This Pakistani Student Might Be Bringing Home An Oscar For His Movie About Suicide Bombings

By Arslan Athar | 2 Aug, 2016

This is part of a limited series, “14 Days, 14 Stories”, about ordinary Pakistanis who are doing extraordinary things in order to give back to Pakistan.

Shahnawaz Zali may seem like your average Pakistani student, however there is much more to him. Shahnawaz is incredibly passionate about film-making and he has been doing wonders with passion. Last year he made ‘100 Steps- Sau Qadam’ and it grabbed the attention of some really important people. The movie is incredibly powerful because it addresses one of the hot button issues that has struck Pakistan for some time now – suicide bombings.


Shahnawaz’s film was just nominated for a Student Academy Award under the ‘Narrative’ Category.


Shahnawaz was ecstatic but so is our very own 2 time Oscar winning director, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy.

Sharmeen Obaid talked to us and this is what she has to say about Shahnawaz’s nomination:

“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!”


Now let’s talk for a minute about what Shahnawaz’s movie, ‘Sau Qadam’, is about.

It follows the story of a young boy and how his circumstances lead him to become a suicide bomber. Just from the trailer we can see how it seems like a powerful narrative as to how certain circumstances lead to the creation of terrorists and how those who brainwash these people, use them to their advantage to reach sinister ends.

Also, cinematography of the movie = amazing!


The award ceremony is on the 22nd of September, so we here at MangoBaaz are keeping our fingers crossed. Shahnawaz has achieved a lot as a student, we expect that he will definitely be able to do greater things outside university.

We wish him the best of luck and look forward to more superb work from him in the near future.


For more stories from our series about extraordinary Pakistanis check out ‘14 Days, 14 Stories‘.


Also see: If You’re Upset About Sharmeen Not Showing “Positive Side” of Pakistan, You Should Watch This

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