Oscars: Pakistan Selects 'Moor' for Foreign-Language Category

'Moor' still H 2015
Courtesy of Busan International Film Festival

The film was hailed as offering an alternative voice in the country's cinema landscape.

Pakistan has selected Moor as its entry for the 88th Academy Awards' foreign-language film race. 

Focusing on the country's declining railway system, the drama revolves around the story of a station master and his son after the sudden death of the station master's wife.

Moor – which means "mother" in the Pashto language – was released in the country in August and was well received. Critics praised the film for offering a new voice in Pakistani cinema.

In its review, the Express Tribune said that “this breath-taking emotional journey ... gives us hope that Pakistani cinema will not only be taken as an extension of [India's] Bollywood.”

Directed by Jamshed Mahmood Raza, popularly known as Jami, Moor stars Hameed Sheikh and Samiya Mumtaz. Moor will see its international festival debut in Busan in October.

Jami studied film at the Art Centre, College of Design in Pasadena, after which he established his Karachi-based production company Azad Film, which produced Moor. His filmography includes 2014 spy thriller 021. His next project is entitled Downward Dog.

After more than a 50-year absence, Pakistan re-entered the Oscar race in 2013 with illegal immigration comedy Zinda Bhaag. Last year, the country submitted Afia Nathaniel’s Dukhtar, a road-trip thriller looking at issues of child marriage in Pakistan.

The 88th Academy Awards will be held on Feb. 28.