Pakistani film ‘In Flames’ receives PASC nod for Oscar nomination

This picture represents the frame of the Pakistani movie In Flames. — CITYLIGHTS MEDIA/Hollywood Reporter
This picture represents the frame of the Pakistani movie ‘In Flames’. — CITYLIGHTS MEDIA/Hollywood Reporter

The Pakistani Academy Selection Committee (PASC) has voted and deliberated upon which film would be Pakistan’s official submission for Oscar consideration.

Director Zarrar Kahn and producer Anam Abbas’s horror film, ‘In Flames’ is the film that has been submitted for Oscar consideration after the Pakistani Academy Selection Committee (PASC) voted in support of the film as the official submission for the most significant film award.

Zarrar Kahn’s horror film, “In Flames,” will officially represent Pakistan in the race for the international feature Oscar. Premiering at the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight earlier this year, the story unfolds in Karachi.

Following the demise of their family’s head, a mother and her daughter’s fragile life gets disrupted by entities from their history, both tangible and spectral. Their bond becomes their only hope against the dark forces that loom over them.

Anam Abbas produced the movie, with Shant Joshi, Todd Brown, and Maxime Cottray as executive producers. The film is featured in XYZ’s New Visions lineup. As reported by Variety, XYZ came on board with the project the previous year.

Chairperson of the PASC, Mohammed Ali Naqvi, expressed delight over submitting ‘In Flames’ as Pakistan’s official entry for the International Feature category at the 96th Academy Awards. He said, “This selection not only underscores the film’s brilliance but also marks a pivotal moment in the evolving narrative of Pakistani cinema. ‘In Flames’ is a testament to the boundless potential of Pakistani cinema on the global stage.”

The director of the film, Zarrar Kahn thanked Pakistan’s Oscar committee for recognising the film. He said, “We’re currently self-distributing the film in Pakistan, as, despite clearance from the local censor board, we were considered too controversial by local distributors — so we’re doing it ourselves.”

“The response from Pakistani audiences has been rapturous — and we’re just grateful to be able to show the film in the city it was made in.”

In a year of incredible global cinema, ‘In Flames’ has stood with giants, and found acclaim from Cannes, TIFF, Sitges, Busan to Red Sea.

‘In Flames’ is an urgent call to action, exposing the brutality of the patriarchy and the power of community. In today’s divided world, it offers solace to the oppressed — and tells them that hope can never be extinguished.”

The 2023 PASC jury includes acclaimed actor Ahmed Ali Akbar (Laal Kabootar, Parizaad), award-winning director Bilal Lashari (Waar, Maula Jatt), activist and author Fatima Bhutto (‘New Kings of the World’), international award-winning actor Fawad Khan (‘Maula Jatt’, ‘Humsafar’), pioneering event manager and activist Frieha Altaf, co-founder of the Documentary Association of Pakistan Haya Fatima Iqbal (‘A Girl in the River’), award-winning documentary filmmaker Madeeha Syed (‘The Accused: Damned or Devoted?’, ‘The Killing of Qandeel’), critically acclaimed director Mehreen Jabbar (‘Ramchand Pakistani’, ‘Dobara Phir Se’) veteran actor and director Nadia Afgan (‘Kabuli Pulao’, ‘Parizaad’) and director of ‘Joyland’, Pakistan’s last submission for oscar consideration, Saim Sadiq.

‘In Flames’ is currently running in cinemas throughout Pakistan.

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