KARACHI: Filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy in collaboration with the US Consulate hosted an event, ‘Celebrating Female Filmmakers’, in Karachi on Friday as they looked to set the stage for the next generation of filmmakers in the country.
The event was aimed at showcasing and encouraging regional talent under the platform of Patakha Pictures, which was set up in 2021 as a subsidiary of SOC Films led by Obaid-Chinoy and serves as an incubator for aspiring filmmakers all over the country, providing them with funding and mentorship.
Since its inception, it has supported 30 filmmakers from Sindh, Punjab, Balochistan and Gilgit Baltistan and funded 16 award-winning films that have played at festivals around the world.
This year, 19 filmmakers from Sindh and Balochistan were provided funding and mentorship, and their works were showcased at the event. Obaid-Chinoy said their films have the potential to “make a difference in the world,” and remain “critical to push the narrative forward”.
About the young filmmakers who were featured at the event, Obaid-Chinoy said, “The time has come to lay down the foundation of filmmaking in Pakistan.
“The women you are going to meet today are my heroes, because against all odds through sheer determination, many of them are making their first films, are passionate about telling stories, about their communities and the places they come from.”
Obaid-Chinoy also shared that the US Consulate in Karachi has provided the largest grant female filmmakers have received in Pakistan.
Conrad Tribble, who assumed responsibility as the Consul General of U.S. Consulate General Karachi in August, said the consulate is “very proud to be a part of this project and to help bring the vision to life”. “Through their documentaries, talented women highlight critical social issues, challenge assumptions, and offer fresh innovative perspectives on everyday things,” said Tribble.
“The documentaries play such a pivotal role in calling people to action and are incredibly powerful platforms.”
This year’s young filmmakers delved into topics ranging from climate change affecting communities in rural Sindh, climate change, dual identities, female empowerment, theatre and art as a medium for highlighting human rights and other issues.
One particular film highlighted an entirely female-led community in Pakistan that had especially fascinated the young filmmakers who read about it in a news article a few years ago.
The filmmakers, most of whom were first-timers, spoke about their craft passionately, sharing how if they are not able to make a difference through their works, it would almost not be worth doing it at all.
Among the 10 clips screened from the various documentaries, the audience was treated to stunning shots of the expansive green fields of Sindh, the blue coastline of Balochistan and the city streets of Quetta.
The filmmakers were accompanied by Sundance award-winning documentary filmmaker Jesse Ericka Epstein, who mentored the young women, and award-winning director and producer Noe Mendelle.
“When you hear their stories about how they became filmmakers I know that you will say, Pakistan has so much hope,” Obaid-Chinoy concluded, stating how it is important to keep breaking doors down and pushing the needle forward in order to help young women achieve their dreams.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023