‘Darling’ a Pakistani short film has won the best short film award at the Venice Film Festival which is one of the oldest film festivals in the world. Venice Film Festivals is also a part of the ‘Big Three’ film festivals in the worlds: Cannes, Berlin, and Venice. ‘Darling’ is also the first Pakistani film to be screened on one of the ‘Big Three’ film festivals. This film has been directed by a 28-year-old filmmaker Saim Sadiq from Lahore. The producers are Mahak Jiwani, Nadia Afgan, Fahad Nabi, and Jasmin Tennuci. Mo Azmi, who has produced the iconic films like Cake and Laal Kabootar, is the director of photography for ‘Darling.’
‘Darling’ is a homage to the transgender community in Pakistan
‘Darling’ is a story of a transgender girl Alina and a boy Abdullah from Lahore. Alina is a transgender in real life as well who made her acting debut through this film. ‘Darling’ also features the actors Meher Bano and Nadia Afgan. Nadia Afgan is also one of the producers and has a strong body of work in terms of acting and direction.
This is not Saim Sadiq’s first international recognition
According to Saim Sadiq, when he had sent the film for the submission, he had no expectations that it will be chosen for screening. The award came as a much bigger surprise. Saim Sadiq’s film ‘Nice Talking to You, was an official selection at South by Southwest 2019, Palm Springs International Shortfest 2019. He won Vimeo's Best Director award at Columbia University Film Festival 2018 hence it is not the first time Saim Sadiq has been recognized internationally.
Saim Sadiq pointed out a flaw, in the world, we live in during his acceptance speech
In his acceptance speech, Saim lightheartedly pointed out an important issue of today’s world where traveling is not easy due to legal complications associated with certain passports. He said that a week before the screening his visa to Venice got rejected and he got just two days before the film screening. Saim mentioned that he was struggling through the immigration just two hours before his film was to be screened and this said enough about today’s world. In his acceptance speech, Saim Sadiq especially thanked the transgender girls who shared their stories openheartedly with him and also allowed him to tell his to the world. He said that the transgender community is a vibrant part of Pakistani culture.