Taboos, stereotypes in focus at women film fest

Five of 24 films being screened are made by Pakistani women

Our Correspondent March 29, 2021


The fifth edition of the Women International Film Festival (WIFF) concluded on Sunday. Owing to the pandemic situation, the two-day event was live-streamed on social media this year, with the support of the Embassy of France in Pakistan and the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany Islamabad.

This year, 24 films made by women from all over the world are being screened. They include five local films, namely ‘Playing at the Boundary’ by Nida Kirmani, ‘This Shaking Keeps Me Steady’ by Shehrezad Maher, ‘Vote for X’ by Tazeen Bari, ‘No more Backseaters’ by Gul Nayani and ‘How She Moves’ by Aisha Linnea Akhtar and Anya Raza.

Besides these films, the festival is also featuring films received from Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iran, Italy, Russia, Spain, the UK and the USA.

The films’ showcase is being followed by a panel discussion on ‘Female Stereotypes in Storytelling: The Cultural and Social Limitation’ with selected filmmakers. The discussion is looking at the female representation that films have seen historically and how this historical baggage has affected the modern-day portrayal of a character. The panel is discussing ways to challenge such archaic stereotypes by demonstrating how the filmmakers in the panel went about writing their characters.

Over the years, the WIFF has aimed to fill the gender gap in film, besides widening appreciation for independent cinema, by creating a platform for diverse storytellers from all over the world, said an organiser.

“The over arching aim is to promote female filmmakers by building and uniting the next wave of talent and connecting the film community. It is evident that we need more such opportunities for women so they can take their stories to the screen and share them with the community.”

Women Through Film, the curating entity for the WIFF, is a Pakistan based initiative.



Published in The Express Tribune, March 29th, 2021.


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