Pakistani Film Festival
PEHLEE DHARKAN (FIRST HEARTBEAT)
Pehlee Dharkan is the first ever Pakistani Film Festival outside Pakistan and in itself is an important means of celebrating and interacting with Pakistani films, past and present. The festival provides a highly accessible medium through which people from both Minority and Majority Ethnic communities can become involved in the arts and creative industries, both as audience members and as practitioners. Furthermore, Heer Productions sees Pehlee Dharkan as part of a continuing process aimed at facilitating Pakistani and Scottish film-makers to make contact with one another, to work together through workshops, training and ultimately perhaps through co-productions.
The festival presents a selection of films from the following categories:
‘New Wave' from Pakistan and work by independent filmmakers includes Sarmed Sehbai and emerging talent such as Adnan Malik, Hasan Zaidi, Sharmeen Obaid, Bilal Minto and Faisal Rehman.
Films by British South Asian Diaspora
The festival aims to provide a platform for British Asian filmmakers from professional backgrounds as well as community films. These include films ‘Elephant Boy' by Rene Mohandas & Durdana Shaikh and ‘Shahbangra Sandra from Pakistan' by Spirit Aid.
Work of Pakistani Women Directors
As with Iran , many of the new wave of Pakistani directors are women. This is of particular relevance in a patriarchal society where the Film Censor Board has a powerful role. Many of these directors - male and female - are tackling controversial issues as well as producing entertainment. Renowned female directors include Sangeeta whose ‘ Muthai Bhar Chawal ' was one of the rare arthouse films made in Pakistan, and Samina Peerzada who made ‘ Inteha ' which dealt with the controversial topic of rape within marriage. Other acclaimed female directors include Mahreen Jabbar, Sabiha Sumar, Maheen Zia & Sharmeen Obaid.
Short Films and Documentaries on Environmental and Health issues in Pakistan
Film and TV should be an intrinsic part of civil society and as such, must remain engaged and informative if it is to survive, develop and prosper as a valid and respected medium of dialogue and dissent in the cultural, economic, political and infrastructural contexts of Pakistan and the wider world. This section includes documentaries by Sheema Kermani and Maheen Zia.
Retrospective Selection of Classic Pakistani Films