Aamina Sheikh and Sanam Saeed’s “Cake” out of the Oscar race

Cake Oscars

We were overjoyed when debutante director Asim Abbasi broke the news that his film Cake, will be Pakistan’s official submission for the upcoming edition of the Oscars. The sad news, however, is that after the submission stage, the film failed to qualify for the advanced voting round, and is now out of the race for next year’s Academies.

It came as a shock to us, as the makers were projecting their film in the best possible way internationally, and locally too, it had managed to impress the audiences. Cake was submitted by the “Pakistan Academy Selection Committee” for Oscar considerations under the ‘Foreign Language Film’ category.

Here are all the films that got shortlisted and advanced to the next stage:

Birds of Passage, (Colombia)

The Guilty, (Denmark)

Never Look Away, (Germany)

Shoplifters, (Japan)

Ayka, (Kazakhstan)

Capernaum, (Lebanon)

Roma, (Mexico)

Cold War, (Poland)

Burning, (South Korea)

For those who haven’t watched the movie, Cake dealt with complexities of love, loss, and the time-bound consequences arising within families. The film starred Sanam Saeed and Aamina Sheikh as the lead protagonists along with Adnan Malik. It opened to great reviews in March earlier this year.

Pakistan’s History At Oscars

Cake excluded, Pakistan has so far submitted seven films at the Oscars in the ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ category. None of them, however, have so far managed to breakthrough beyond the submission stage. These films include:

  • The Day Shall Dawn (1959)


  • The Veil (1963)

Khawaja Khurshid Anwar

  • Zinda Bhaag (2013)

Meenu Gaur, Farjad Nabi

  • Dukhtar (2014)

Afia Nathaniel

  • Moor (2015)


  • Mah e Mir (2016)

Anjum Shahzad

  • Saawan (2017)

Farhan Alam

Sharmeen Obaid Says…

In an interview to Galaxy Lollywood earlier this month, talking about Cake and its chances at the awards, the head of Oscar selection committees’ Pakistan chapter, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy said:

“Cake has been holding screenings and doing a lot of promotions for the film in America. When you get shortlisted or nominated for an Academy Award, it’s based on your craft, the story, the way you tell the story, the direction, and the camera angles.

It’s an award for filmmaking.. so we are hopeful. It’s a film that’s done well. We are hopeful that it will make the cut. And if this one doesn’t, very soon a Pakistani film will. At least we have started the process of sending Pakistani films in the competition, which is very important.”

Chalo…next time sahi

Academy Awards, popularly known as ‘Oscars,’ is indeed the most prestigious awards for cinema all around the world. It is opened to entries from all over the world, and therefore the battle gets bigger and tougher with each passing round.

While Pakistan’s official entry couldn’t make the cut this time around, like Sharmeen, we are also hopeful that soon Pakistan, too, will have its golden trophy in one of the feature film categories.

The final list of Oscar nominees will be revealed on January 22, 2019, while the 91st edition of the awards is scheduled to take place on February 24th, 2019.