So by now almost all of you know that the up-coming film Zinda Bhaag is going to be Pakistan’s official entry in the “Foreign Film” category at the OSCARS . Furthermore it has been 50 years since Pakistan last submitted a film so this makes it even more special. Other films in consideration included Josh, Chambaili and Seedlings but Zinda Bhaag is the chosen one.
So what’s the thokha ( yes the Punjabi title was apt considering that the film is in Punjabi too) you ask? Well doesnt it seem strange that a week from the release all you read about the film now is how its the Oscar consideration? All the publicity is kind of riding on it? While I cannot judge the film Zinda Bhaag as I have yet not seen it but those who have had a chance to see it also claim that Chambaili was the far better contender.
In this article I will not comment on the quality of ZInda Bhaag as I have yet not seen it but will just try to explain what the Pakistani Oscar committee has done and how many Oscar rules have been broken.So here goes
Rule Thirteen: Special Rules for the Foreign Language Film Award
V. ADVERTISING / PUBLICITY RESTRICTIONS Only motion pictures that receive nominations or Academy Awards may refer to their Academy endorsements in advertising and publicity materials. A motion picture that is selected for inclusion in the semifinal round of competition may not identify itself as an “Academy Award finalist,” “Academy Award shortlist film” or the like in its individual marketing or publicity.
Let me explain it in steps :- The Oscar committee of any particular country chooses one film to send in for consideration. All the other countries do so too an then the Oscar people short-list five films which are the official nominations and one of them will win. Now the rule above should make sense and the fact that Zinda Bhaag is HEAVILY being promoted as the Oscar nominee where it has just been sent in for consideration violates this Oscar Rule.
E. The submitting country must certify that creative control of the motion picture was largely in the hands of citizens or residents of that country.
Naseerudin Shah- one of the main character in the film is an Indian actor
Meenu Gaur -Director and writer is an Indian film-maker
Shan Mohammad – Editor of the film is from Mumbai
Satya Rai Nagpaul -Cinematographer from Mumbai
Vipin Bhatti – Sound designer from Mumbai
Also a number of Indian technical experts have worked behind the scenes.
AND I rest my case.
A The motion picture must be first released in the country submitting it no earlier than October 1, 2012, and no later than September 30, 2013, and be first publicly exhibited for at least seven consecutive days in a commercial motion picture theater for the profit of the producer and exhibitor.
Reading the press release sent out by the UPA United Producers Association in Pakistan we here at Galaxy Lollywood have found out that though the international deadline was September 30 but the Pakistani committee had announced that they will only be taking films released up and until 26 August 2013. Though this does not violate the Oscar rule but speaks volume about the Pakistani Oscar committee.
Also the rule clearly mentions that the film must be publicly exhibited for at least seven days before being sent in for consideration. Although the rule does seem a bit trivial but there is a reason it is there, How can the committee decide on sending the film if it has not even released ( leave the 7 day clause).Moreover the deadline of announcement was September 30 so that should have been the day when the formal announcement of Zinda Bhaag should have been made. Making it earlier only generated hype for the film using the OSCAR tag!
A Each country shall be invited to submit its best motion picture to the Academy. Selection of that picture shall be made by one organization, jury or committee that should include artists and/or craftspeople from the field of motion pictures.
A lot has already been said about the committee and you can read it all here at the ExpressTribune.
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