When we see Pakistani film industry, we rarely see female directors or producers. We see how male dominated this industry is and how being in the media industry is a huge taboo for women in this country. However, this year at Cannes 2019, Pakistani filmmaker Iram Parveen Bilal made it to Cannes and has broken all the stereotypes. Iram was at Cannes for her upcoming feature film Wakhri. Iram is first woman filmmaker of Pakistan to make it to Cannes. According to a report in Express Tribune, the Pakistani director "has made it to the list of 15 directors for Cinefondation’s Atelier programme at the festival." In an interview with Iram Parveen Bilal, Tribune reported how "L’atelier is Cannes official artist development arm, Cinefondation’s program. They curate 15 directors from all over the world to invite for an accelerated financing program that takes place over the course of a week at Cannes. This is their 15th year. Their financing and release success is 93%."
I think it’s high time there should be more women in the film industry of Pakistan and the male to female ratio should be equal. From what I understand, films are the best tool for making this society a better place therefore, considering the problems women face in this society, there should be more films revolving the issues women in this society. Films are the kind of tool that can make the audience question their deep rooted patriarchal conditioning and unlearn it in a very peaceful way.
As a student of film making, I understand how it is like to be a woman in this industry. The kind of problems you face within the industry and how people outside this industry stereotype women filmmakers or actresses is beyond our imagination. Women in the Pakistani film industry are struggling everyday to make their place and that itself is a battle and we are so proud of our women of today who put so much labour only so the next generation doesn’t face what we have faced.
Iram has taken a huge step towards women empowerment in Pakistan by making her way to Cannes with her film. It’s time we show the world what the women of Pakistan are capable of and how we are ending the gender roles and stereotypes by being successful in every industry. There should be no gender when it comes to profession and women like Iram Bilal are proving it everyday. We wish women of the film industry in Pakistan good luck and we hope that a day comes when women succeeding in the film industry aren’t a story anymore.