Pakistanis are evolving in film and drama production with their multimedia and artistic talents with films like The Legends of Maula Jatt and Joyland. One of the highlighting Pakistani films Wakhri is getting a global spotlight because of targeting the unspoken issue of our society. It is the first-ever Pakistani project to get appreciation recognition at Cannes Cinefondation L’Atelier. Pakistani film Wakhri is also known as ‘One of a Kind’.
It stars several names from our film industry like Faryal Mehmood, Gulshan Majeed, Shees Saji Gul, Akbar Islam, Bakhtawar Mazhar, Sohail Sameer, Saleem Mairaj, Tooba Siddiqui and other social media influencers.
This film has a long list of producers. Abid Aziz Merchant under the banner of ‘Sanat Initiative’, Apporva Bakhshi and Monisha Thyagarajan’s production Awedacious Originals, Parveen Bilal’s Parveen Shah Productions, and Roman Paul’s Razor film Productions are producing it.
Iram Parveen Bilal has directed the Pakistani film Wakhri. Before this, she directed I’ll Meet You There. It was nominated for Grand Jury at SXSW in 2020. Aarti Bajaj is the film editor whose famous project was ‘Sacred Games’.
International Nominations of Pakistani Film Wakhri
Along with the Cannes Film Festival nomination in 2019, Wakhri film is nominated on many international platforms. In 2018, Wahri was a nominee in Locarno Open Doors along with Saim Sadiq’s Joyland. It is also a recipient of the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE) and CAA Foundation Full Story Initiative grant. Moreover, the project also participated in Busan Asian Project Market in 2022.
Like Joyland is breaking stereotypical barriers on local and international levels, Wakhri also highlights some social problems in our society. It revolves around an unapologetic, misfit, and bold schoolteacher who goes through social media bullying and modern-day female oppression.
The story of the Pakistani film Wakhri is inspired by bold social media influencers like Qandeel Baloch. The schoolteacher’s character is played by Faryal Mehmood in the movie. She accidentally comes across the power of social media and bashes the stereotypical patriarchy of her society.
Meanwhile, she chooses to keep he identity a secret. She struggles to keep her dual identities distinct and harmonious. She goes through social media bullying and gets exposed to the dangerous underbelly of society. It highlights sensitive topics and the dark effects of social media bullying.
The director Iram Parveen Bilal calls it a ‘grounded masala’. While manifesting the dark realities of society, there is a lot of entertainment in the movie. There are loud Punjabi language club tracks and Urdu-language rap songs to rap along. The makers have put in a serious effort to incorporate the best of the Pakistani music industry through soundtracks.
Until now, big names in the Pakistani music industry like Meesha Shafi, Eva B, and Abdullah Siddiqui have combined efforts to bring forth quality music to the audience. Further names will be revealed soon.
Pakistani film Wakhri has bagged appreciation from various international platforms. This appreciation is for all the right reasons. The whole team of producers, directors, actors, and musicians have worked hard to promise a worth-watching project. It has a provocative subject matter that highlights the roots of social dilemmas. Moreover, the portrayal of female empowerment is rightly portrayed against the social stigmas.
In this patriarchal society, a film like Wakhri is very eloquent to speak for the rights of women and bring forth the issues. The release date of the film in Pakistan has not been revealed yet. Hopefully, it will be among the upcoming Pakistani films 2023.