UK nominates bandit film shot in Pakistan for Oscar

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My Pure Land, a movie based on a true story in Pakistan, has been chosen as Britain’s submission to vie for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.

Made by an up-and-coming director from the UK, Sarmad Masud, the movie, which is shot in Pakistan, shows two daughters fighting off a militia with 200 bandits to defend their land. This is Masud’s debut film.

According to a Dawn news report, the movie is based on the true story of Nazo Dharejo, My Pure Land’s submission at the Oscars marks the first time Britain chose an Urdu feature film to vie for the prestigious award.

Production company, Bill Kenwright Films, said that the crew had to negotiate their way through heavily armed civilian regions.

Audience in Pakistan

The report quoted Masud as saying that it was crucial for him to shoot the film in Pakistan as he wanted Pakistanis to feel proud of it. “I hope it finds an audience in Pakistan who are prepared to be entertained, to find it engaging and an interesting film, which it is,” the director said.

The production banner described the film as “a violent contemporary Western but grounded in realism and crucially with a feminist theme. But there’s so much more to it,” Masud said. The film will be out in UK cinemas on September 15.

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences will announce the nominees for best foreign-language film on January 23, 2018. The 90th Oscars ceremony takes place March 4, 2018.

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