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Sunday April 21, 2024

8th edition of Women International Film Festival returns to Islamabad

By Our Correspondent
March 03, 2024
Women International Film Festival (WIFF) logo can be seen on screen during film festival. — APP/File
Women International Film Festival (WIFF) logo can be seen on screen during film festival. — APP/File

Islamabad : The Women International Film Festival (WIFF) started here on Saturday. The festival opened with two days of public screenings at the Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA), with the support of Embassy of Spain in Pakistan, Ambassade De France Au Pakistan, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany Islamabad, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, the British Council.

The founder and director of the festival Madeeha Raza, spoke about the Eight years journey of this initiative and how it has exponentially and organically grown, giving independent filmmakers the much needed exposure and appreciation.

With more than 1,300 submissions this year, the two-day event showcased 31 short and feature length films received from UK, Iran, France, Germany, Ukraine, Spain, Lebanon, Egypt, Russia, Estonia, Poland, Japan, Mexico, Italy, Canada, Chile, Turkey and Argentina, out of which five films made by Pakistani filmmakers, Hum Awaaz, Made with Love, Prolific Hustling, Woman of Courage, and 10 more minutes were also showcased.

Judged by a jury panel comprising of esteemed filmmakers; Mehreen Jabbar, Usman Mukhtar and Marya Javed, the Best Film award, worth 350 Euros through anonymous donation, went to the film Paris Bruxelles by Marjorie Lhomme from France. With the support of the British Council, the Best Pakistani Film Award of Rs100,000 went to ‘Made with Love’ by Kainat Thebo.

Parwaaz Film Lab was also re-launched this year and took place over the same two days with participants from all over Pakistan. It was led by renowned Spanish filmmaker Elena Molina, director of the acclaimed ‘Remember My Name,’ alongside the insightful contributions of guest speaker and British Pakistani film director Annusheh Rahim.

This year the festival will continue with four days of intracity screenings at Fatima Jinnah Women University for a campus screening, the Black Box Sounds for the Ukrainian Films Sidebar, Alliance Française d’Islamabad for the French and Pakistani Films Sidebar, and a closing reception with film screenings at the Residence of Spain.

Over the years, WIFF has aimed to fill the gender gap in film, besides widening appreciation for independent cinema by creating a platform for diverse storytellers from all over the world. The overarching aim is to promote female filmmakers by building and uniting the next wave of talent and connecting the film community.