It has been directed by Mohammed Ali Naqvi
Filmmaker Mohammed Ali Naqvi’s documentary The Accused: Damned or Devoted? is competing for a One World Media award.
It is based on the late cleric and politician Khadim Hussain Rizvi, known for his mission to preserve Pakistan’s blasphemy laws prescribing a mandatory death sentence. Its director Mohammed Ali Naqvi is a Pakistani filmmaker based in New York. He remarked that the The Accused was selected the same day the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan was banned.
The documentary follows the stories of four persons accused of blasphemy, including a Christian woman named Asia Bibi, who was accused by her Muslim co-workers. As the elections near, the country is divided between people who think the law is being misused and those who want it preserved. Khadim Rizvi’s campaign gains momentum and he gathers millions of supporters against those who want to change the law.
The Accused shows how the cleric used Asia Bibi’s trial and the blasphemy law for political gains in the elections.
The OWM received over 500 entries from 96 countries. There are 15 categories in total, ranging from Digital Media to Women Entrepreneurs Reporting.
The final three nominees in each category will be unveiled next month. The ceremony will take place online on June 17, 2021.
A number of Pakistani films and documentaries have won and been nominated for international awards.
Zindagi Tamasha by Sarmad Khoosat has bagged two Snow Leopard Awards, Busan International Film Festival Award and The Kim Ji-Seok Award.
Usman Mukhtar’s Bench was nominated for Independent Short Awards in Los Angeles. It was screened at the Cannes International Film Festival as well.
Arafat Mazhar’s Swipe became the first Pakistani animated film to be screened at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival 2021. It revolves around fatwa culture in Pakistan.