Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy announces grant for women filmmakers in Sindh, Balochistan

KARACHI (The HQ News) Two-time Oscar-winning filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy has announced a Rs10 million film grant for Pakistani women under funding and mentorship platform, Patakha Pictures.

Stories from Southern Pakistan are their third mentorship program and will bring in filmmakers from US and Scotland as mentors. “I have been so inspired by the success of Patakha Pictures’ funding programmes, especially as many of our fellows’ films are being screened and receiving accolades internationally. At this groundbreaking juncture therefore, I feel extremely proud to be launching our third and largest-ever funding program for female filmmakers in Pakistan,” said Obaid-Chinoy.

“We know that this funding is critical for filmmakers to realise their filmmaking dreams and this time around, we’re making a special effort to recruit women from smaller towns and villages in Sindh and Balochistan.” Launched in partnership with Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi [ITA] and the US Consulate General Karachi, the programme will accept interested female filmmakers domiciled in Sindh and Balochistan. Applicants must apply in pairs on their website. The application period is open from November 6 to 25, 2022. The workshops will commence at the start of next year.
Each chosen pair will receive up to Rs1 million to create 10 short documentaries, 10 to 20 minutes in duration. As part of the mentorship process, Patakha Pictures will support, nurture and develop fellows’ creative skills, thus enabling grantees to reach new local and international audiences through their work.
The training programme will take place from January until August 2023 with twice-a-month virtual workshops. The workshops will consist of a mixture of seminars and consultant-led advice sessions by international experts. This mentorship will entail sessions that would include — but not be limited to — storytelling, developing narratives and characters, directing, sound design and editing, followed by a gathering for an intensive week in Karachi to finalise the editing of the films with a closing event in September 2023 that will celebrate and mark the successful completion of production of films created by our fellows.
Patakha Pictures was launched to empower and support a new generation of female Pakistani filmmakers who wish to create engaging films that reflect on and question their society on themes such as women empowerment, violence against women and minorities, arts, culture, climate change and peace-building.
For the first grant launched in February 2022, 10 female filmmakers worked in pairs for 12 weeks to develop their creative skills and create five short films. All of these films are currently screening across global film festivals, with two films winning international awards.
For the second grant, one documentary filmmaker was selected as a Taiwan Pitch Pakistan Fellow Grantee and received $10,000 in funding to participate in the Talent Village workshop held in Taiwan, and create a short non-fiction film.

“Gender Equality is all about generating transformative capabilities for emerging female filmmakers from Pakistan; those selected on open merit will have unique opportunities to visualise and share stories within and beyond borders, and nurture excellence and creativity. This would not have been possible without the generous grant of the US Consulate General Karachi and the ever-vibrant partnership of Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy,” said Baela Raza Jamil of ITA.