The Academy Awards has announced its juries and committees for the different categories.
If 2020 has been bringing us bad news in the first 9 months, perhaps this one will cheer you up! The Oscars are coming up and 5 Pakistanis are proud to be part of the committee!
Pakistan and the Oscars
Pakistan’s first submission in the Oscars was in 1959 in the category of Best International Feature film but Pakistan didn’t win any award. However, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy became the first Pakistani to win an Academy Awards in 2012, for her film Saving Face.
Since then, Pakistan has yearly nominations in the International Film category. Some of the previous nominees are:
- A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (winner, 2015)
- Moor (2015)
- Mahe Mir (2016)
- Sawan (2017)
- Cake (2018)
- Laal Kabootar (2019)
Five people from Pakistan have been selected to join the committee for the International Foreign Film category. The members are Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, Asad Ul Haq (director), Faisal Kapadia (Strings), HSY (designer) and Mehwish Hayat (actress)
We got a hold of some of the big stars to get to know their thoughts and feelings for being a part of the 93rd Oscars. Here’s what Faisal Kapadia and Asad Ul Haq have to say!
1. Can we have some thoughts from you on the Pakistani film industry & the Oscars committee 2020?
Faisal: I’m actually very excited to be a part of this committee because you know, it’s very honorable whenever a Pakistani film is selected for the Oscars. For years, films from all over the world are selected for the International foreign film categories. Now Pakistan is more active, if I have a part in selecting or contributing, I’m very honored.
2. What’s different about 2020?
Faisal: 2020 was a very tough year, but 2 more months are still left. I guess we will get out of it soon.
Asad: Most big films did not come out during the Eid month so not sure what we will be judging for now … I think independent films will have a better chance maybe.
3. Academy Awards – What the nomination means for us?
Faisal: We have so many talented story writers and storytellers who can now have a chance to exhibit the films through OTT platforms. This will surely be a game changer for Pakistani cinema!
Asad: It’s a huge milestone, was pleasantly surprised to be a part of this Oscar community worldwide .
4. What are we doing right, or wrong?
Faisal: The biggest problem for us was that cinemas were shut down and many films stopped shooting because of Covid. But we turned to OTT platforms such as Zee , Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple TV +, Eros. This will give the film industry a chance to grow.
Asad: As long as we are doing something… that’s in the right direction in my eyes.
Oh well, doing something we are. It’s imperative to understand that our film industry was just awakening after decades of slumber, to a happening cinema scene. Pakistanis were welcoming their favourite stars on the big screen, and Covid could not have come at a worse time to halt that progress!
Do give a shout out to our film makers and the support industry at the 93rd. Academy Awards, they need us all behind them – and feel proud that we will be represented at the Oscars, despite the numbers – and trust that baby steps will eventually lead to giant leaps!