My Pure Land is the British entry for the Best Foreign-language Film Oscar
by Kaleem Aftab
- Nottingham-based filmmaker Sarmad Masud adds a feminist angle to this curry western shot in Pakistan
My Pure Land [+see also:
film profile] by Sarmad Masud has been selected as the UK’s entry for the Best Foreign-language Film Academy Award. The movie was shot in a guerrilla style in Pakistan. Based on a true story, the film recounts the extraordinary story of Nazo Dharejo, a mother of two daughters who survived a siege on her family home by over 200 bandits in rural Pakistan.
The Pakistani cast sees Suhaee Abro play the lead, with Eman Malik, Syed Tanveer-Hussain and Razia Malik in supporting roles. A violent contemporary western grounded in realism, the film is currently on release in the UK after debuting at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, where it was nominated for the Michael Powell Award, handed out to an outstanding British fiction feature.
Director Masud's startling debut is hoping to become only the third British foreign-language submission to make it onto the American Academy Awards’ foreign-language nominations shortlist. It is the first time that Britain has submitted an Urdu-language film. No British entry has ever won in this category, which they only started submitting titles for in 1991. The two previous British films to receive a nomination were both in Welsh, in 1993 with Paul Turner's Hedd Wyn and in 1999 with Paul Morrison's Solomon and Gaenor.
The director has previous experience in awards campaigning. His short film Two Dosas, funded by Film London, was long-listed for both a BAFTA and an Oscar, as well as scooping numerous festival awards.
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