In a first, for its Oscars 2018 submission, in the foreign language film category, the UK has chosen My Pure Land, an Urdu language feature film. The film marks the debut of director Sarmad Masud. The Hollywood Reporter confirms that the Bill Kenwright Films production will be Britain’s Oscar hopeful, this year.
Shot in Pakistan, the story is a true account of events which involves a mother and her two daughters defending themselves against an army of some 200-odd bandits, who are out to capture their house. The two have to ultimately resort to arms, to fight off troops led by their uncle.
Starring Suhaee Abro, Salman Ahmed Khan, Razia Malik, Tayyab Ifzal and Eman Fatima in the lead roles, the film’s treatment of rural Pakistan is said to be crisp and riveting. The makers maintain that although the film is cemented in realism, its feminist undercurrents remain just as important.
The film was first screened at Edinburgh Film Festival and released in the UK on 15 September to rave reviews. The UK has been nominated twice before in the foreign language category and it will be a rare, historic moment, if My Pure Land gets lucky at the ceremony. The 90th Oscars ceremony will take place on 4 March, 2018.