Image: Shah Zaman Baloch (Courtesy of Cultures of Resistance Network).
CARE Pakistan is Pakistan’s largest education foundation, currently providing over 270,000 of its most under-resourced children with a quality, marketable education in over 825 CARE-adopted government schools. Asia House is delighted to be partnering with Care Pakistan and The Rangoonwala Foundation to bring you award-winning and critically acclaimed shorts and documentaries from or about Pakistan as organised and selected by Care Pakistan. Celebrating the nuance and range of Pakistan’s social and cultural landscape, the programme of documentaries and short films, turn on the spotlight to show a dynamic and diverse country hosting perspectives that have not found representation on mainstream international media.
Note: All films are in Urdu with English subtitles.
Film screenings will take place on 7th, 13th and 22nd February at Asia House.
There will be a drinks reception at the end of each event.
Wednesday 7th February, 18.45 – 20.30. ( This date is SOLD OUT )
Madam Kazmi and the Drivers, 2012, (23 min), Director: Anca Dimofte
Madam Kazmi and the Drivers is a short documentary that gives a glimpse into the life of Zahida Kazmi who at the time was Pakistan’s first female taxi driver. The film follows her on her daily routine with her 7 year old Zara, at work with the other taxi drivers and during a spontaneous protest. Zahida is performing different roles which allow her to navigate from one reality to another.
This screening is followed by a short Q&A with the director Anca Dimofte (15 mins)
K2 and the Invisible Footmen, 2015, (54 min), Director & Producer: Iara Lee Cinematographer & Editor: Jawad Sharif
This 2015 Award winning documentary by director Iara Lee and Jawad Sharif chronicles the lives of both Pakistani porters and Nepalese Sherpas. The film also follows the first official all-Pakistani climbing team, made up of former porters, who successfully summited in 2014, in celebration of K2 60th anniversary. Amid breath-taking scenery, the film depicts the everyday sacrifices of porters and the courage of those indigenous climbers who choose to return to scale K2 despite past tragedies. In their striving to perfect their craft, these mountaineers provide a fresh look into the cultures and national traditions of Pakistan, a country typically portrayed in the foreign media as merely a land of conflict and sectarian strife. The film has won the Audience Award in Pakistan Mountain film festival, the Jury Prize in Barcelona at the BBVA Mountain Film Festival, Best film at the Rio Mountain festival, Best documentary in Salento Film Festival, Italy and best cinematography at Jaipur Film festival, among other awards.
Tuesday 13th February, 18.45 – 20.30
Supun Xik, 2016, (13 min), Director: Zeeo Zia
Set in the beautiful but harsh landscape of Pakistan’s Himalayan Range, the film is about a courageous and determined shepherdess high up in the Northern Pakistan mountains, who has left her home to keep the century old tradition of shepherding alive. The short has travelled to 6 international festivals and won the best cinematography award at film festivals in Bulgaria and Russia.
These Birds Walk, 2013, (71 min), Directors: Bassam Tariq and Omar Mullick
2013 documentary by Bassam Tariq and Omar Mullick, tells the story and the struggles of runaway children and those who look after them. at the Edhi Foundation in Karachi, Pakistan. It follows a little runaway boy, who wonders where home is; the streets, an orphanage, or with the family he fled in the first place. This is an inspirational story of resilience. “Even though Tariq and Mullick’s film takes place halfway around the world from most of the people who will ever see this film, it is a study into the universal need for a home.” Gabriel Lipton in Slant Magazine.
Thursday 22nd February, 18.45 – 20.30
100 Steps, 2015, (14 min), Director: Shahnawaz Zali
Directed by the young director, who made the Forbes 30 under 30 list in 2016, the documentary Sau Qadam was nominated as Best film in the Narrative category for the 43rd Student Academy Awards. The film is about a young boy who is dragged into the world of suicide bombings. At a young age, Abdulla is taken in by a local religious figure and school principal, Maulana Abdul Rahman. Now thirteen years old, Abdulla learns that his school is a front for a radical Islamist recruitment camp. Suddenly, Abdulla must choose between either doing what he is told, or turning against the man who raised him. In an interview with Images Magazine, Zali describes the film as “a film about innocence and bravery, hopelessly entwined in the protagonist, who is brainwashed into doing things he didn’t want to do. The goal was to correct the misconception of how the world views Pakistan and its people. We’re a valiant nation, with a lot of stories, and this is just a small one.”
Song of Lahore, 2015, (82 min) by Director: Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Andy Schocken
2015 Documentary by two-time Oscar winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Song of Lahore, which premiered at the world-famous Tribeca Film Festival in New York, follows Sachal Studios, a Pakistani music group who prepare for a New York City performance after being invited by Wynton Marsalis. After a challenging week of rehearsals trying to successfully fuse the sounds of the orchestras from Lahore and New York, the musicians take the stage for a memorable and much lauded concert. However, Sachal Studios remains unknown and uncelebrated in Pakistan, due to the shrinking space for arts, music and culture. The documentary explores the larger question of whether there is still room for the musicians in its current society.
All ticket proceeds will go directly to CARE schools to fund the education of under-privileged children.