Women Through Film
Our aim is to unite women from different spheres of life through film, and raise awareness on the issues they face. Our flagship project, the Women International Film Festival – WIFF 2017-18 will be our main platform for showcasing films and achieving our objective.
Women International Film Festival March 2017
Women International Film Festival 2017 Successfully Concluded
Islamabad- March 12th, 2017: The first of its kind Women International Film Festival, which officially kicked off on 11th of March 2017 at the Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA) in Islamabad, successfully came to an end today.
The two-day festival, taking place during women’s week, featured 17 films by amateur filmmakers from Pakistan and around the world. Films came in from countries including Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Malaysia, Nigeria, UK and Mexico.
A panel of venerated judges from within the media world judged the films on the basis of set criteria. These included New York-based producer and director Marilyn Agrelo, Pakistani documentary film-maker and journalist Haya Fatima Iqbal, Pakistani TV and film director Anjum Shahzad, UK-based human rights activist Mandy Sanghera and renowned Pakistani film and music video director Yasir Jaswal. On the first day, a panel discussion was held, with guest representation of prominent figures including Aaron Haroon Rashid, Jamal Shah, Sadaf Raza and Naima Ansari, highlighting the role of women in film, and importance of promoting female voices in the industry.
The second day featured a panel discussion with eminent guests including Mishi Khan, Shamoon Hashmi, Kanwal Naseer, and Halimah Tariq. This was followed by a Q&A session with the audience that promoted a healthy exchange of ideas regarding using film as catalyst for social change in the form of women empowerment. The discussion regarding the dire need for women empowerment in Pakistan was not only enlightening but also inspiring.
The panel discussion was followed by the much-awaited announcement of the top three winners, with Ashique Mostafa from Bangladesh, winning first place for her film: Statement After My Poet Husband’s Death. Shikha Janet Alagh, from India, secured second place for Deaf Ears. Third place was a tie between Sangeeta Nambiar, from Malaysia, for Rahayu: Her Road to Freedom, and Samreen Ghauri from Pakistan, for The Darker Side of Glittering Bangles. To top it off, the evening was concluded with an invigorating musical performance by Mizraab Khawar, the lead vocalist for an underground band.
The Women International Film Festival is a project of Women Through Film, an organisation that is working for women empowerment through the use of an array of resources and platforms whether in the form of film making, conducting seminars, workshops etc. The idea, embedded in the roots of the organisation, is to promote equity in the patriarchal world through voicing the un-heard by transferring the capacity to think critically and outside the defined oppressive demarcations of the society.
Madeeha Raza, founder and creative director of Women Through Film, a renowned film-maker herself, is the mastermind behind the film festival (WIFF’17). Founding Partner Women Through Film, Mariyam Nafees, played a pivotal role in the execution of the pioneering event. Raj Kumar Gujar, who is the Communications and Programs Manager, has been a major part of the journey and took it to the applaud-able culmination of the festival. “The event aims to create an interactive experience between filmmakers, film lovers, and like-minded individuals,” said Madeeha, “and have thoughtful conversations, awaken compassion, and inspire change.”
Get to know us
Women Through Film 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.
Women Through Film connects women, their stories, and their causes through film, by conducting a series of interactive activities for young girls and women. Film can be used as a weapon to counter different types of social problems. Through workshops, seminars, and mentorship sessions, we aim to enhance these skills and give women a platform to display their work on an international forum. This platform is Pakistan’s Women International Film Festival – WIFF.
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The Core Team
Having done her Masters in Media and Communication with majors in Film & TV
from Beaconhouse National University in Lahore, Madeeha has been working in film and documentary sector for the last three years. She has directed a string of both social and corporate documentaries during her work with Morango Films, and led various training and capacity building workshops to sensitize and influence children and youth in areas of storytelling, social messaging, and awareness through film. Pressed with the absence of women in the field of film and documentary making, she created “Women Through Film” as an outlet empowering women to tell stories for and about women, and get connected with like-minded and inspirational female role models.
Bilal Ahmed Syed
WIFF 2017-18 Supported By: