Filmmaker and theatre practitioner Hamza Bangash’s short film, Dia, which had its world premiere at the 71st Locarno Film Festival in August 2018, has another feather in its cap.
The Pakistani short was recently screened at the 8th edition of International Film Festival of South Asia (IFFSA), Toronto.
The festival, which kick started on May 9 in Ontario, Canada as part of South Asian Heritage Month celebrations, will come to an end today (May 20, 2019).
IFFSA Toronto is the largest South Asian Film Festival in North America. In its 8th year now, the festival has become an international platform and the voice of South Asian cinema in Canada. The 12-day festival showcases a diverse, language independent selection of the best feature films, featurette films, short films, documentaries and music films from around the world, on themes of South Asian cultures and identities. Besides, a select number of foreign films are considered under Beyond South Asia segment.
Coming back to the short, CityLights Media Productions, helmed by playwright and filmmaker Hamza Bangash, took to social media to reveal that Dia was screened as part of a special selection of IFFSA Social Impact Screenings.
After the screening, the team thanked the audience for all their love and support. “Thank you to our wonderful audience who came out to watch Dia, The Film at the International Film Festival of South Asia - Toronto last night! We are grateful for your support, and hope you enjoyed our baby,” read the post on CityLights Media Productions’ Instagram handle.
The 24-minute short is based on a true story of a girl, Mariam (essayed by Nida Khan) and sheds light on mental illness, which is still considered a taboo. Earlier this year, the short had its premiere in London at the prestigious platform of BAFTA-qualifying London Short Film Festival (LSFF). It was also screened at the Dhaka International Film Festival, Bangladesh and Jaipur International Film Festival, India among others.