Instep Today

Baaji to screen at UKAFF 2020; Saqib Malik expresses gratitude

By Buraq Shabbir
Fri, 03, 20

Saqib Malik’s debut feature film, Baaji, that features Meera Ji, Osman Khalid Butt, Amna Ilyas and Ali Kazmi in important roles and released in June last year, is still going strong in film festivals internationally. So far, it has made it to three festivals and the most recent addition to the list is the upcoming UK Asian Film Festival (UKAFF) 2020 that is commencing on March 25.

“It is the first time the film will be shown in central London at the prestigious Regent Street Cinema (April 1, 2020),” Saqib Malik shared with Instep, adding that when he made Baaji, he had no idea the film would transcend borders and get this kind of international acclaim. “I guess it’s because of the way the film tackles issues like identity, with two female characters as the main protagonists, that has caught the fancy of festival programmers. Also, Baaji’s embrace of a genre and its homage to Lollywood have made the film both exciting and authentic.”

“Had the Corona virus not come in the way, Baaji was also set to be a part of the Beijing International Film Festival,” Saqib furthered.

He informed that the UKAFF is also known as Tongues On Fire and is the longest running festival for South Asian cinema outside India. The director is hoping to attend the UKAFF and interact with audiences and as well as other participants. “The festival has excellent programming this year so it’s great to see Baaji in such esteemed company. It’s great when Pakistani cinema gets these kinds of platforms where it is shown side by side with some of the best films coming out from this part of the world.”

The film will also be screened on March 27 at 8pm on the ARC Stockton Arts Centre, followed by a screening on March 29 at noon at the Strathclyde University, Glasgow, before a show on April 1 at the Regent Street Cinema.