Pakistani film Dukhtar is on a streak of good luck. After its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and nationwide release on September 18, it has now been selected by the Pakistani Academy Selection Committee for Oscar consideration.
The committee has nominated Dukhtar in the ‘Foreign Language Film Award’ category at the 87th Academy Awards, scheduled to take place on February 22, 2015. According to a press release, the film was selected by way of a secret ballot.
Elated at the news, the film’s director Afia Nathaniel said, “It’s so overwhelming to hear about this right after our world premiere in Toronto and during our theatrical release in Pakistan.” She added, “I extend my deep gratitude to the committee for their support and our audiences everywhere that have embraced us so warmly.”
Filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy lauded the film for its contribution to the budding Pakistani film industry. “Dukhtar has set a new precedent in filmmaking in Pakistan. The film’s powerful narrative is met with equally strong visuals, which collectively showcase what Pakistani talent is all about.”
Dukhtar explores the prevailing issue of child marriage in Pakistan through the journey of a mother and her 10-year-old daughter. The film has been commends for its attempt to diverge from the usual song-and-dance in Lollywood films. Critically-acclaimed Zinda Bhaag was the Committee’s choice for Oscar consideration last year.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 21st, 2014.