Sarmad Khoosat’s Zindagi Tamasha has been through the ringer but hey, there’s a silver lining.
The movie is all set to be submitted for Oscar consideration in the International Feature Film Award category for the 93rd Academy Awards, final nominees for which will be announced in February 2021.
This year’s Oscar committee was chaired by filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and includes Faisal Kapadia, Asad-ul-Haq, Hamza Bangash, Syed Muhammad Ahmed, Mehwish Hayat, Hasan Shehreyar Yasin, Asim Abbasi, Arshad Mahmud and Jamal Shah.
Directed and co-produced by Sarmad Khoosat and Kanwal Khoosat and written by Nirmal Bano, Zindagi Tamasha’s cast includes Arif Hassan, Eman Suleman, Samiya Mumtaz and Ali Kureshi.
According to the official synopsis, "the film is an intimate portrait of a family as well as a scorching political commentary on little gods on this earth who police our private passions.”
Everything said, it's a little sad how it's a movie Pakistanis themselves haven't gotten to watch yet. Zindagi Tamasha was slated to be 2020's first Pakistani film release, meant to hit cinemas on January 24. However, it has been stopped from being released, despite being cleared by multiple censor boards twice and it's fate still hangs in the balance.
Speaking about the selection, producer Kanwal shared, “The announcement surely proves that we in Pakistan are ready to tell stories close to the heart. We are ready to represent our people. I cannot stop feeling proud of my team. We have worked countless hours to tell a truly Pakistani story. Many thanks to the committee for recognising our efforts and acknowledging our film."
“All the heartache that Zindagi Tamasha gave me has somehow restored my faith in the power of art too: the sheer, almost physical power of art to make life imitate it. This announcement, for me, is a very bright light shining at the end of this dark tunnel of a year. I made this film in Pakistan and foremost, for Pakistan, for my people and the misfortune that my people have remained deprived of it weighs quite heavy on my artistic conscience.
Some pride is slowly kicking in though and no matter how far we go with this official selection, Zindagi Tamasha will be representing all of us - our ‘Pakistan’. I feel honoured on behalf of my entire team and I am extremely grateful to the committee for finding it worthy enough.” said director Sarmad.