Desert Drama ‘Saawan’ Selected by Pakistan for Oscar Contention

Academy Awards: Saawan is Pakistan Foreign
Courtesy of Kalakar Films

Saawan,” a suspense drama set in the remote deserts, has been selected as Pakistan’s contender for the foreign-language Oscars race. The selection was announced by the Pakistan Academy Selection Committee.

Based on real events that highlight societal injustices and the failure of the feudal justice system, the film is directed and lensed by veteran film and TV director Farhan Alam. It was written and produced by U.S.-based physician Mashood Qadri, through production company Kalakar Films.

According to the producers’ online synopsis “Sawaan” is “the story of a handicapped 9-year old boy, abandoned in a desolate valley in the mountains of Balochistan. The boy is rejected by his father, intimidated by society, harassed by friends and left alone in a valley in the scorching heat to die, due to his disability. Strengthened by memories and dreams of the love of his mother, he begins a perilous journey back to his family in the main city.”

The film picked up awards at the Madrid International Film Festival, the Social World Film Festival and other events.

Other tech credits go to Indian film editor Aseem Sinha and a music score by U.S.-based Amir Isilah, making for what the producers describe is a product of co-operation between Bollywood, Hollywood and the Pakistani film industry.

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  1. Frederick Louis Richardson says:

    The shame is…that the “Best Picture of the Year” must be one in which a film is released sometime after October for consideration. Example: “MOONLIGHT” is not the best picture of 2016 when every other motion picture is taken into consideration.

    Independent cinema (all the rage with The Academy elite) notwithstanding, motion pictures once upon a time actually drew an audience to the theater; nowadays, people are drawn to movies.

    It’s not the same thing.

    #OscarSoWhite is the latest arbiter in deciding “relevance” of a movie based largely on racial conditions and attitudes outside the film narrative. Any skill shown or the emotional aftermath is somehow incidental.

    Awards, like a critic’s opinion, are subjective and narrow views–much like Holocaust filmworks beloved by Jewish audiences to see a perennial re-enactment of a horrific historical event; or “blackploitation” flicks once popular with African Americans who never saw themselves on screen in strong, “kick-ass” leading roles.

    And now…comic-to-film superheroes and low-budget cinema along with the growth of foreign films.

    “Oscar Bait” is a gross form of advertising for movie that have no substantial advertising budget, as are film festival. No, matter, the film will only be what the viewer brings to it.

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