What Will People Say to represent Norway at the Oscars
by Davide Abbatescianni
- Premiered last year at Toronto, Iram Haq’s second feature follows the story of a Pakistani teenager living in Oslo who is sent back to her extended family on the subcontinent
Another Nordic country has announced its submission for the 91st Oscars, in the Best Foreign-language Film category. Iram Haq’s second feature, What Will People Say [+see also:
interview: Iram Haq
film profile], will represent Norway at the Academy Awards, after a number of successful festival screenings in Toronto, Gothenburg, Edinburgh, Hamburg and Jerusalem. The talented Norwegian director’s feature debut, I Am Yours [+see also:
film profile], represented the country in the Best Foreign-language category back in 2013.
The plot of her new drama centres on Nisha (Maria Mozhdah), a Pakistani teenager who lives in Norway. At home in Oslo, she is forced to obey the traditions and values of Pakistani family life, but outside with her friends, she is just like any other Norwegian teenager. One day, Nisha's two worlds brutally collide when her father, Mirza (Adil Hussain), catches her in bed with her white, Norwegian boyfriend. Nisha is kidnapped by her parents and sent to live in Pakistan.
The script was penned by the director herself, and the film is an international co-production involving Mer Film, Rohfilm Factory GmbH (Germany), the Swedish division of Zentropa, Cinéma Defacto (France), Film i Väst (Sweden) and Snowglobe Films (Denmark).
What Will People Say recently triumphed at the Amandas and won four awards in the categories of Best Norwegian Film in Theatrical Release, Best Actor (Adil Hussain), Best Director (Haq) and Best Screenplay (Haq). German production and distribution outfit Beta Cinema is currently in charge of its international sales.
Norway has been regularly submitting entries for the Best Foreign-language Film category since 1957. Overall, five movies have made the final shortlist – namely, Nine Lives in 1957, The Pathfinder in 1987, The Other Side of Sunday in 1996, Elling [+see also:
film profile] in 2001 and Kon-Tiki [+see also:
film profile] in 2012.
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