Pride of Pakistan: Saim Sadiq’s ‘Darling’ bags an award at Venice Film Festival
Sadiq thanked Pakistan’s transgender community, especially transgender girls that told their stories to him.
During the 76th Venice Film Festival 2019, Saim Sadiq, a filmmaker from Pakistan, won the Orizzonti Award for Best Short Film. Sadiq received the trophy for his film Darling.
“It feels so surreal to me to be standing here because a week ago my visa to come here was rejected,” he shared, adding that he got the visa two days before the screening of Darling at the festival.
“I was in the customs line two hours before the screening and so when I get here, it just feels extremely surreal and kind of says a lot about the world that we live in today and the importance of what we do.” – he said while accepting the prestigious award.
“I am extremely grateful to be recognized at this kind of a platform,” – he further on said.
He also thanked his crew and cast.
Darling features Mehar Bano, Abdullah Malik, and Nadia Afgan, with Alina Khan, a transgender actor from Lahore. The movie is set in a Lahori dance theatre. Mo Azmi was the director of photography for the short film, he has other prominent works like Laal Kabootar and Cake to his name.
While concluding his acceptance speech, Sadiq thanked Pakistan’s transgender community, especially transgender girls that told their stories to him and allowed him to tell his story too.
Darling is a depiction of Pakistan’s scarcely represented community. Sadiq’s attempt was to show what a relationship between a young boy and a transgender girl is like. This is a truly new concept and gives voice to a highly undermined community. This is the first film ever which stars a transgender actor to be recognized at the jury festival, despite having Trans themed movies win awards before.
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