1st-8th March 2024, Islamabad, Pakistan

WOMEN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

Our Journey

To fill a huge gender gap in the field of storytelling using digital media and film, mainly due to lack of awareness and opportunities for women, a movement to encourage and facilitate them in using self-expression, storytelling, fiction, and citizen journalism through filmmaking to raise their voice and create social change, took birth. We call it Women through Film.

While battling the ailing independent film appreciation among the wider public, and supporting to celebrate the work of women filmmakers, came into existence Pakistan’s home-grown Women International Film Festival (WIFF), as the flagship initiative of Women Through Film.

WIFF has been previously supported by the European Union for the years 2018 & 2019, the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in 2020, the Embassy of France, and Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in 2021, the Embassy of France, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany and British Council in 2022, and the Embassy of France and Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in 2023.

WIFF has successfully completed seven editions every year for the past seven years and we hope to host the eighth edition in a bigger, more impactful manner. After successful trips to Karachi and Lahore last year, WIFF intends to travel to more regions of Pakistan, especially Gilgit-Balistan. With this larger outreach, WIFF will be able to engage more diverse groups, other than the main cities of Pakistan that already enjoy relatively more exposure.

With the support of the Ambassade de France au Pakistan, the German Embassy in Pakistan, this year the open air public screenings spread over two days in which 20 short films were shown from all over the world, out of which three films made by Pakistani filmmakers, My Mother’s Daughter by Amen Khawaja, Baira Gharakh by Mehreen Jabbar and Awaaz by Halima Tariq were also showcased.
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With the support of the Ambassade de France au Pakistan, the German Embassy in Pakistan and British Council, this year the film festival spanned over six days showing short and feature length films made by women from France, Iran, Mexico, Russia, India, Estonia, Australia, Austria, Denmark and Egypt that were received by the audience with keen interest. The event also showcased two Pakistani films.
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With the support of Ambassade de France au Pakistan, the German Embassy in Pakistan, and City FM 89, the fifth edition of the WIFF launched in March 2021. Due to Covid restrictions, the event was hosted completely online catering to multiple time zones with the intention of reaching out to broader audiences.
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With the support of the German Cooperation in Pakistan, in association with the Austrian Embassy, FACE, Serena Hotel, and official radio partner FM91, the 4th edition of the WIFF made rounds at different university campuses across the twin cities as well as its venturing into Peshawar for the first time.
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The festival spanned for  6 days, with the first 5 days of the event showing feature-length films made by female filmmakers from Austria, Bulgaria, Italy, Spain, and Sweden, that were received by the audience with keen interest. Many voiced their opinion that they wished to see such cinema being screened in Pakistan in the future as well.

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With the support of the European Union Cooperation in Pakistan, Women Through Film hosted the Women International Film Festival film 2018 that screened some of the most resonant and thought-provoking films made by talented independent filmmakers from around the world, purveying important messages on gender equality, women & child rights, and telling stories of inspiring women. 

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The first of its kind Women International Film Festival was successfully kicked off on the 11th of March 2017 at the Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA) in Islamabad. The two-day festival took place during women’s week, featuring 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.

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Schedule

Timezone: GMT +5

4:30 PM
Catherine Mazoyer (Chile)
Catherine Mazoyer (Chile)

To Fly

There comes a time in life, when our body just stops listening. Sofia, a wheelchair bound woman, locked in her body, takes us on a journey that makes us understand that inside we never stop flying.
4:38 PM
Mahdieh Ghotbudin Mohamadi (Iran)
Mahdieh Ghotbudin Mohamadi (Iran)

The Brother

In a revolution, a man buying his wedding suit encounters a disobedient soldier. Showing kindness, he gifts the soldier his suit for an escape. This selfless act intertwines their stories, forging a connection amid the upheaval.
4:46 PM
Marjorie Lhomme (France)
Marjorie Lhomme (France)

Paris Bruxelles

"Paris-Bruxelles" starts as a typical holiday road trip but unfolds into an extraordinary adventure. The family's destination is Belgium, where they embark on a touching journey for the assisted suicide of Blanche, the grandmother.
5:06 PM
Vivian Cheung (Canada)
Vivian Cheung (Canada)

For Roy

Inspired by true events, an imaginative Asian-Canadian girl attempts to fold a thousand cranes as she learns to lose her father during his final days in the hospice.
5:18 PM
Zainab Younas (Pakistan)
Zainab Younas (Pakistan)

Hum Awaaz

In Quetta, Pakistan, Akhtar Ali urges his daughter Zaha, a young journalist, to stay and be the voice of their city. Before she leaves for other opportunities, he asks her to see Quetta through his eyes, letting her decide its fate.
5:50 PM
Elena Molina (Spain)
Elena Molina (Spain)

Remember My Name

Ihsane crosses into Melilla from Morocco and joins other youth at the "Divina Infantita" center. Hamza turns 18, leaving La Purísima. Together, they form the NANA dance company. Selected for a TV talent show, they experience a fleeting escape before facing the challenges of adulthood back in Melilla.
7:15 PM
Nasim Forough (Iran)
Nasim Forough (Iran)

Typesetter

Technology expansion caused the old typewriter loses his traditional job. Now he is unemployed, he has no choice but to change in order to continue living in this modern world. And it makes his problems worse.
7:32 PM
Maria Rashova (Russia)
Maria Rashova (Russia)

Some kind of Spring

In turbulent times, a young couple decides to break up, but neither of them really wants to. The heroes have to understand that "the ship sinks only when the water is inside" from their own experience.
7:47 PM
Tanya Krayem (Lebanon)
Tanya Krayem (Lebanon)

Finding the Beat

"Finding the Beat" is a touching film about Tamer, a father navigating the challenges of understanding his son Sam, who is autistic and passionate about birds and music. With Mira's unwavering support, the family embarks on a journey to bridge the gap between father and son.
8:04 PM
Aya Elhussieny (Egypt)
Aya Elhussieny (Egypt)

Every Two Weeks

Gamila, preparing for a date, grapples with societal beauty norms through subtle critiques from her mother and explicit advice from her hairdresser. Amidst conflicting expectations, she discovers her own voice, realizing she doesn't always have to conform to society's standards.
8:22 PM
Vaida Nairn (Canada)
Vaida Nairn (Canada)

Fish Bowl

When the world locks down during the COVID-19 pandemic, a former dancer becomes further trapped in a toxic relationship with her emotionally abusive husband. Increasingly isolated and with only a goldfish as a friend, she is forced to choose between placating her husband and freeing herself.
8:38 PM
Kainat Thebo (Pakistan)
Kainat Thebo (Pakistan)

Made with Love

Highlighting Sindhi culture, the film delves into the life of a retired teacher crafting intricate models from waste materials. It highlights the importance of women in society, depicting one woman's struggle for recognition.
4:30 PM
Jocelyn López Cárdenas (Mexico)
Jocelyn López Cárdenas (Mexico)

We’ll see each other in the distance

During the pandemic, Jimena and her mother live confined in their apartment, due to the routine of the virtuality, Jimena discovers her neighbor from her window, an old lady with whom she begins a friendship through her window.
4:43 PM
Tokio Oohara (Japan)
Tokio Oohara (Japan)

Bird Woman

In pandemic-stricken Tokyo, Toki, tired of masked men harassing her, dons a bird mask. The unexpected action becomes a social media sensation, spreading like a virus and sparking conversations about empowerment.
5:01 PM
Anna Gnatenko-Shabaldina (Ukraine)
Anna Gnatenko-Shabaldina (Ukraine)

Mom

Vira, a mother of two, faces the monotonous exhaustion of daily life, juggling responsibilities without support. Strained to the limit, her difficult situation pushes her to contemplate a dark act. The film explores her quest for relief and a way out from overwhelming challenges.
5:14 PM
Zuzanna Klara Bardian (Poland)
Zuzanna Klara Bardian (Poland)

Good Morning

You'll take out the garbage and bump into a neighbor you avoid. What are you doing? About how difficult neighborly "good morning" can be.
5:19 PM
Zohren Zamani (Iran)
Zohren Zamani (Iran)

Numan

"Numan" follows a man without a past or future, lost in contemplation and spiritual decline. His life takes an unexpected turn when a young girl passionate about football intertwines her fate with his.
6:00 PM
Leeni Linna (Estonia)
Leeni Linna (Estonia)

Nightingale

In 1944 Tallinn, Estonia, as Germans retreat and Russians arrive, soldier Aleksei works in a prison. He's captivated by Saale, an Estonian girl singing to prisoners. Discovering a threat to her, Aleksei risks his safety to warn Saale in this wartime tale of courage and compassion.
6:20 PM
Elisa Puerto Aubel (Spain)
Elisa Puerto Aubel (Spain)

The Barn

In a stable in the middle of drought-scorched fields, a peasant ties and gags two politicians from opposite parties. He wants to know what they've done with the environmental funds, but on one condition: only one politician can speak at a time.
6:30 PM
Neda Tamimi (Iran)
Neda Tamimi (Iran)

Black Hole

A 35-year-old man, haunted by childhood trauma and a psychotic disorder, holds his father responsible for his mother's injury. Years later, his home becomes a harrowing space, marked by the scars of his troubled past, as he descends into torment and darkness.
6:43 PM
Amber Ikram (Pakistan)
Amber Ikram (Pakistan)

Prolific Hustling

"Prolific Hustling" explores Fahym Sarbaz's journey as a rapper in Gilgit, challenging local music traditions with his love for hip-hop. The documentary captures Fahym's resilience against societal resistance, showcasing his determination to bridge the gap between tradition and modernity through the transformative power of his music.
6:50 PM
Amit Kaur (UK)
Amit Kaur (UK)

Cuppa Chai

Upon her Nani Ji's death, eighteen-year-old Mira returns home, realizing she knows little about her grandmother. She endeavors to discover more through the art of making the perfect cup of tea and halwa.
7:00 PM
Olga Artushevska (Ukraine)
Olga Artushevska (Ukraine)

Valera

One morning Valera wakes up as a people’s hero, but the problem is that he can’t remember anything.
7:09 PM
Derya Uygurlar (Turkey)
Derya Uygurlar (Turkey)

Baby Ant

On a crucial day, Ayser juggles sewing clothes for her lawyer's fee resolves issues with her sister Emine, and persuades her daughter Deniz that kids can't visit prison before seeing her husband.
7:24 PM
Sapna Zamir (Pakistan)
Sapna Zamir (Pakistan)

Woman of Courage

This documentary unfolds the remarkable journey of a resilient woman from Gilgit. Starting by supporting women in her community, she ventured into successful honey production and introduced innovative crops, transforming farming practices. Despite personal challenges, her efforts inspire change, making Gilgit a better place for all.
7:33 PM
Maryam Barzegar (Iran)
Maryam Barzegar (Iran)

A Lot of Ice

"Teleh Yakh" unfolds a gripping tale of a mother's desperate attempt to bury her 14-year-old daughter, a victim of honor killing by her own father. As the father seeks to erase evidence, the mother courageously fights to safeguard her daughter's memory and find a resting place for her.
7:47 PM
Marianela Valdata (Argentina)
Marianela Valdata (Argentina)

The Weight of a Feather

Since they started living together, Martina perceives that her partner Andrés has certain harmful attitudes. While she strives to believe that the bond is important, her intuition tells her that something doesn't add up.
8:00 PM
Veronica Postacchini (Italy)
Veronica Postacchini (Italy)

Blu

"Blu" unveils the challenging journey of a young girl in an abusive home. Struggling with absent, fighting parents, she battles mental distress. The narrative unfolds with a pivotal moment as her resilience is tested.
8:13 PM
María Guerra (Spain)
María Guerra (Spain)

8 19

8 19 is a smart gallery of characters living, unknowingly, their last 8 minutes and 19 seconds in absolutely routinary situations, letting time go by, delaying decisions, postponing meetings and pleasures. Characters who think there is a future to be reached. Like everyone.
8:26 PM
Charlotte Karas (France)
Charlotte Karas (France)

Big Bad Wolf

Gabriel, 8 years old, leaves his house at the middle of the night. He leaves behind him a scene that his imagination struggles to make him forget.
8:34 PM
Ayesha Ayub (Pakistan)
Ayesha Ayub (Pakistan)

10 more minutes

"10 More Minutes" explores the challenging life of Zoya, a 21-year-old media student pursuing a Ph.D. against her parents' wishes. It delves into her struggles with academic harassment and parental detachment, emphasizing the film's message about supporting children's choices and being a pillar of strength in their journey.

Team

Backbone of WIFF '24

Achievements

It was all possible with the support of our partners!

In 2018, Women Through Film received the Intercultural Achievement Award from the Austrian government for the Women International Film Festival, ‘for connecting women of all social backgrounds from around the world and serving as a platform for intercultural dialogue and non-formal education.

Supporters

A huge thanks to all our amazing supporters and partners. We couldn’t have this event without your support!

Partners

A huge thanks to all our amazing supporters and partners. We couldn’t have this event without your support!

Venue

Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA), Islamabad

Media & Press