Hum Awaaz (Devotion): Pakistani film makes it to Kazan International Muslim Film Festival in Russia

The film delves into themes of identity, family bonds, and the pursuit of one's dreams

Entertainment Desk August 04, 2023

Pakistan's burgeoning film industry has once again taken the international stage with the selection of Hum Awaaz (Devotion) to represent the nation at the Kazan International Muslim Film Festival in Russia. Pakistani-born filmmaker Zainab Younas’ film is one of the ten short feature films chosen from a pool of over 700 submissions hailing from 44 countries, as per a press release.

Hum Awaaz (Devotion) follows Zaha (played by Zainab), a young journalist from Quetta, Pakistan – the protagonist of this captivating film. She is faced with a life-altering decision of either leaving her hometown like many others in search of better opportunities or staying to become the voice of Quetta, sharing its stories and experiences with the world. Her father, Akhtar Ali, played by Abdullah Jan Ghaznavir, attempts to persuade her to stay by showcasing the true essence of Quetta, its people, and its untold stories. The film delves into themes of identity, family bonds, and the pursuit of one's dreams.

Zainab's film, selected in the Short Feature Films category, will be competing with Baqer Al-Rubaie’s Transit from Iraq, Sulaiman AlKhalili’s Ramad from Oman, The Manning Up by Krgystan’s Aigul Ablasanova and Dear Ward by Egyptian filmmaker Marwa Al Sharkawy among others. Films from Russia, Pakistan, Iran, Tajikistan, Oman, Tunisia, Krgystan, Oman, and Iraq will be showcased at the festival. Hum Awaaz’s (Devotion) selection at the prestigious festival marks a significant milestone for Pakistani cinema.

Zainab is no stranger to using her craft to champion the beauty and diversity of her homeland. Through her previous works, including documentaries and vlogs, she has demonstrated a strong commitment to break stereotypes and redefine how the world perceives Balochistan. Her dedication to showcasing a side of Balochistan filled with hope, resilience, and empowerment has earned her critical acclaim and admiration from audiences and critics alike.

According to the statement, Hum Awaaz isn’t Zainab’s only feat. Her documentary film idea From Rocks to Gold was selected for SOC Films’ Patakha Pictures program. The program, initiated by the Oscar-winning filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, provides funding and mentorship to support emerging talent in the Pakistani film industry.

In a world where representation and diverse voices in cinema are increasingly vital, Zainab’s film is a great example of filmmakers who uses their art to elevate “underrepresented narratives and challenge prevailing misconceptions.” Her success story serves as an inspiration to aspiring filmmakers, particularly women, who strive to make a difference through their craft.

Watch the trailer here:



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