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

'Saawan' - Publicity - H 2017
Kalkar Films

Inspired by true events, the drama tells the story of a handicapped nine-year-old who is left to die in the wilderness but embarks on a journey home.

Pakistan has selected Saawan as the country’s entry for the Academy Awards in the best foreign-language film race.

Inspired by true events, the human drama revolves around a handicapped nine-year-old boy (Karam Hussein) who is rejected by his father and left to die in the wilderness. Driven by memories of his mother (Najiba Faiz), he embarks on a perilous journey home.

The film is directed by cinematographer Farhan Alam whose credits include Calendar. Saawan is penned by Mashood Qadri, a U.S.-based practicing physician, whose credits include the satire Riyasat Mein Riyasat. The film is edited by Aseem Sinha, who has multiple Bollywood titles to his credit, including the 2001 historical drama Zubeidaa.

Saawan’s honors include a best foreign language award at the Madrid International Film Festival, and best film and best director at the Social World Film Festival in Naples, Italy.

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 foreign-language film nomination, Pakistan has picked up two Oscars in the documentary category, both by the same filmmaker. Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy first won a trophy with co-director Daniel Junge for Saving Face in 2012, followed by another win last year in the short documentary category for A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness. Last year, Pakistan submitted Mah e Mir as its entry in the foreign-language category.

The 90th Academy Awards will be held March 4, 2018.