ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has formally nominated film “Zinda Bhaag” for Oscar Awards after five decades of absence from prestigious awards. Pakistan Academy Selection Committee headed by Emmy and Academy award winner Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy shortlisted the film out of four entries submitted. Other three entries included “Josh”, “Lamha” and “Chambeli”. The last Pakistani film to be nominated for Academy Awards was Ghungat by film-maker AJ Kardar in 1963.
Academy Selection Committee consisted of Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, Mehreen Jabbar, director of “Ramchand Pakistani”, Mohsin Hamid, author of “The Reluctant Fundamentalist”, ace writer and actor Rahat Kazmi, Sameena Peerzada, filmmaker Akifa Mian, and Framji Minwalla. Committee used secret balloting for shortlisting and selected entry received overwhelming support.
“Zinda Bhaag” a film produced by Maher Zaidi and codirected by Farjad Nabi and India’s Meenu Gaur highlights problems of illegal immigrants. Lead role is played by veteran Indian artist Naseeruddin Shah. Story of the film revolves around lives of three young men who shares a common dream of going abroad for a prosperous future. However, they adopted unconventional and illegal means and ways to fulfill their future aspirations.
Human trafficking is a booming business in Pakistan. Many people use non-traditional ways to run away from Pakistan alive but majority of them are abandoned at far flung places by human traffickers after receiving large sums of money.