Pakistan’s Oscar Submission: ‘In Flames’ by Zarrar Kahn and Anam Abbas

The Pakistani Academy Selection Committee (PASC) has made a significant decision by choosing ‘In Flames,’ a horror film directed by Zarrar Kahn and produced by Anam Abbas, as Pakistan’s official submission for Oscar consideration. This move marks a pivotal moment in the evolving narrative of Pakistani cinema and underscores the boundless potential of the country’s film industry on the global stage.

‘In Flames’ is Zarrar Kahn’s atmospheric horror film, which premiered at the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight earlier this year. The story unfolds in the bustling city of Karachi, where the fragile lives of a mother and daughter are disrupted following the death of their family’s head. As they grapple with both tangible and spectral entities from their history, their unbreakable bond becomes their only hope against the dark forces that loom over them.

Anam Abbas served as the producer of ‘In Flames,’ with Shant Joshi, Todd Brown, and Maxime Cottray as executive producers. The film is part of XYZ’s New Visions lineup, and the renowned production company came on board with the project in the previous year.

Chairperson of PASC, Mohammed Ali Naqvi, expressed immense pride in the selection of ‘In Flames.’ He stated, “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.”

Director Zarrar Kahn conveyed his deep honor for the film’s recognition by Pakistan’s Oscar committee. Despite initial challenges with local distribution, the film found an enthusiastic audience in Pakistan. It has received acclaim from film festivals around the world, including Cannes, TIFF, Sitges, Busan, and Red Sea. Kahn described ‘In Flames’ as “an urgent call-to-action, exposing the brutality of the patriarchy and the power of community.”

The selection of ‘In Flames’ for Oscar consideration was made by a distinguished jury that included renowned figures in the Pakistani entertainment industry. These jurors, including actor Ahmed Ali Akbar, director Bilal Lashari, and activist Fatima Bhutto, recognized the film’s unique and compelling narrative.

‘In Flames’ is currently captivating audiences in cinemas throughout Pakistan, continuing to make an impact and spark discussions on important societal issues, both nationally and internationally.

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