Mazhar Zaidi, the producer of the Oscar-nominated film Zinda Bhaag, directed by his wife Meenu Gaur, is keen on releasing the much acclaimed film in India.
“The dates have not been finalised but the distributors are very excited. Indians would be seeing the real Pakistan like what is seen on the news,” said Zaidi. The film is Pakistan’s first entry to the Oscars after a five-decade absence from the prestigious film awards.
The film features Naseeruddin Shah and a number of Indian technical experts who worked behind the scenes. The director of the movie is also an Indian. The editor of the film is Shan Mohammad, cinematographer Satya Rai Nagpaul and sound designer Vipin Bhatti, all from Mumbai.
“The whole idea of sharing expertise between India and Pakistan is excellent. The crew could have been from anywhere but with Indians, it was different. We are historically the same and understand each other’s language and culture. There was no problem working together” Zaidi said.
The film that has already bagged four awards in three categories at the Mosaic MISAFF festival held in August this year in Toronto is a comedy thriller about three young men trying to escape the reality of their everyday lives through unconventional methods, this film shows the journey an average Pakistani’s life and their desire to be free.
“I feel excited. It (nomination) is good for Pakistani film industry. The spotlight will be back on Pakistani films,” Zaidi said.
It is well known that Bollywood films are a craze in Pakistan and in regard to this, when asked if both Bollywood and the Pakistani film industry can co-exist here in Pakistan, he said, “Of course they can. Indian films are very popular and very commercial. The new Pakistani films have a different feel.”
Asked who his favourite Indian filmmakers were, he said there were many including Anurag Kashyap.
Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, Chair of Pakistan’s Academy Awards selection committee, had said, “Pakistan will finally have a film in contention this year at the Academy Awards and I feel proud that today we are taking a small step towards recognizing our own filmmakers. “Zinda Bhaag is proof of the fact that sheer will, passion and talent can achieve incredible feats, and I would like to congratulate the team behind the film on a compelling and cinematic film.”