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Pakistan’s official Oscar 2024 entry is “In Flames.”

Pakistan's entry to the international feature Oscar contest will be Zarrar Khan's horror flick next year.


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The Pakistani Academy Selection Committee (PASC) has decided through voting and discussion what will be Pakistan’s official submission for the Oscars. The horror movie In Flames, directed by Zarrar Kahn and produced by Anam Abbas, is the one that has been nominated for an Oscar, according to a press statement.

Pakistan’s entry for the international feature Oscar is the horror movie In Flames, which Khan directed. The story takes place in Karachi and had its world premiere at the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight earlier this year. The material and ethereal remnants of their past disturb a mother and her daughter’s frail lives after the death of their family patriarch. Their relationship turns into their only line of defense against the menacing evil powers.

Anam Abbas led the production team, with Shant Joshi, Todd Brown, and Maxime Cottray serving as executive producers. The movie is part of XYZ’s New Visions program. Variety said that XYZ joined on to the project the year before.

“It is with immense pride and a deep sense of responsibility that we select and submit ‘In Flames’ as Pakistan’s official entry for the International Feature category at the 96th Academy Awards,” says Mohammed Ali Naqvi, the chairperson of the Pakistan Academy Selection Committee. This choice not only highlights the film’s genius but also represents a turning point in the history of Pakistani filmmaking. “In Flames” is proof of Pakistani cinema’s limitless potential on the international scene.

The film’s director, Kahn, stated, “I’m incredibly honored that Pakistan’s Oscar committee has recognized our film.” We are currently distributing the movie ourselves in Pakistan since, even with the local censor board’s approval, local distributors thought we were too controversial. We’re happy to be able to screen the movie in the place where it was filmed because Pakistani viewers have responded so well to it.”

Kahn continued, saying, “In Flames offers uncommon representation in front of and behind the camera, and the movie keeps finding its audience because of our team’s tenacity. “In Flames” has stood alongside titans and received praise from Cannes, TIFF, Sitges, Busan, and the Red Sea during an amazing year for global film. The film exposes the brutality of patriarchy and the strength of community, serving as an urgent call to action. It gives comfort to the downtrodden and reassures them that hope never dies in the divided world of today.

Prominent actors Ahmed Ali Akbar (Laal Kabootar, Parizaad), director Bilal Lashari (Waar, The Legend of Maula Jatt), author and activist Fatima Bhutto (New Kings of the World), actor Fawad Khan (The Legend of Maula Jatt, Humsafar), and Frieha Altaf, co-founder of the Documentary Association of Pakistan, are among the members of the 2023 PASC jury. Director of Joyland, Pakistan’s last Oscar submission, Saim Sadiq; veteran actor and director Nadia Afgan (Kabuli Pulao, Parizaad); critically acclaimed director Mehreen Jabbar (Ramchand Pakistani, Dobara Phir Se); and award-winning documentary filmmaker Madeeha Syed (The Accused: Damned or Devoted?, The Killing of Qandeel). In Flames is presently showing in Pakistani theaters.

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