Pakistani film Zinda Bhaag not only got a successful premiere at Mosaic International South Asian Film Festival (MISAFF) 2013 in Canada last week but also bagged four awards there. The much awaited Zinda Bhaag won the awards in best music / sound track, best actor (female), best supporting actor, and the most important, the best picture. This is very happy news for all of us and the fans who want a changed picture of local cinema and films.
The MISAFF director, Arshad Khan was full of praise for Zinda Bhaag. Talking to media, he said, “I have seen nothing as good as this film from all of South Asia in a very long time. Such films come around only once in a lifetime.”
According to the festival facebook page, the MISAFF 2013 jury, Kirk Cooper, Shireen Pasha (the renowned Pakistani documentary maker) and Nurjahan Akhlaq announced the awards on August 16th.
The lucky award winners include Sahir Ali Bagga (music), Amna Ilyas (best female lead), Naghma Begum (best supporting role), and producer Mazhar Zaidi for the best picture. Mazhar Zaidi, told to media, “The reaction from the audience has been incredible. It’s an experience every filmmaker dreams of.” Zaidi and Harune Massey represented Zinda Bhaag at the award ceremony. No one has not definitely thought of so much admiration but sometimes we get many times more than the expectations.
Zinda Bhaag was shown at the Empire Theatre, Mississauga in Toronto on 14th and 15th August. This was another good luck for the film that it was the independence day of Pakistan. The cinema was jam packed and the shows were already sold out. It’s notable to mention here that MISAFF is visited by around 70,000 people every year in Canada.
The story of Zinda Bhaag (run for the life) revolves around three young men who are facing many problems, joblessness is the biggest of all, and the only escape in their view is the immigration to West. The film is shot in Lahore in typical city environment. Veteran Indian actor Naseer-ul-Din Shah has also played an important role in the film. The film is the directorial debut of Meenu Gaur and Farjab Nabi.
Another film “The Reluctant Fundamentalist” directed by Meera Nair and based on the Pakistani best selling novel with the same name by Mohsin Hameed was also at display in MISAFF. Riz Ahmed, the British Pakistani actor got the best male lead for The Reluctant Fundamentalist.
With the arrival of young blood in film making, the scenario is changing gradually. Within a couple of years, our films have made their presence felt on international level. These films include Lamha (The Seedlings) by Mansoor Mujahid, Josh by Iram Parveen Bilal, and Ishq Khuda by Shehzad Rafique that were premiered at New York City International Film Festival 2012, Mumbai International Film Festival 2012, and Punjabi International Film Festival 2013 respectively and made headlines in America, India, and Canada. And the last but not the least is Zinda Bhaag. All these films are premiered worldwide before release in the country. Zinda Bhaag is due to release this year in Pakistani Cinemas.