"The committee considered Cake worthy of representing Pakistan is an honour in itself."
On Wednesday, September 19, 2018, Pakistan has selected director Asim Abbasi’s film Cake as its official nomination for the 2019 Oscars.
It will be in the ‘Foreign Language Film Award’ category for the 91st Academy Awards scheduled to take place on February 24, 2019.
The selection was made by two-time Academy and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy.
He won Oscars for A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness and Saving Face, both in the documentary short subject category.
Obaid-Chinoy chairs the Pakistani Academy Selection team which comprises of people like Kamila Shamshi, Saira Kazmi and Ali Sethi.
The stellar cast includes Aamina Sheikh, Sanam Saeed and Adnan Malik.
The film was produced by London-based businessman Sayed Zulfikar Bukhari.
Set in Karachi, the plot follows the lives of two sisters, one who lives abroad while the other remains at home caring for their ageing parents.
The other sister returns home after her parents’ health worsens.
As the plot moves forward, hidden resentments are revealed as the family struggles to find a way to heal divisions.
The film was released on March 30, 2018.
Stars of Cake spoke to DESIblitz prior to the film’s release where they spoke about the characters which they played.
Adnan Malik, who plays Romeo, said:
“He (Romeo) is integral to the film, though we have kept him a bit of a secret in the trailers.”
It was released to huge success in Pakistan and now people are hoping that can become the first to win an Oscar.
According to Abbasi, Cake reflects a new trend in Pakistani cinema.
He hopes “we always find the courage and the vision to tell stories our own way.”
Abbasi was delighted to hear the news and said:
“The fact that the committee considered Cake worthy of representing Pakistan is an honour in itself.”
“I am extremely honoured to have Cake representing Pakistan this year and grateful to the selection committee for considering it worthy.”
“My deepest gratitude for my Cake family, who worked so hard and with so much belief to bring this film to audiences.”
“2018 is proving to be a great year for Pakistani cinema.”
Sharmeen spoke of his excitement to be sending Pakistani films to the Academy Awards every year.
He said: “We are excited to continue the tradition of sending films from Pakistan in the foreign language category of the Academy Awards!”
“Each year, the submissions become stronger and we are keeping our fingers crossed that one of these days, we will come away with a golden statue.”
Abbasi added: “I sincerely hope our cinema continues to grow in the years to come and we keep making content that has the potential for global recognition.”
The Pakistan Academy Selection Committee made its first submission for the Oscars in 1959.
In 1963, the country’s second submission, Ghughat, failed to compete in the selection process.
After a long hiatus, Zinda Bhaag was submitted for the 86th Academy Awards in 2013.
Saawan was submitted as an official entry to the Oscars in 2018.
However, the country is still yet to secure a nomination in the category.