11th-12th March 2022, 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.

COVID-19 had placed a few challenges for the past two years, but with the advancement of digital media, WIFF has managed to host its annual film festival online. This year as things are slowly returning to normal and regulations are easing, WIFF will be hosting the sixth edition of the festival in person scheduled for March 2022. We will be following strict protocols to ensure everyone’s safety and we look forward to having you join us.

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

6:30 pm

By Marlén Ríos-Farjat (Mexico)

Living All of Life

After a lifetime together, Susana has been abandoned by her husband. She is in denial and holds on to the past. One day, she needs the help of her neighbor, Gloria, a free-spirited woman who Susana can’t stand. But the friendship that emerges between them arises in Susana the desire to live in the present.
6:57pm

By Soheila Pourmohammadi (Iran)

The Savior

It's about a little girl who cries at her mother's cemetery and at the same time tries to save a fish's life.
7:12pm

By Karla Hart (Australia)

Tooly

A young indigenous girl learns of Tooly, the sign of an impending death in the family    
7:22pm

By Mariam Majid (Pakistan) 

Mrs. Khan

Set in a sleepy suburb of London, Mrs Khan is a story of human connection. When school teacher, Gemma, agrees to teach her tenant, Mr Khan's new immigrant wife, English, she learns that have more in common than she would have imagined.        
7:50pm

By Dina Abd Elsalam (Egypt) 

Mesteka & Rehan

Mesteka, a seventy-year old Moslem widow, and Rehan, a sixty-seven year old Christian widower, are neighbours. Their busy children hardly ever visit them now. Mesteka and Rehan get used to monotony, loneliness, and isolation and fashion their lives accordingly, until tragedy gives way to comedy.      
8:50pm

By Svetlana Belorussova (Russian Federation)

Coo-Coo

Dasha, a young biologist, prepares to defend her Ph.D. on the Baikal seal. Her Ph.D. advisor is skeptical about Dasha’s love for animals, and her mother only cares about the girl not missing night prayers. A story about a conflict between science and religion, love and suffering, between what Dasha wants and what others push her to do.    
9:10pm

By Fatima Butt (Pakistan)

Teddy 2.0

A documentary style approach towards re-inviting memories pondered over - within a familiar space. A stream of sentiment curated by one who longs for his loved ones. Loved ones we share.    
6:30pm

By Areeba Imran (Pakistan) 

The Mirage City

The film narrates the stories of Lahore through a satirical lens, highlighting the sharp contrasts and disparity in the experience of the city within a span of a few decades. The plot unfolds through 3 characters, the fourth one being the city itself, where the city plays both the protagonist & the antagonist.  
6:50pm

By Surbhi Dewan (India)

An Open Sky 

Jeevika, a young student, has recently moved to a new city to pursue photography. Soon, she finds herself confined to her small apartment due to the Covid-19 outbreak. In her isolation, she has recurring dreams that bring back forgotten memories. She shares these with her dear friend Sambhav, a fellow lover of the night sky. Even though they are far away from each other, they somehow manage to have a great time. But all this changes when suddenly one night she hears disturbing news about her uncle. Concern for her family makes her long for home. When her own health begins to deteriorate, she starts to think deeply about the value of life. Where will she find the strength to pull through?    
7:05pm

By Volia Chajkouskaya (Estonia)

Common Language

The director, who has always been viewed as the black sheep in her family, sets out to the Belarusian town of Vitebsk to talk with her parents about previous grievances and topics that were considered taboo. The effort to find a common language, which runs into stormy emotions and the inability to voice honest opinions, is captured through both personal moments and detailed shots of the protagonists’ faces.    
7:20pm

By Gwendoline Laurent (France)

Ruby

Ruby wakes up in a place unknown to her. She hums a rhyme without sounding realize, she doesn't remember where she learned it but the tune she hums reassures. This rhyme is also hummed by a stranger, whom Ruby will try to find. Her instinct tells her that she is the key to understanding where she is.    
7:40pm

By Louise Detlefsen (Denmark)

It Is Not Over Yet

An immersive, life-affirming journey into the day-to-day rhythm of a controversial Danish nursing home for people with dementia, providing a rarely seen and uplifting experience of aging with dignity, grace and joy.  

Team

Backbone of WIFF '21

Supporters

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

Venues

Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA), Islamabad

Media & Press