LFW22 | Shorts Competition

Tuesday 6 December 2022




Directed by Seemab Gul
Pakistan | Drama | 2021 | 19 min


Zara, a schoolgirl in Karachi (Pakistan), shares a sensual dance video with her virtual boyfriend, who then blackmails her. Caught between his manipulative behaviour and the desire to experience love on her own terms, Zara searches for the strength to reject the confines of a patriarchal society.


Director: Seemab Gul
Script: Seemab Gul
Screenplay: Seemab Gul
Director of Photography: Alberto Balazs
Producers: Abid Aziz Merchant
Production: Sanat Initiative (Pakistan)
Executive producers: Mehnaz Diwan, Jemima Khan
Distribution: Sayonara Film (Elenfant Distribution)
Executive production: Instinct Productions (UK)
General Organization: Ammad Akbar
Editing: Raluca Petre, Seemab Gul
Sound: Faiz Zaidi
Sound Designer: Andrej Bako
Script supervisor: Wajeeha Mukhtar
Scenography: Hira Mansoor
Costumes: Aafreen Shahab
Makeup: Anjum Chippa
Cast & role: Parizae Fatima (Zara), Hamza Mushtaq (Omar), Ayesha Shoaib Ahmed, Nabila Khan, Aun Ali Saleem, Masuma Halai Khwaja, Qasim Ali
Original Soundtrack: Hollie Buhagiar, Baluji Shrivastav

This film will play before
feature film Uyra: The Rising Forest


Tuesday 6 December 2022


The Garden Cinema
39-41 Parke Street
London WC2B 5PQ

Other Festival Selections

Venice Film Festival
Sundance Film Festival

About the Director

Seemab is an award-winning writer/director and producer from Pakistan. She is an alumna of the Locarno OD Producers Lab, Biennale College Cinema and Berlinale Talents, and a graduate of the London Film School. Her documentary Zahida, was broadcast on Al Jazeera and won the Audience Award at Tasveer SAFF. Her films have screened in Uppsala, FNC Montreal, Dok Leipzig, Sheffield Doc Fest, Geneva Contemporary Art Centre and many international festivals. Her short film Sandstorm (Mulaqat) premiered at the 78th Venice International Film Festival and in competition at Sundance 2022.

Director Statement

This coming-of-age story navigates the tricky terrain of internet dating in a conservative Muslim society. The film questions the objectification of the female body and its relationship to honour in Pakistani culture. Focusing on female agency, this personal and political film dramatises the desire to gain freedom from harsh societal constraints.