The closing ceremony of filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s grant and mentorship program, ‘Stories from Southern Pakistan’, celebrated the work of 19 talented female filmmakers. The program, supported by a grant from the US Consulate General in Karachi, aimed to empower and encourage Pakistani women in film to create boundary-pushing documentaries. The filmmakers overcame personal challenges and worked in pairs to shoot their films, while also attending online workshops and editing sessions. Two-minute excerpts of the films showcased compelling subjects, unique perspectives, and clever editing. One film, ‘Niswan-Nama’ by Zehra Nawab and Mariam Paracha, explored the work of Tehrik-i-Niswan, a female-led performing arts group using theatre for activism. Another film, ‘Nayyar – An Art Story’ by Ayessha Quraishi and Shalalae Jamil, highlighted the artistic career and impact of an art teacher named Nayyar Jamil. Rani Wahidi, the filmmaker of ‘Sculpted Defiance’, shared her remarkable story of being self-taught due to the lack of education for girls in Afghanistan. The other filmmakers included Alina Rizwan, Alina Azhar, Aqsa Abdul Qadir, Amatullah Saeed, Kainat Thebo, Ayesha Abro, Zainab Asif, Aimen Khan, Mahwish Saeed, Saira Baloch, Mashal Baloch, Yamna Waqar, Nafeesa Ali, and Zainab Younas. US Consul General Conrad Tribble expressed pride in supporting the project and helping the filmmakers achieve their ambitions.
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