Amtul Baweja, a Pakistani actress, comedian, and co-founder of Patangeer who also portrays the lead in the short film Solatia, expressed her “extreme excitement” at the entry of her film into the Red Sea Film Festival, which would take place in Jeddah the following month.
Baweja told Arab News, “I’m very, very excited since it happens to be our first application. Of course, being chosen after your first submission is a success in and of itself, in my opinion.
Solatia, a film made in collaboration with Hirra Farooqi and directed by Pakistani director Hira Yousafzai, will compete at the prestigious festival among films from South Africa, Germany, Indonesia, the United States, Iran, and Indonesia.
The focus of the short revolves around Zamda, a displaced woman portrayed by Baweja who shares a shelter with other people.
The dejected woman, longing for her missing spouse, spends time gazing over old photographs of him.
The moment I read the script, I was like, “Okay, I need to do this, I need to make this happen,” Baweja said of the short film and her moving character. I’d like to proceed. People will relate to this movie wherever it is shown, I believe.
“Despite everything being lost, Zamda is a resilient character. Zamda is a very, very strong woman, as you can sense right away. She has no problem standing up for what is right.
Farooqi, an Afghan-Pakistani first-generation Canadian immigrant, articulately explained how immigrants are frequently “merely looked at as numbers and are not humanised,” and she expressed the need to “humanise their stories.”
“We wanted to humanise their stories by tying in these themes of hope, love, loss, and resilience, through the characters and the compassion that they feel for one another,” she said.
The only two Pakistani short films in the Red Sea: Shorts Competition at the third iteration of the festival, which is slated to take place in Jeddah from November 30 to December 9, are Baweja’s Solatia and the other thirteen submissions.