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Young Pakistani Filmmaker Gets One Step Closer To The Oscars

Anokhi DIY Anokhi Today Breaking News & Sports World Aug 06, 2016

A dream turns into reality with an $8000 university grant and a documentary about suicide bombings.

23-year old Pakistani student Shahnawaz Zali's documentary, 100 Steps-Sau Qadam lands itself into the Student Oscar nomination list.

The 2015 film has been nominated for Best Film in the Narrative category for the 43rd Student Academy Awards being held on September 22nd.

43rd Student Academy Awards
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Zali's passion for filmmaking has been doing wonders for him and his documentary grabbed the attention of all the right people.

100 Steps-Sau Qadam gives insight on an issue that has been prevalent in Pakistan for some time now – suicide bombings.

The story revolves around the circumstances of a young boy, and how he is dragged into the sinister world of suicide bombings.

Trailer for 100 Steps-Sau Qadam
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Great cinematography and powerful dialogue gives an inside view on how some terrorists are created, and how brainwashing and ill circumstances act as a tool in being taken advantage of.

Aspiring director and cinematographer Zali told Images, "As a story-teller I wanted to create a film, which was a psychological thriller that ultimately helps defeat the stereotypical role of Pakistani’s portrayed in the media all over the globe."

"I chose this subject because these things exist and it's happening all around us," he said.

 "I believe that for a nation to progress, we must first acknowledge and accept the fact that there is a problem. Once the problem is identified, we can then all work toward solving it."

Shahnawaz Zali
Photo Credit: Facebook

"It's a film about innocence and bravery, hopelessly entwined in the protagonist, who is brainwashed into doing things he didn't want to do. The goal was to correct the misconception of how the world views Pakistan and its people," Zali said. 

"We’re a valiant nation, with a lot of stories, and this is just a small one."

Sharing a passion for filmmaking, two-time Oscar winning director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy was ecstatic for Zali.

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
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She told Mangobaaz,  “Many congratulations to Shahnawaz on his much deserved nomination. Five years ago Pakistan jump started its film industry which has been led by young filmmakers who are taking risks and are experimenting both with story lines and form. We are a country rich with talent and Shahnawaz epitomizes that. This is a sign to filmmakers across Pakistan that if you produce quality work you can compete with the best of the world!”

Zali is a graduate of Northwestern University – School Of Communication in Qatar, and has won a number of awards in the past, including the Best Film award for Muhammad at the Qatar Media Awards 2014, and Best Screenplay award for 100 Steps-Sau Qadam at the Qatar Media Awards 2015.

Main Image Photo Credit: Facebook

Nomaan Khan

Nomaan Khan


After spending some time in a completely different field, Nomaan decided to drop it all and switch to Mohawk College to pursue his longtime interest in the world of Journalism. His experience working in multimedia platforms has helped him develop exceptional skills in thinking on his ...


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