Saim Sadiq's 'Darling' takes Best Short Film Award at Venice Film Festival

Published: September 9, 2019

Meesha Shafi congratulated her friend Saim Sadiq in a tweet last night after he won the Best Short Film Award for Darling at the Venice Film Fest (VFF).

Directed by Sadiq, Darling premiered at the ’VFF’s new Orrizzonti section as reported by international media. It qualifies as ’Pakistan’s first film to project in front of the oldest movie ’gala’s audience.

It stars Alina Khan, a transgirl from Lahore who made her acting debut in the film. Sadiq is a 28-year-old filmmaker from Lahore who did not even expect his film to be shortlisted for an award. However, the film also made the cut for Berlin and the Cannes film festivals.

In an interview with Arab News, Sadiq said, “I sent it in during the open submission call with zero expectations that it would be chosen. Through luck or something we got in.”

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Mo Azmi, the cinematographer of Cake, was the director of production in Darling, with producers Mahak Jiwani, Nadia Afgan, Fahad Nabi and Jasmin Tennuci.

Darling represents the underrepresented community of Pakistan, as ’Sadiq’s attempt to depict the relationship between a trans girl and a  young boy is a new concept altogether. It is also the first film starring a trans actor to be recognized by the jury at the festival, although trans themed movies have been awarded before.

Last year another short film by Sadiq, Nice Talking To You had won the Best Director Award at the Columbia University Film Festival.

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