Pakistani-Norwegian filmmaker’s film “What Will People Say” has been submitted as Norway’s official entry for the 2019 Academy Awards.
Iram Haq’s film has been selected as an entry for the best foreign language film.
What Will People Say is centred around the life of a 16-year-old girl, Nisha (played by Maria Mozhdah), who faces numerous socio-cultural dissimilarities along her journey. Nisha is forced to leave her home in Norway to live with her extended family in Pakistan where she is asked to learn “her own culture”.
The story is based on Haq’s own life. It took Haq—now 42—several years to come to terms with what happened with her as a teenager and then finding the courage to share her story with the world.
In an interview with News18, Haq said, “It took me a long while to find the courage to dare to tell it, and then tell it in a way that you understand the parents’ point of view as well as the girl’s. It is important that the audience understands both the generations. It took me many years to be ready to tell the story in a wise way.”
Regarding whether she expected the film to be submitted to the Oscars, the Pakistani-Norwegian filmmaker said, “Never. My only focus was to tell a good story in a good way. Everything that came after was a bonus. I am super happy and thankful.”