Zinda Bhaag and the Oscar ruse: Thokha ho rya aay taaday naal.

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

oscar buzz

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.

release zinda


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!


III Submission

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.


Note: The opinion(s) and view(s) presented by the writer in this article do not necessarily depict the views and policies of Galaxy Lollywood as an independent site/blog. The articles in this category are written by the writers in order to present their own view-point.


  1. My take on this issue is that any Pakistani film be it Zinda Bhaag or Chambaili doesn’t seem to be winning the oscar in near future. It’ll take us years to do that. So having greed of winning the oscar at this level when we have just started making films does not make any sense. We should support the committee & encourage the other filmmakers to work hard & keep going this way. All we need is to be united & support our own films forgetting this is his film & that is my my film. My advice to the people who have started these silly movements is that they should either make films themselves or stay quite rather than creating mess.

    • I get where you are coming from and completely agree that the entire industry should be supportive and all. No one is challenging the fact that Zinda Bhaag is not the right movie for selection. The only thing that is being talked about is the fact that the way it has been selected is wrong. I mean if you read the article you’ll get what I and all the others are trying to say.

  2. o janab .ek tu pakistan apni movie ko 50 saal baad oscar consideration k lye bhej raha hai .sub se pehla jo allegation ap lga rahe hain ap pehle ye btain kahan ye btaya ja raha hai k zinda bhaag oscar k lye nominate ho gye hai shayed ap ne news or express ki report na daikhi or na perhi ya ap tankeed ki waja dhonty hye consideration ka lafz sun na sake is lye ye allegation tu ap ka galat hai. dosra jo ap ne shyed india k logo ka tu bta dya likin jo pakistani hain is film main un ka b zra bta date tu acha hota log ap ko petriot samajh latae tury izat bach chati jo shayed hai ya. khair 50 saal baad PASC ka bani hai use khuch experience hasil karne dain or tankeed na karain ta ke agle saal wo acha kam kar sakain .is saal b unhoon ne koi bura kaam nahi kya hai. Pakistan k lye acha hi kya hai shayed ap ko bura laga .

    • Janaab agar aap article parhain toh main nay ZInda Bhaag ko bilkul bhi tankeed ka nishana nahi banaya, albta comitteee par baat shuru hui hay. “Consideration” ya “Nomination” yeh dono lafz hi istamaal karna rules kay khilaaf hay aur agar aap oopar tasveer daikhain toh us main “nominate” hi likha hay. Indian actors ka zikr is liye hua kyonke Oscar ka rule hay kay film jis mulk say ayay ziyada “creatice control” us mulk ka hona chhaiye. ZInda Bhaag kay khilaaf koi baat nahi ho rahi committee aur us kay rules kay baray main baat ho rahi hay.

      • bhai jan app ki ye baat main manta hoon k oscar submission likna chahye . dosra ye janaab app water film jo k canadian or indian movie hai wo 2006 k oscar k lye canada ki taraf se submitted movie the jis main actors or creative staff india se b tha . unhoon ne b tu galti ki the na likin phir b oscar k lye nominate hoi. or sath main wo tu thi b english language main. galtiya’n tu har mulk committee karti ho gi likin bhai wo canada tha us ki khair hai . likin is mulk ki committee ki koi galti bardasht nahi ham logoon ko. baad sirf itni hai.

  3. o mera bhai jo aap ne indian actors ka ya dosre logon ka jo pakistani nahi hai ziker kya hai main us k bare main app se bus itna kehna chahta hoon k app google pe indian film lagan ko zara search karain tu app ko maloom ho jaye or dosry logon ko b ke us film main b foreign actors hain .
    Rachel Shelley
    Paul Blackthorne ye british actors the us film main or b bohut the .wo jub app search karain ge tu khud pata chal jaye ga app ko. so ye point b app ka wrong ho gya . poor man.

  4. o mera bhai jo aap ne indian actors ka ya dosre logon ka jo pakistani nahi hai ziker kya hai main us k bare main app se bus itna kehna chahta hoon k app google pe indian film lagan ko zara search karain tu app ko maloom ho jaye or dosry logon ko b ke us film main b foreign actors hain .
    Rachel Shelley
    Paul Blackthorne
    dono british hain . us waqt app kahan the poor man . ya bus zinda bhaag pe hi app ko foreign actor nazar aaya . is reason per bhi app wrong hai .

    • Dear Shamoon,

      The foreign actors in film Lagaan are the supporting cast of the film unlike Zinda Bhaag where main character is played by Indian Naseeruddin Shah. The question is not about the cast it is about the creative control of the movie. Indian Meenu Gaur is the writer and director of this movie. Editing, Cinematography, Sound Sync and other post production has been done in India.

  5. or jo app ExpressTribune main us article ki baat kar rahe hain us main maian app ko batata chaloon k app ne us article ko samjha nahi . kyun k us main jury or committee ne jo concern show kye hain wo after consideration k hain . ye app samjhe nahi kyun k unhoon ne us main saaf saaf kaha hai k hamari film jab oscar consideration k lye jaye gi tu oscar jury ka kya criteria hai jis k teht wo oscar datain hain kyun k un ka kehna tha k 2011 k oscar main jo do award the 1 foreign language or dosra short documentary jo pakistan ne hasil kya or or iran ne foreign film main . un main apne hi mulk ke bury haalat ke barae main dikhya gya tha documentary pakistan main khwateen pe tezab dalny k barae main hai or iran ki film main hero aakhir main keta hai k insan ko iran main rehna hi nahi chahye so is lye unhoon ne concern show kya .jo app samjh na paye

  6. I would like to point out that Meena Gauri was not the sole director of Zinda Bhaag as Pakistani filmmaker Farjad Nabi directed this too. Also Meena Gauri is married to a Pakistani and lives in Pakistan, most likely has dual citizenship. Naseer uddin is an actor and does not have creative control in the filmmaking process.

    Most importantly I have not seen the Zinda Bhaag team break any rules by promoting their film with an Oscar tag. There have been news articles about it being nominated by the committee for consideration.

    • The film is HEAVILY being promoted using the Oscar tag ( claiming that it has been nominated!) See the attached video.
      Also the OSCARS strictly prohibit ANY kind of association with the Oscars unless the film had been nominated ( which clear it has not!)

      As for the creative control part. Well it depends on the actor when we are talking about creative control. A new-comer does not have much say but a veteran sure does! Also reports suggest that Naseerudinshah has made quite some changes in the script and has also invested in the film!

    • India allows dual citizenship with only a few countries. Pakistan is not one of them. I have seen plenty of articles which say ‘Zinda Bhaag’ was nominated for Oscars which is factually incorrect. Also criteria that it should have been screened for 7 days before September 30 may be met. But so far it has not been met at the time the entry was selected because movie has not yet been released in Pakistan cinema halls. Also not all Pakistani movies manage to draw audiences for 7 days so it is possible that this criteria may not be made. The author of this log makes some laid points.

  7. Thanks for posting the link, it looks like the film’s distributors have made an error. People should alert them to this rather than using it against the film. Also Naseeruddin did not invest anything financially in the film otherwise he would have been listed as producer. Mazhar Zaidi of Mateela productions is the producer, please contact him for more information. Looking at previous foreign films nominated, it is clear that the cast does not have to be entirely from the same country.

    • 1. No one is against the film.
      2. I doubt that it was a mistake ( I mean you are claiming your film is nominated). Assuming that it was an error, at this point any association with the Oscars whatsoever is wrong.
      3. Cast can be from any country but most of the creative people should be from the submitting country which is not the case for ZB.
      4. The producer thing is a report and was mentioned to strengthen the point about ZB having lots of non-Pakistani people on board!

  8. I think its a wrong decision and the jury is biased. Otherwise, how would they bypass all the rules set by the Academy? Now it seems difficult that the movie will even cross the initial round of shortlisting, no matter how good it is. Bad move!

  9. Mr. Momin: Are you still 20 or you have grown bigger now? It’s obvious at whose behest you have written this, when you say those who had seen the films consider Chambaili to be a far better contender. Who were those? Mr. Shahzad Nawaz himself? I am glad the Pakistan Academy Selection Committee (PASC) members had a better taste. So did you get a copy of the UPA list of objections, failing to mention that it’s headed by the producer of Chambaili, and then created a blog out of it? Shahzad Nawaz had a problem with the PASC from the very beginning even before it had announced its pick, so it’s quite predictable that he would have problem with their selection given his film didn’t have a chance. The sad thing is that he is using the UPA body for his own agenda. And this young blog is denting its own credibility early on by becoming a party to this. Here’s the answer to all your objections. http://tribune.com.pk/story/605960/upa-vs-pasc-the-ruckus-over-zinda-bhaags-oscar-recommendation/

    • I have NO RELATION WHATSOEVER with Shahzad Nawaz or the Chamabili team.
      As for comparing the films, we at Galaxy Lollywood have lots of friends and acquaintances in the industry and a few of them who have seen both the films said that Chambaili was the better contender. Moreover other than this one line I HAVENT EVEN TALKED about Chambaili Also I have nothing against Zinda Bhaag and quite excited for its release.If you read the article, its quite logical and pretty self-explanatory and nowhere I have said anything about the QUALITY of the film!!!

      • From what I know, Chambaili’s plot and execution was full of loopholes, and didn’t stand any chance of being an Oscar contender. If Zinda Bhaag had any real competitors, it was the other critically acclaimed film, Lamha, and not Chambaili. But having said, can’t argue with the choice of your friends and acquaintances, whoever they might be. Thanks for responding. As it stands, most of the objections of UPA to Zinda Bhaag’s selection stand quashed with the response of PASC.

  10. yar app b ye link check kar lo app khud jan jao ge.UPA vs PASC: The ruckus over Zinda Bhaag’s Oscar recommendation
    brother main is main sirf ak baat add karna chahta hoon k momin bhai ne jo kaha tha k nomination ka lfz use na kya jaye wo theek tha likin wo tu media ka falt tha ab app kahin b check kar lo ab submission ya ka lfz use kya ja rha hai.

  11. I completely agree with your article and I wish people had the ability to infer what the posters and trailers are suggesting. The posters clearly say it has been nominated and not entered, which is thoka! My reservation is that the film is a collaboration with Hindustan and therefore is forfeiting the selection criteria, which you have rightly pointed out.

    Pakistan should enter its films after all Bol won best film at the international film festival in London, which abiskek bachchan and jaya bachchan attended and were nominated but lost to. Bol should have been entered but I can’t see this film getting selecting intact it may jeopardise Pakistan’s (already next to nothing) credibility at an international level.

  12. CORRECTION: I was not referring to Momina as being against the film, but blamed the people who had started the allegations to sabotage ZBs entry. BTW Shahzad Nawaz thinks he has made a masterpiece, I honestly hadn’t heard of him and his Chambeli until now!


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