British-Pakistani director Sarmad Masud’s ground-breaking debut ‘My Pure Land’ is announced as Britain’s selection for submission to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) for an Academy Award® in the category of Foreign Language Film . The submission is the first time an Urdu-language film is Britain’s selection for the award.
Sarmad Masud first envisioned his startling debut ‘My Pure Land’ when he heard of the true story of a group of young women who survived a siege on their home by relatives in rural Pakistan, culminating in them having to defend their land from a militia of 200 bandits. Their feat was almost unheard of and they were swiftly elevated to the position of folk heroes. When Sarmad heard their story he instantly knew this was the film he needed to make as his debut – a violent contemporary Western but grounded in realism and crucially with a feminist theme.
The Film came together when he met theatre impresario, film producer, and Everton football club Chairman Bill Kenwright and pitched him the project, 20 minutes later Kenwright shook Sarmad’s hand there and said, “Let’s do it”. And they did.
Shooting in Pakistan was challenging in the extreme, with the crew negotiating their way through one of the most heavily armed civilian regions on earth where kidnap and ransom is an ever present risk for foreigners. Their issues culminated when an embittered extra returned to set and opened fire on the production, although fortunately no-one was hurt.
My Pure Land Suhaee Abro, Eman Malik, Syed Tanveer-Hussain, Razia Malik, Atif Akhtar Bhatti, Tayyab Azfal, Ahsen Murad and is released on Friday 15th September 2017.