Zinda Bhaag: Pakistani film nominated for Oscar consideration after 50 years

Published: September 13, 2013
The Punjabi-Urdu film has been mostly shot in Lahore. PHOTO: FILE

The Punjabi-Urdu film has been mostly shot in Lahore. PHOTO: FILE

Pakistani film Zinda Bhaag has been nominated by the Pakistani Academy Selection Committee (PASC) for Oscar consideration, Express News reported on Friday.

Zinda Bhaag will be Pakistan’s first official entry in the the “Foreign Film” category after Ghoonghat which was nominated for Oscar consideration in 1963.

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.

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 film which also stars Indian celebrity Naseeruddin Shah will be released in cinemas across the country on September 20.

Directed by Meenu and Farjad, Zinda Bhaag has primarily been shot in Lahore.

“The story of the film revolves around a group of four friends who are on the lookout of finding a quick way to earn fame and wealth,” reported Azam Khan, Express News correspondent.

Film director Meenu said, “This is great news! After 50 years, this is Pakistan’s official entry to the Academy.”

“Pakistan’s film industry is back,” she added.

Zinda Bhaag has also won four awards in Mosaic MISAFF festival which was held last month at the Mississauga City Centre, Toronto.

The Mosaic festival is the largest South Asian festival visited by more than 70,000 people from all over Canada each year.

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Reader Comments (22)

  • Gemini
    Sep 13, 2013 - 6:41PM

    Congrats but movies across the globe always faces tough competition from korean and irani movies.


  • strange
    Sep 13, 2013 - 7:50PM

    Congrats…but shouldn’t we wait for Zinda Bhaag’s release in cinemas and then decide which film to be nominated for Oscar consideration… Zinda Bhaag might actually be a very good film, I don’t know, but I haven’t heard any country nominating a film for the Oscars before it has been released in cinemas!!!


  • Javed
    Sep 13, 2013 - 8:06PM

    What an excellent news. A great step forward.Recommend

  • Raj - USA
    Sep 13, 2013 - 9:02PM

    “What an excellent news. A great step forward.”

    It is like rubbing salt in my wound. I watch all movies regularly and I have been trying to watch these movies here in USA. None of these movies were screened in regular shows (screened only once or twice in film festivals) nor are they available in movie rental places. How can thee movies make any money? Pakistani movie industry can never improve and prosper with this level of commercialization.


  • Ali Ahmed Awan
    Sep 13, 2013 - 9:27PM

    @Raj – US
    its not about money, its about the content and our films do have good content like BOL and khuda k liye, unlike in bollywood where senseless and stupid films make millions and good scripts are mostly rejected by audience………..


  • stranger
    Sep 13, 2013 - 10:02PM

    @strange its quite common.Recommend

  • Savina Farook USA
    Sep 13, 2013 - 10:04PM

    @Raj USA – Before you hyperventilate about Pakistani film industry first you are comparing it to Bollywood of which you may be an expert. putting salt in the wound what are you talking about? The new genre of films are independent films all excel in their own subjects the fact that we have four films is an acheivement for our industry. We do not have a distribution & promotion services these brave film producers have zero funding and technical services the support from local audiences & media is tepid who are still brainwashed & mentally numb from watching the masala-mess shoved down their throats from Bollywood The new Pakistani is surviving it’s a painful road but the results will prove that the talented young film makers are getting their attention as thw world wonders why Bollywood with all the huge investments, technical schools, mega studios and making the most amount of films in the world is producing a limited quantity that is getting worlds attention?


  • Raj - USA
    Sep 13, 2013 - 10:20PM

    @Ali Ahmed Awan:
    My point is that these movies are not screened and also not available in movie rentals. If you cannot watch a movie, you cannot appreciate it. Bol was screened in some theaters so was Kudha Ke Liye and Reluctant Fundamentalist. I watched all these and liked it. They were good movies, better than average but nothing very exceptional. Of all the three, Kudha Ke Liye comes the last and Bol is the best, in my opinion.


  • Truth Detector
    Sep 14, 2013 - 12:08AM

    Well I think what @Raj – USA is saying that better commercialization of movies especially abroad is needed. I agree with him. In US, I don’t know how to watch these movies. May be putting them on Netflix etc will be a good idea.


  • Alann
    Sep 14, 2013 - 1:02AM

    Film director Meenu said, “This is great news! After 50 years, this is Pakistan’s official entry to the Academy.”

    “Pakistan’s film industry is back,” she added.

    Isn’t it too soon to celebrate? It is a good thing that the mvoie was submitted to the Oscars, but looking at the trailer, I don’t see what is really so great about this particular movie. It looks like a typical South Asian masala film. Nothing actually “outstanding” in it to make it stand out from the rest (of the films going to the Oscars by other countries).


  • Blunt
    Sep 14, 2013 - 1:21AM

    Great news. Let’s hope we’ll be bring home second Oscar in three years.


  • Bushra Bano
    Sep 14, 2013 - 2:44AM

    @Raj USA – what part of the equation do you not get? Pakistan has NO INTERNATIONAL PROMOTIONAL OR DISTRIBUTION so to think of screening & future DVD rentals is very slow and time consuming, Khuda ke Liya & BOL were released internationally with an Indian ditributor even that has been limited. I happened to viewZinda Baagits a light interesting fun exhilarating film and I think audiences are ready for light topics as social ones can be draining. The cast of ZindaBaag is fresh, the music delightful and a proud moment for Pakistanis who have not been invited to such great material. I think entering it to the world changes the impression of Pakistan being dragged by terrorism and demeaned by social ills to see that inspite of the present conditions we have these brave young film producers who showcase that life still goes on inspite of the super challenges that face the average Pakistani.


  • optimist
    Sep 14, 2013 - 4:57AM

    @ US_Raj

    I appreciate your comments and we do need to commercialise….. but give us some time. We have only started and will soon give Bollywood some great surprises :)
    Zinda Bhaag was not made in one day and many such projects are going on without publicity and you will know a lot about them in a year or two. There is even one Hollywood actor (not retired) secretly filming in a city of Sindh…
    It is always good to compete in art, culture, knowledge… I am sure you’ll agree!


  • StrategicThinker
    Sep 14, 2013 - 9:07AM

    Great News. Congrats to the guys and gals behind it


  • Sep 14, 2013 - 10:40AM

    congratz,we have 5 films for oscar OMG it feels very proud


  • John
    Sep 14, 2013 - 10:47AM

    @optimist: “It is always good to compete in art, culture, knowledge… I am sure you’ll agree!”

    Yes, it is good to compete but you must first learn to make films on your own…



  • Sep 14, 2013 - 7:16PM

    Really a great news for Pakistanis….I hope to have another award home after Saving Face by Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy


  • Sep 15, 2013 - 8:59AM

    very nice movie and very interesting ful time fun and masti its real good to nomination Oscar award Pakistani first film.


  • Saima
    Sep 15, 2013 - 4:47PM

    @John please keep your lack of knowledge about movie making to yourself. Pick up any Bollywood film and go through the cast and crew list and you will find the presence of much international crew. The last film I assisted on has a music director from hollywood, an action director from hollywood, 50% of the crew was foreign in all the foreign locations, the special effects work happened in a European country… This is how films are made around the world?


  • Sep 15, 2013 - 7:21PM

    @ John

    Ever heard of the term ‘global village’ or ‘globalisation’?


  • azfar
    Oct 9, 2013 - 7:22AM

    Zinda bhag is crap. Bol and khuda k liye were way ahead.


  • Aneela Zakaria
    Oct 9, 2013 - 10:49PM

    @azfar Not everybody likes everything, some people have a low tolerance after being brainwashed by masala films they find it hard to appreciate a simple comedy but the box office receipts prove you are the minority,


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