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Parwaaz Film Lab & Film screenings to promote women rights and gender equality in Pakistan

Parwaaz Film Lab & Film screenings to promote women rights and gender equality

Islamabad, February 5, 2018- Women International Film Festival (WIFF) will be held at the Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA) on the 10th and 11th of March, 2018.
The first day of the event is dedicated to Parwaaz - A capacity building Film Lab for amateur filmmakers to be trained by experts coming from overseas.

The Lab will center on "The Art of Cinematic Storytelling" and invites more participation from female filmmakers. Filmmakers can register for the Film Lab by visiting: before the official deadline i.e. 10th of February 2018. Attendees of the workshop are automatically entitled to attend the film screenings, panel discussions, and live performances on the next day.

On the 11th of March 2018, the event will be screening shortlisted film entries received from around the world, with live performances in between, discussion panels, and a Q&A session at the end. A small reception will follow. To attend the main screening event, please visit: to register and RSVP as soon as possible to guarantee your place at the event.

This year, WIFF aims to give filmmakers, both male and female, the opportunity to use film as a tool to advocate for gender equality, shed light on gender rights, as well as tell powerful stories of the successes and struggles of both genders. Women from around the world, including Tajikistan, India, the USA, UK, and Egypt, besides many from Pakistan, have submitted films that will be screened at the event attended by students, policymakers, diplomats, and public figures including politicians, journalists, and human rights activists.

The overarching aim of WIFF is to promote amateur filmmakers, and female filmmakers in particular, by building and uniting the next wave of talent and connecting the film community.

Our jurors for WIFF this year are:

- Ruth Beni (a multi award-winning filmmaker and writer),
- Hammad Khan (Pakistan's most defiantly independent filmmakers and the director of "Slackistan"),
- Samar Minallah Khan (the filmmaker behind the famous documentary "Swara - A Bridge over troubled waters"),
- Paula Kweskin Weiss (a filmmaker and human rights attorney. Producer of Honor Diaries, and award-winning documentary on women's rights),
- Jamshed Mahmood Raza (fondly known as Jami - an award-winning film director & founder of Azad Films).

Film submissions for the current round closed last month, and the shortlisted films have been sent for evaluation to our jurors.

Another Press Release will be issued with a list of public figures and celebrities that will be participating in our discussion panels, consisting of the following main subjects:

- Self-Empowerment through Film
- Creating Safer Spaces for Women in Politics.

To all the filmmakers, Madeeha Raza, the founder and curator of WIFF says: "Make your films with compassion and purpose. Use the power of this medium to galvanize change and inspire conversation."

Whether you're a filmmaker, a moviegoer, artist, musician, film buff, pretty much anyone; this event is for you. Team WIFF highly encourages everyone to register for the event. "This year we're screening evocative and artful films that really demonstrate the power of cinema not only effecting change, but telling stories and engaging an audience on an emotional and cerebral level," Madeeha says.

Bilal Ahmed Syed, the Programs Manager of the event, adds: "This event is the only one of its kind in Pakistan and is absolutely crucial in making society understand that women too can stand with men and compete on an equal level."

About Women Through Film
Women Through Film, the curating entity for WIFF, is a Pakistan based initiative trying to encourage and facilitate young girls and women to use self-expression, storytelling, fiction, and citizen journalism through filmmaking to raise their voice and create social change. It is an initiative to celebrate the success stories, struggles, and achievements of inspiring women from all walks of life. We aim to create an army of vocal, confident, fearless, and economically independent female filmmakers who can tell stories about issues that affect them, using film and other interactive media.

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If you would like more information about this, please contact Programs Manager, Bilal Ahmed Syed, at +92 336 011 1145 or email:

Bilal Ahmed Syed
Women Through Film
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