After winning critical acclaim and shining at the Pakistani box-office, ‘Moor’ is now the official entry from Pakistan for Oscar Consideration in the ‘Foreign Language Film Award’ category. It is worth mentioning that this is the third time that Pakistan is sending in a film for consideration. In 2013, the Pakistani Academy Selection Committee selected “Zinda Bhaag” as the first Pakistani film in over fifty years to be submitted for Oscar consideration in the category, followed by “Dukhtar” in 2014 and now ‘Moor’.
Directed, produced and written by Jamshed Mahmood Raza (Jami), ‘Moor’ is based on the decline of the railways system in Pakistan. ‘Moor’, a Pushto word which means mother, follows the tragic story a family pulled apart through corruption and circumstances out of their control. The film is set against the backdrop of the surreal landscapes and roads of Balochistan.
Galaxy Lollywood’s Aayan Mirza in his review of the film said ‘ Moor is by far the best Pakistani cinema has ever offered in terms of overall execution. What a cinematography, what an acting, and what a music.’
But hey, do not confuse this as the official nomination because that is going to be decided by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. They will choose the final nominees for all award categories including Best Foreign Language Film by 08th January 2016. The complete and final list of Oscar nominees will be announced on 14th January 2016 with the presentation show for the 88th Academy Awards scheduled to take place on 28th February 2016.
The Pakistani Academy Selection Committee has just selected “MOOR” to be submitted for Oscar consideration in the ‘Foreign Language Film Award’ category at the 88th Academy Awards. This decision was made by way of a secret ballot and was the overwhelming film of choice of the Committee members. As per standard practice, films selected by each individual country’s Academy selection committee are submitted to the Academy for screening, shortlisting and voting with official Oscar nominees announced at a later date.
Speaking about the selection of Moor, the members have said:
“Moor is a powerful and beautiful cinematic experience, of a families struggle with good versus evil set in the rugged and stunning landscape of Pakistan.” – Maheen Khan
“Moor pushes the boundaries of cinema in Pakistan. A visual treat, the film reminds us of the history of a land we too often ignore.” – Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy
“The desolate erosion of the magnificence that is Pakistan. A unique insight.” – Aly Khan
“This year we had some very good artistic and independent productions from varied genres to choose from and am delighted with the final selection of Moor for Oscar consideration. The film’s evocative cinematography and performances are sure to strike a chord with audiences across the world. My very best for its onward journey.” – Mazhar Zaidi
“Journey itself becomes our destination and with this submission to Oscars our destination is beyond hope now as we now know that our stepping stone was in the right direction.” – Jami
The Pakistani Academy Selection Committee was chaired by Emmy and Academy Award winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy and includes Rohail Hyatt (Pakistani musician, songwriter and founder of Coke Studio), Maheen Khan (acclaimed fashion and costume designer and a veteran of the Pakistani fashion industry), Aamina Sheikh (leading Pakistani actor and model), Satish Anand (film-maker and distributor), Faran Tahir (leading international actor renowned for his roles in Hollywood films Iron Man and Star Trek), Alyy Khan (leading international film and television actor who has appeared in numerous films including A Mighty Heart, Don 2, Traitor and Anjuman), Afia Nathaniel (award winning Director and filmmaker whose debut feature film Dukhtar was selected to represent Pakistani cinema in the Foreign Language Award category at the 87th Academy Awards), Mazhar Zaidi (journalist, film producer, director and documentary film maker) and Daniyal Mueenuddin (award winning Pakistani-American author and writer of short stories).
Now if the film gets itself a nomination, that only time will tell.