Pakistani short films are developing into quite an industry. One particular case in point is Rani, starring transgender actor and LGBTQ activist Kami Sid, who essays a toy vendor and what happens when she decides to take care of an abandoned child.
Since last year, the film has been screened at approximately 8 film festivals. It is now heading to Goldsmiths University and will be screened alongside five other Asian LGBTQ+ shorts as part of LGBQT+ History month. Set to take place on February 11, 2019 at Goldsmiths, University of London, the showcase will include Rani from Pakistan as well as films from India, Malaysia, Philippines and South Korea. The event is free to the public.
Speaking about Rani’s trip to the UK as part of this showcase, CEO of GrayScale and co-producer Akbar Allana spoke about how the film has been received very well across the board. “Wherever it has been screened, we’ve received a very good response. People have enjoyed the film. They’re quite surprised; you don’t normally associate transgenders with Pakistan, at least not in the western world. For them to see a transgender story is quite exciting.”
Rani has been screened at Asian festivals such as CAAMFEST in Los Angeles, Tasveer in Seattle, Asian CineVision International Festival, New York and Chicago South Asian Film Festival.
It has also been screened at Newport Beach Film Festival in California, Rhode Island International Film Festival and NBCUniversal Short Film Festival in LA where it won the award for Outstanding Writer Award.
In addition, the film has also been showcased at various LGBTQ+ Festivals such as Outfest LA (where it won Fox Inclusion Award) and International Queer Film Festival, Hamburg (winning Ursula genderbender Award, Best Short Film).
Rani will have its public premiere in Pakistan at the Karachi Literature Festival 2019 next month. The KLF screening will be followed by a panel session which will include writer, director and co-producer Hammad Rizvi, Kami Sid, Akbar Allana, Bilquis Edhi (who has endorsed the film; subject to her health) with Zarrar Khuhro serving as moderator. He further confirmed that the Lahore screening is being hosted by Lahore Biennale Foundation with the date to be confirmed.