Oscars: Pakistan Selects 'Laal Kabootar' for International Feature Film Category

'Laal Kabootar' - Publicity - H 2019
Courtesy of Geo Films/Nehr Ghar Films

Kamal Khan's crime thriller follows a journalist seeking justice for her murdered husband who finds an unexpected ally in a struggling taxi driver who is determined to move to Dubai.

Pakistan has selected Laal Kabootar as its submission for the 2020 Oscars international feature film category.

Set in Karachi, the crime thriller follows Aliya Malik (Mansha Pasha) as a journalist whose husband Noman Malik (Ali Kazmi) is killed in broad daylight. In her quest for justice, she finds an unexpected ally in Ahmed Ali Akbar (Adeel Nawaz), a struggling taxi driver who wants to move to Dubai at any cost.

The directorial debut of Kamal Khan, the film was released in March and was co-produced by Geo Films and Nehr Ghar Films.

Laal Kabootar was selected by the Pakistani Academy Selection Committee, making the film the seventh consecutive submission to the Oscars. Pakistan first submitted a film to the Oscars in 1959 and after more than a 50-year absence, Pakistan re-entered the Oscar race in 2013 with illegal immigration comedy Zinda Bhaag.

While the country has never received a nomination in the international feature film category, Pakistan has picked up two Oscars in the documentary category, both by the same filmmaker. Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy first won an Oscar with co-director Daniel Junge for Saving Face in 2012, followed by another win in 2016 in the short documentary category for A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness.

The 92nd Academy Awards are set to take place Feb. 9, 2020.