to empower and support a new generation of female Pakistani filmmakers who wish to create engaging films that reflect on and question their society on themes such as women empowerment, violence against women and minorities, arts, culture, climate change and peace-building, a new platform by the name of ‘Patakha Pictures’ was launched.
Recently, filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy announced Pakistan’s largest filmmaking grant for women, PKR 1 Crore, under the funding and mentorship platform. Launched in partnership with Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA) and the U.S. Consulate General Karachi, this is their third funding and mentorship programme, ‘Stories from Southern Pakistan’. Filmmakers from US and Scotland were brought in as mentors for the programme.
For the first grant launched in February 2022, 10 female filmmakers worked in pairs for 12 weeks to develop their creative skills and create 5 short films.
For the second grant, one documentary filmmaker was selected as a Taiwan Pitch Pakistan Fellow Grantee, and received 10,000 USD in funding to participate in the ‘Talent Village’ workshop held in Taiwan.
For the third newest grant, ‘Stories from Southern Pakistan’, 20 emerging filmmakers, working in pairs, will be given a grant of up to PKR 1 million per pair to create 10 short documentaries. As part of the mentorship process, the new production house will support, nurture and develop fellows’ creative skills, thus enabling grantees to reach new local and international audiences through their work.
“I have been so inspired by the success of ‘Patakha Pictures’ funding programmes, especially as many of our fellows’ films are being screened and receiving accolades internationally. We know that this funding is critical for filmmakers to realise their filmmaking dreams, and this time around we’re making a special effort to recruit women from smaller towns and villages in Sindh and Baluchistan,” shared Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy.
“Gender Equality is all about generating transformative capabilities for emerging female filmmakers from Pakistan. Those selected will have unique opportunities to visualise and share stories within and beyond borders, and nurture excellence and creativity,” exclaimed Baela Raza Jamil of ITA.
“We are glad to announce yet another initiative of the U.S. Mission to Pakistan to develop the capacity of the film industry in Pakistan with the objective to promote women empowerment. This project is a great way to discover the true potential and the talent in this country. We look to empower more Pakistanis to tell the story of this beautiful country and strengthen our people-to-people ties.” said Public Diplomacy Officer, Anastasia Kolivas from the U.S. Consulate in Karachi.
Indeed, this platform will provide support in creative development and feedback, and, depending on the broadcast outlet, with marketing, publicity, and audience engagement services. The overarching objective is to enable filmmakers to advance their current projects and help recognise professional accomplishments in independent film.
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