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Norway has selected What Will People Say (Hva vil folk si), directed by Iram Haq, for best foreign-language film Oscar consideration.
Co-produced by Norway, Germany, Sweden, France and Denmark, the film follows 16-year-old Nisha, a Pakistani teenager in Norway who is sent back to her extended family on the subcontinent when she seemingly soils her family’s reputation.
“At school, she is a Norwegian teenager in a crop top, even when it’s freezing outside because … well, she’s a 16-year-old and the impression she makes on her peers probably counts more than keeping warm,” The Hollywood Reporter wrote in its review. “At home, she’s kept on a short leash by her father, Mirza, a hardhearted Pakistani paterfamilias who expects his daughter to be home right after school and help his wife run the house.”
What Will People Say had its world premiere last year at the Toronto International Film Festival. It went on to be screened at a number of other festivals, including Goteborg, Hamburg and Jerusalem.
What Will People Say is the second feature directed by Haq, a Pakistani-Norwegian filmmaker. Her debut film, I Am Yours, represented Norway in the foreign-language Oscar race in 2013.
Norway has been regularly submitting films for the foreign-language category since 1957. So far, five Norwegian films have earned nominations: Nine Lives in 1957, The Pathfinder in 1987, The Other Side of Sunday in 1996, Elling in 2001 and Kon-Tiki in 2012. The country has yet to win an Oscar.
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