On 8th May, the Film & Television department of National College of Arts (NCA) hosted the screening of ‘The Pakistan Four’ in the NCA’s Shakir Ali Auditorium.
‘The Pakistan Four’ is a documentary film directed and produced by Shehzad Hameed Ahmad, a Pakistani broadcast journalist and documentary filmmaker. Mr. Shehzad graduated from the New York University’s (NYU) Arthur L .Carter Journalism Institute in 2013.
The documentary tells the story of four Pakistani women based in the US with Nadia Hussain a stand-up comedienne, Hareem Ahmad an international saber fencer, Kulsoom Abdullah a rising international weight lifter and Fatima Ali, the first ever international chef to win the ‘Chopped’ contest.
While following their journey, we get to know the problems they had to face in pursuit of their unusual yet interesting career lines, their experiences and the barbs they had to overcome to live out their dreams, even in a country like the US. As the film moves forward we see four different narratives running parallel to build one main event in each of their lives.
This 37 minute film focuses on gender stereotypes and women’s empowerment, encouraging women to reach out toward achieving their goals. The non-fictional characters redefine the approaches of the Pakistani Muslim women today, as well.
The director used a journalistic style to communicate with his viewers and the screenplay was balanced with both the emotional and humorous moments holding thought-provoking messages inside of them.
After the screening, a question and answer session was arranged allowing film students at NCA the opportunity to interact with the filmmaker. Mr. Shehzad spoke about his shooting challenges, and discussed how he wanted the whole filming process to be organic. He also stressed on how, as a filmmaker, one should look for “counter narratives”.
Majid Khan, HOD of the Film & TV department and Prof. Dr. Murtaza Jafri, Principal of NCA were present throughout the event. Mr. Jafri shared his thoughts on women’s empowerment in Pakistan.