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Two-time Academy Award winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy along with the female filmmaker grantees, Jesse Ericka Epstein (Sundance Award-Winning documentary filmmaker, and VMA Affiliated Faculty, Emerson College) and Conrad Tribble, Consul General of U.S. Consulate General Karachi

Over an evening well attended by an eclectic artistic community, two-time Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker and journalist, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy hosted an event in Karachi marking the conclusion of Patakha Pictures’ third and largest program, titled Stories from Southern Pakistan. Short clips of all ten films, made by the 19 female filmmakers in the program, were shown to the audience amidst great applause. The subjects of all films came from places of personal interest of the filmmakers, whether it was a film on women who have reclaimed public spaces, of a girl who decides to train in martial arts for self defence, stories of cross dressers and survival of trans people, the threat to artists and sculptors or even something as personal as an ode to an exceptional teacher. Each and every film was a sensitive portrayal of diverse people and communities from Southern Pakistan.

Patakha Pictures is an SOC mentorship program, launched two years ago to empower, promote and support women filmmakers from all over Pakistan. After two successful filmmaking grant programs, this year marked the conclusion of Patakha Pictures’ third and largest program titled Stories from Southern Pakistan, featuring 19 female filmmakers from Sindh and Balochistan. Supported and funded by a grant from the U.S. Consulate in Karachi, the 10-million-rupee project facilitated women to produce impactful documentaries that not only push boundaries but also start conversations on topics that are seldom discussed.

19 female filmmakers from Sindh and Balochistan

Over the course of several months, these aspiring filmmakers worked in pairs, delving into the world of cinema. Moreover, they participated in online filmmaking workshops and an in-person editing week led by Noé Mendelle, a respected member of the Academy of Motion Picture Sciences and Director of the Scottish Documentary Institute, as well as Sundance Award-Winning documentary filmmaker and VMA Affiliated Faculty, Emerson College, Jesse Ericka Epstein, who had flown in for the event.

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy while interacting with the audience

“None of this would have been possible without our two international mentors, Noé Mendelle and Jesse Ericka Epstein, whose guidance and mentorship have been invaluable to the fellows, along with support and funding from the US Consulate Karachi. I am also excited to see what these Patakha Pictures fellows will accomplish next as they pave the way for a more inclusive and equitable film ecosystem in Pakistan,” Sharmeen said while introducing the filmmakers.

Faiza Saleem, Momal Sheikh, Iqra Aziz, Samina Ahmed, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Ayesha Omar, Hira Tareen and Ali Safina

While the event provided a platform for fellows to engage in discussions about their projects and the creative process that went into their films, renowned actors such as Samina Ahmed, Iqra Aziz, Ayesha Omar, Faiza Saleem, Momal Sheikh, Hira Tareen and Ali Safina also shared their valuable insights with the participants.

Watch the glimpse of the event:

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