Pakistani-Canadian film, 'The Queen of my Dreams' to premiere at Toronto International Film Festival

Collab between creatives of the two countries promises an engaging tale

Entertainment Desk August 24, 2023

The cross-cultural comedic drama titled The Queen of My Dreams, co-produced jointly by Pakistan and Canada, is scheduled to make its highly anticipated debut at the renowned Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) on September 8, 2023.

Directed and scripted by Fawzia Mirza, the film offers a poignant and lively storyline. The narrative centres around Azra, a Pakistani woman who resides in Toronto and finds herself at odds with the conservative principles upheld by her mother. The untimely passing of her father during a trip to Pakistan becomes the driving force behind Azra's expedition through a blend of factual and imagined memories. Her journey spans from her mother's youthful experiences in Karachi to Azra's own developmental years in rural Canada, infused with elements reminiscent of Bollywood cinema.

The ensemble cast includes recognisable figures like Amrit Kaur of HBO Max's The Sex Lives of College Girls, Nimra Bucha, from Ms. Marvel, and Hamza Haq from CTV's Transplant. Other esteemed actors, including Gul e Rana, Ali A. Kazmi, Meher Jaffri, Bakhtawar Mazhar, and Adnan Jaffar, contribute to the film's compelling narrative. The director expressed her sentiments, sharing that the realisation of creating a feature film in Pakistan had been a long-held aspiration.

The film is the outcome of a distinctive collaboration across borders, uniting Pakistani producers Kamil Chima and Carol Noronha with their Canadian counterparts Jason Levangie, Marc Tetreault, and Andria Wilson Mirza. The production involved a 30-day shoot in Karachi during 2022, and a 10-day session in Nova Scotia, Canada. The visual facets of the film were skillfully brought to life under the direction of Canadian cinematographer Matt Irwin and Production Designer Michael Pierson. Collaborations with Karachi-based talents such as Cyrus Kyranjia and Imran Naeem (art), Fizza Ejaz and Faiz Rohani (costume), and Minahil Chima and Nanson Gill (makeup) added depth to the film's aesthetic.

Support for the film was garnered from various Canadian entities, including Telefilm Canada, Canada Media Fund, the Province of Nova Scotia, Screen Nova Scotia, the Province of Ontario, and the Government of Canada. Anam Abbas, a producer associated with In Flames, also contributes as an Executive Producer to The Queen of My Dreams, as do Farjad Akhtar and Ameer Hamza.

The impending premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival marks a significant stride for the film's creators, promising audiences a distinctive cinematic encounter that traverses cultural and geographical boundaries. As Pakistan continues to pave a path toward global recognition, The Queen of My Dreams is another feather in the country's creative cap.

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