Darling, a Pakistani short film directed by Saim Sadiq, bags yet another film festival appearance. The movie stars a transgender actress, Alina khan in her debut film celebrating queerness and her Bollywood dream. It’s the story of a young boy, who helps his trans friend audition for the lead role in an erotic dance show.
The film has already won the Orrizonti Award for Short Film category at the Venice Film Festival and was shown at the Toronto International Film Festival. It is now heading to the SXSW Film Festival along with being nominated for a Grand Jury award. Hence, the crew is now planning on travelling to the festival in mid-March for the screening in Austin, Texas.
The filmmaker shared the news on his Instagram :
The movie is set in Lahore and portrays the lives of the trans community in Pakistan. The reason it seems to be doing well in international festivals could be because it showcases a community and a relationship that has never been explored by the Pakistani film industry. And by casting a transgender for the role, the film tackles the problem regarding lack of trans presence in the industry. It also emphasizes on the difference that meaningful representation can make to the trans community.
The film was a joint production by Columbia grad Mahak Jiwani and Afgan, with Fahad Nabi and Jasmin Tennuci co-producing. Along with this, the film features Mehar Bano, Abdullah Malik and Nadia Afghan in supporting roles.
You can watch the trailer here: