Oscars: U.K. Selects 'My Pure Land' for Foreign-Language Category

'My Pure Land'

Sarmad Masud’s feminist Western is the first-ever Urdu-language film submitted by Britain for the Academy Awards.

The U.K. has picked My Pure Land, an Urdu-language feature from first-time director Sarmad Masud, as its submission for consideration for the 2018 Oscars in the foreign-language film category.

This marks the first time Britain has submitted an Urdu-language title to be its Oscar hopeful. The U.K. has only twice been nominated in the foreign-language category: in 1993 for Paul Turner's Hedd Wyn and in 1999 for Paul Morrison's Solomon and Gaenor, both films shot in the Welsh language. The U.K. has yet to win a foreign-language film Oscar.

Masud's drama, described as a “feminist Western,” is based on the true story of a mother and her two daughters who survived a siege on their home by relatives in rural Pakistan, culminating in them having to defend their land from a militia of 200 bandits.

Produced by Bill Kenwright Films, My Pure Land premiered at the Edinburgh International Film Festival and will have its U.K. bow on Friday. Independent is handling worldwide sales.

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences will announce the nominees for best foreign-language film on Jan. 23. The 90th Oscars ceremony will take place March 4.

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