Director Kamaal Khan & Mansha Pasha Elated at Laal Kabootar being Selected as Pakistan’s Oscar Entry
Recently, this year’s indie hit Laal Kabootar was chosen by Pakistan’s Academy Awards selection committee as the country’s entry into the Best Foreign Picture category, and we could not be more excited! The hard-hitting Karachi crime-drama was directed by first-timer Kamaal Khan, based on a realistic and gripping screenplay by Ali Abbas Naqvi. It won near-unanimous critical approval upon its release in late March and did reasonably good business at the box office as well.
HIP had an exclusive conversation with Kamaal Khan and Mansha Pasha regarding this prestigious achievement. Kamaal, who is currently working on the script of his upcoming film, said “It is a proud moment for me and the team. And quite honestly, I am very humbled – It has been a dream since I came from college in 2007 to make a film, and then to have it appreciated at this level, with a nod from the country’s Oscar selection body is a very humbling moment and I am pleasantly surprised.”
When asked about that one thing which made the film stand out and get noticed by critics, Kamaal stated “You know that’s an interesting question. Before releasing I was full of anxiety about how it was going to be received and the actual critical response turned out to be pretty overwhelming, and I am yet to understand what it was that really resonated with people.”
However, the enterprising filmmaker does believe that staying true to the genre helped towards gaining critical and public acceptance. “I think the concept was fresh, and we tried to do something different by doing a genre film of the crime-thriller type, perhaps that is what resonated with the people. For me personally though, I thought the performances were fantastic, I had a really good experience working with the actors and felt that they were great.”
The film’s female lead Mansha Pasha, who is currently shooting her upcoming film Kahey Dil Jidhar, was just as excited about the film receiving the Oscar nod. In an exclusive to HIP, the Chalay Thay Sath star stated “I am overjoyed, as I can definitely say that we as actors worked hard towards capturing the script’s essence in our performances, a process in which director Kamaal Khan and the producers were invaluable. I am really pleased that the film has been liked by the public and that it has been considered good enough to be sent to the Oscars.”
When queried about why she believes the film was able to strike the right chord with the audience and critics alike, Mansha said “I think the director stayed true to the nature of the film, right from the opening scene to the climax. Anything that was extraneous or which would take away from the real nature of the film was not included, which worked towards making it an engaging watch.”
Here’s wishing the Laal Kabootar team all the best and we sincerely hope that it crosses the next milestone by being shortlisted for the final list by the voting members of the Academy Awards committee!