Call for Oscar Submission for Pakistan Filmmakers 2021 announced!

Lahore (NUT-DESK)

The Pakistani Academy Selection Committee invites Pakistani filmmakers to submit their films for Oscar consideration in the ‘International Feature Film Award’ category for the 94th Academy Awards by 20th September 2021, 5:00 PM [PST]. This will mark the ninth consecutive submission by the Pakistani Academy Selection Committee having previously submitted “Zinda Bhaag” in 2013, “Dukhtar” in 2014, “MOOR” in 2015, “Mah-e-Mir” in 2016, “Saawan” in 2017, “Cake” in 2018, “Lal Kabootar” in 2019 and “Zindagi Tamasha” in 2020 to represent the best of Pakistani cinema for award consideration in the ‘International Feature Film’ category.

The Oscar committee for 2021 is chaired by two-time Academy Award and Emmy winning filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and includes Ali Azmat [Musician], Bee Gul [Screenwriter and Director], Humayun Saeed [Actor, Director and Producer], Jawed Sheikh [Actor, Producer and Director], Mo Azmi [Cinematographer], Omar Shahid Hamid [Author], Rafay Mahmood [Film Critic], Samina Ahmad [Actress, Producer and Director] and Sania Saeed [Actress].

The committee will choose one film as Pakistan’s official submission for the, International Feature Film Award’. An international film is defined as a feature-length motion picture (over 40 minutes) produced outside the United States of America and its territories with a predominantly (more than 50%) non-English dialogue track. Animated and documentary feature films are permitted.

For entry forms, submission details and queries, please write to:

The unprecedented coronavirus/COVID-19 global pandemic mandated the closure of commercial motion picture theaters worldwide. Country-selected films that had a previously planned theatrical release but are initially made available through a reputable commercial streaming distribution service or video on demand may qualify for Awards consideration in the International Feature Film category for the 94th Academy Awards under these provisions:

  • Provide to the Academy Committee documentation (original document(s) and an English translation) of government-mandated theater/cinema closure dates, previously planned theatrical release and streaming distribution or video on demand agreements.
  • The film be made available on the secure Academy Screening Room member site within 60 days of the film being officially selected.
  • That it meets all other eligibility requirements.

When theaters reopen in accordance with national and local specified guidelines and criteria, and on a date to be determined by the Academy, this rules exemption will no longer apply. All films released thereafter will be expected to comply with the standard International Feature Film category theatrical qualifying requirements.

The criteria for eligibility is as follows:

  1. The country-selected film must be first released in the country of origin no earlier than January 1, 2021, and no later than December 31, 2021, and be first publicly exhibited for at least seven consecutive days in a commercial motion picture theater for the profit of the producer and exhibitor. Submissions must be in 35mm or 70mm film, or in a 24- or 48-frame progressive scan Digital Cinema format with a minimum projector resolution of 2048 by 1080 pixels, source image format conforming to ST 428-1:2006 D-Cinema Distribution Master – Image Characteristics; image compression (if used) conforming to ISO/IEC 15444-1 (JPEG 2000); and image and sound files packaged as Digital Cinema Packages (DCPs) in the “SMPTE DCP” format. SMPTE DCP refers to SMPTE ST 429-2 and related specifications. (Blu-ray format does not meet Digital Cinema requirements.)

The audio in a Digital Cinema Package (DCP) is typically 5.1 or 7.1 channels of discrete audio. The minimum for a non-mono configuration of the audio shall be three channels as Left, Center, Right (a Left/Right configuration is not acceptable in a theatrical environment). In addition to channel-based audio, object-based audio may also be present as an immersive audio bitstream.

The audio data shall be formatted in conformance with ST 428-2:2006 D-Cinema Distribution Master – Audio Characteristics and ST 428-12:2013 D-Cinema Distribution Master Common Audio Channels and Soundfield Groups. Immersive audio, if present, shall be formatted in conformance with ST 2098-2:2019 Immersive Audio Bitstream Specification.

  1. The film must be advertised and exploited during its qualifying theatrical release in a manner considered normal and customary to theatrical feature distribution practices. The film need not have been released in the United States.
  2. Films that, in any version, receive a nontheatrical public exhibition or distribution before their first qualifying theatrical release will not be eligible for Academy Awards consideration. Nontheatrical public exhibition or distribution includes but is not limited to:
    • Broadcast and cable television
    • PPV/VOD
    • DVD distribution
    • Inflight airline distribution
    • Internet transmission
  3. The recording of the original dialogue track as well as the completed picture must be predominantly (more than 50%) in a language or languages other than English. ACCURATE, LEGIBLE ENGLISH-LANGUAGE SUBTITLES ARE REQUIRED.

The Pakistani Academy Selection Committee will announce its nomination for award consideration 20th October 2021.