abbasi, Arshad Mahmud and Jamal Shah. 

Speaking about the selection of Zindagi Tamasha, producer Kanwal Khoosat has said, “Zindagi Tamasha's story reflects on regular people and is a poignant snapshot of life, family, the city of Lahore and the different values that people have. On set, we felt passionate about working on a story that was representative of a real situation that regular people could face. Real emotions. Real issues. The announcement surely proves that we in Pakistan are ready to tell stories close to the heart. We are ready to represent our people. I cannot stop feeling proud of my team. We have worked countless hours to tell a truly Pakistani story. Many thanks to the committee for recognizing our efforts and acknowledging our film."

“All the heartache that Zindagi Tamasha gave me has somehow restored my faith in the power of art too: the sheer, almost physical power of art to make life imitate it. This announcement, for me, is a very bright light shining at the end of this dark tunnel of a year. I made this film in Pakistan and foremost, for Pakistan, for my people and the misfortune that my people have remained deprived of it weighs quite heavy on my artistic conscience. Some pride is slowly kicking in though and no matter how far we go with this official selection, Zindagi Tamasha will be representing all of us - our ‘Pakistan’. I feel honoured on behalf of my entire team and I am extremely grateful to the committee for finding it worthy enough.” said director Sarmad Khoosat.

This year’s deadline for submission of films for consideration of Pakistan Academy Selection Committee was October 20th 2020.

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