Did you know?: Zinda Bhaag wins four awards in Canada

Published: August 19, 2013
Zinda Bhaag is scheduled to be released in Pakistan on September 6, 2013.

Zinda Bhaag is scheduled to be released in Pakistan on September 6, 2013.

The Mosaic MISAFF festival held at the Mississauga City Centre, Toronto on Friday was attended by film industry leaders, professionals, local members of parliament as well as senators. The Mosaic festival is the largest South Asian festival visited by more than 70,000 people from all over Canada each year.

In this year’s prestigious award ceremony, the Pakistani film Zinda Bhaag, which is set to release on September 6, was truly victorious as it won four awards in three categories — Best Film Award, Best Actor Award and Best Music Award.

According to the press release, the MISAFF Jury headed by Kirk Cooper said, while announcing the winner for Best Film Award, “For the film that entertained and saddened us, for its music, art direction and overall innovation in storytelling, the best film award goes to Zinda Bhaag.”

The movie continued to be praised throughout the event as the jury presented awards to the music composer Sahil Ali Bagga for best music and actors Amna Ilyas and Naghma Begum for best actors.

The movie defeated many other international top nominations, including Mira Nair’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist.

About the success of Zinda Bhaag, Meenu and Farjad, co-directors of the movie, expressed proudly, “We congratulate the entire Zinda Bhaag team for these awards.”

Zinda Bhaag was the first choice amongst hundreds of entries, to be showcased as the opening night film of the esteemed festival.

The show was sold out in record time and played to a jam-packed house at the grand Empire Cinema in Mississauga, Toronto.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 20th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (32)

  • Silas
    Aug 19, 2013 - 9:23PM

    Wow. Moment of great pride.


  • Aftab Alam
    Aug 19, 2013 - 10:47PM

    I was there at the premiere. It was jam packed and what am amazing film it is. It makes every Pakistani proud.


  • Rashid
    Aug 19, 2013 - 11:28PM

    ‘Zinda Bhaag’, ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’; it seems ‘Bhaag’ is the credo of our time. Every one knows from where to ‘bhaag’, but do we know to where to ‘bhaag’?


  • np
    Aug 20, 2013 - 12:47AM

    Misleading title. The awards were in a South Asian Film Festival in Canada. Also when it says South Asian, one would get the idea that even Indian movies would be part of the system but they were not. SO there is a film festival that shows Pakistan related movies and is called South Asian festival and then – not surprisingly a Pakistani movie wins a prize and that is represented as though some international award was obtained.


  • azmat khan
    Aug 20, 2013 - 2:03AM

    Great honour for Pakistan.Great pleasure for all.


  • Rashida Khurrani
    Aug 20, 2013 - 2:41AM

    @ Rashid is that your attempt to a stand up comic, Bhai keep your day job.


  • Azra Khan Canada
    Aug 20, 2013 - 2:51AM

    The reason why a film like this will bang the box office records the actors are fresh & young, the subject is light & fun, the music is catchy & it has zero trace of the stale, old, masala that Lollywood folk spin out. This film was made with little fanfare, and if released in India will rock the cinema houses. I saw the film with an audience that was amazed with many non Pakistani who were surprised that Pakistan could produce such hits. As in Canada we consider this a summer hit that will make the world stand up & take notice for this new genre of independent film makers taking charge to distance themselves from a dying institution like Lollywood!


  • neil
    Aug 20, 2013 - 3:00AM

    Indian films were not part of the contest – and it showcased pakistani films mostly – ET please report correctly. I live in Mississauga .


  • Aftab
    Aug 20, 2013 - 4:51AM

    Dear np, were you actually there? Please read the schedule of the festival. More than half of the films were from India. And do you consider reluctant fundamentalist a Pakistani film. If our industry has done a good thing we should be supporting it and not coming up with strange fact less statements.


  • Gp65
    Aug 20, 2013 - 5:28AM

    @Azra Khan Canada:
    You describe the movie as a hit but it has not yet been released in theatres even in Pakistan has it? You cannot judge based on response in a festival circuit. Even Josh did well in the festival circuit but barely maged to collect 1.6 million Pakistani rupees in a whole week.

    I am not saying it will not succeed, it may very well be a big bit. Just saying it is premature to declare it a hit.Recommend

  • Np
    Aug 20, 2013 - 5:38AM

    Reluctant fundamentalist is a film based on Pakistani characters by an independendent producer(it is not a Hollywood movie as incorrectly stated sometimes ). If you have to consider it as a south asian film, would you consider it Indian or Pakistani?

    My cousin lives in Mississauga and he said that all organizers of this festival were Pakistani and no notable Indian film be it Hindi, Telugu, Tamil or Bengali were screened.

    If you are saying well known Indian films were screened, please give names. Google search does not provide this information.


  • Aug 20, 2013 - 6:16AM

    From my youtube and google search, I see mostly 2012 entries and they do have most of Indian films (e.g. Midnight Chidren by Salman RUshdie). It has many Indian people in organisers as well.


  • Rehmat
    Aug 20, 2013 - 6:39AM

    @Azra Khan Canada:
    I hope this movie gets the success it deserves. Regarding your expectation that it would be a big hit in India, I have the following observations based in he promo

    Firstly, the subject is unlikely to resonate with Indians. No doubt many Indians really look forward to emigrate for economic reasons. However since the law and order situation is not similar to Pakistan, I have not heard of people risking their lives to do so, which appears to be the theme of this movie.

    Secondly, .Punjabi movies (even made in the Indian part of Punjab) have a limited pan India appeal.

    Thirdly, while Naseeruddin is no doubt an actor par excellence, his presence in an Indian movie is not at all rare and unlikely to be the reason to pull crowds in.

    Of course I could very well be wrong and the movie cold be a huge hit In India too as you suggest. We shall wait and watch.


  • Muhammad
    Aug 20, 2013 - 11:20AM

    I think I am going to like this movie and shall watch it at least three times whenever it is released.


  • Rational Liberal
    Aug 20, 2013 - 11:43AM

    ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’ wasn’t a Pakistani movie, and there were many other non-Pakistani movies at the awards, there were even many Indian singers at the concert.

    The head of the jury was ‘Kirk Cooper’, and that doesn’t sound like a Pakistani name to me.

    The only reason you don’t like this news is because you’re Indian.


  • Logical
    Aug 20, 2013 - 12:21PM

    “The movie continued to be praised throughout the event as the jury presented awards to the music composer Sahil Ali Bagga for best music and actors Amna Ilyas and Naghma Begum for best actors

    First of all Congratulations to the Zinda Bhaag team for these awards…

    Having said that, as an Indian, I was surprised that Naseeruddin Shah did not win the best award for acting, especially when he had also conducted acting workshop for the newcomers in the film…
    Riz Ahmed (British Pakistani) actor got the best male lead award for The Reluctant Fundamentalist.
    The Jury for these awards were Kirk Cooper, Shireen Pasha (Pakistani) and Nurjahan Akhlaq (Canadian Pakistani)

    Therefore, I reckon this was a award function meant exclusively for Pakistanis!


  • Shazia
    Aug 20, 2013 - 3:22PM

    I attended and it is an international festival with several indian films showed including ones in Indian regional languages.


  • np
    Aug 20, 2013 - 8:15PM

    @Rational Liberal: IF Reluctant fundamentalist is not a Pakistani film, it certainly isn’t an Indian film. So what was it doing in a South Asia film festival. Also what does the fact that professional Indian singers sang at the function or that Kirk Cooper was part of the jury have to do with my basic point that the organizers were Pakistani? If you are saying that many Indian films were shown, please name any well known Indian film that was shown. If you see the entire list of award winners every single one of them is a Pakistani. Ultimately Mr. Kirk Cooper can only select from among the movies he is shown and from among the shortlisted contenders for any category. If the short list does not include any Indians then how can they win? Can anyone seriously say that people like Shabana Azmi (who acted in reluctant fundamentalist) and Naseer (who acted in Zinda Bhaag) were shortlisted as contenders for the acting awards and did not place?

    I dod not say I did not like the fact that Zinda Bhaag won an award. Pakistanis can hold as many award functions as they like and give awards to PAkistanis – what is there not to like. In India we have the Filmfare award, the Zee Cine award and many more where the only contenders are Indian movies. There is no harm whatsoever. I am just asking ET not to mischaracterize the nature of the award.


  • Azra Khan Canada
    Aug 20, 2013 - 8:35PM

    @Gp65 – I noticed always a vert tepid support from Pakistanis in Pakistan for their fellow country person I do not know if it is blind jealousy or a hidden passion to see others not succeed. Take JOSH which were not only festival showing as you claim which is ironic & typical wrong reporting there were many independent packed showings by overseas Pakistanis & it’s local citizens. May be the poor box office receipts are proof that Pakistanis would rather illegally download then pay & support to see the film. Also goes to show the dumbing down of Pakistani audience by the Bollywood material of masala dancing in skimpy costumes heavily copied by low class Hollywood movies.
    @Rehmat I agree the security conditions in India & Pakistan is different. Leaving aside the rich I disagree the working class do not have angst to travel abroad to study work & get a green card. Also in Canada the Bollywood films were a nice distraction but that had ended the same old song and masala amazes a selected few. Most of the other Bollywood films are cheap copies of foreign films with Indian touches,what is getting the attention abroad “Petals in the Dust” an independent Indian film that highlights the horrendous killing of girls & brutal treatment of women who cannot bare male child coming from the upper middle class from a nation that claims to be the fastest growing democracy but hides this fact!


  • Plaintalk
    Aug 21, 2013 - 2:04AM

    @np – forget it, friend, these guys won’t get it. It is an article to make the readers of ET feel good.


  • gp65
    Aug 21, 2013 - 2:05AM

    @Azra Khan Canada: Everyone is entitled to their own choices and if you do not like Bollywood movies that is fine. But to dismiss all Bollywood movies as song and dance is simply not true. Just within the last 2 years I can name several movies that can most definitely not be dismissed and song and dance rom coms:
    1) Aarakshan
    2) Vicky Donor
    3) Saat Khoon Maaf
    4) No one killed Jessica
    5) Kahani
    6) Rockstar
    7) Jolly LLB
    8) Special 26
    9) Oh My God
    10) Bhaag Milkha Bhaag
    11) Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara
    12) Raanjhna
    13) Dirty Picture
    14) Talaash
    15) Race 2Recommend

  • Rehmat
    Aug 21, 2013 - 2:09AM

    ET Mods – Please let me post a reply to Azra since she wrote to me.

    @Azra Khan Canada: “Leaving aside the rich I disagree the working class do not have angst to travel abroad to study work & get a green card. “

    Not sure what you are disagreeing with. I myself mentioned that Indian do want to emigrate for economic opportunity. But because of the security situation in India is not so dismal, they will not put their lives at risk to emigrate. COnsidering that you agree secrity situation in both countries are deifferent what part of my statement are you disagreeing with?


  • Np
    Aug 21, 2013 - 6:12AM

    Please name any well known Hindi movies that were screened. Also since it was international, please provide name of movie and country that was screened besides Pakistand and supposedly India.


  • Vipul Patel Mississauga Canada
    Aug 21, 2013 - 8:34AM

    Accidentally I stumbled by mistake on this film, then to add more confusion I thought it was an Indian film with its slick poster I think seeing the name Naseererdin somewhat settled my mind. As the film progressed I did not recognize the actors who were polished, professional, smooth like some of our Bollywood veterans the music was catchy, exciting and cannot wait for the DVD release on iTunes. The photography was smart, eye catching and the colors made me want to visit Lahore, it made us wanting more. When I heard it was a Pakistani film I fell off my seat the crowds were on their feet thoroughly enjoying a tale that any family can enjoy, so to my Pakistani friends where are you hiding these creative gems?
    First we were treated to JOSH now this the independent low budget films emerging from Pakistan is thrusting talented film makers to experiment, discover and present. BRAVO to my friends across the BORDER!


  • Aug 21, 2013 - 5:40PM

    @ Vipul Patel
    I hope more people follow your example and give honest opinion of the film, not just unnecessary attempts to discredit it without even watching it.


  • Sonia Begum
    Aug 21, 2013 - 7:36PM

    @trave_tart Bhai that is our Indo-Pak mentality lets down them first everyone now has an opinion based with little common sense & loaded with mean stupidity. Thanks to social media!


  • Arshad Khan
    Sep 1, 2013 - 6:32AM

    @np: Please take a look at the festival program. Indian films were also presented as this is the leading South Asian film festival of the area.


  • Arshad Khan
    Sep 1, 2013 - 6:35AM

    @Logical: You should watch the films before making such judgement calls.


  • Arshad Khan
    Sep 1, 2013 - 6:42AM

    Yes Pakistani films won awards at the Mosaic International South Asian film festival of Mississauga which I was the festival director of. Eat your heart out. Just don’t discredit the award because Indian films did not win. I was the one trying to get Indian filmmakers to submit their films. I was the one getting the programming to be as representative of the South Asian diaspora and 100 years of Indian cinema as possible. I was at TIFF and Cannes and every festival I could make it to over the last year searching for films for MISAFF. Zinda Bhaag clearly stood out a winner and the jury very fairly made its decisions- not based on Pakistani bias as some trolls on this thread seem to claim- but because out of the films we offered, this film really stood out. Go watch it when it comes to cinemas before accusing our festival of Pakistani bias. Shame on you!


  • Arshad Khan
    Sep 1, 2013 - 6:43AM

    @gp65: Write to these filmmakers and ask them if they bothered to submit their films to MISAFF or any other South Asian film festival in Canada.


  • Sep 14, 2013 - 10:45AM

    great thumbsup


  • @np
    Sep 16, 2013 - 5:14PM

    You won’t let even the smallest positive news about Pakistan slip, will you. Loser.


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