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'Darling' becomes Pakistan's first film to make it to Venice Film Festival

‘Darling’ is the story of a young boy and a trans girl as it is set a dance theatre in Lahore. Photograph:( Twitter )

WION Web Team New Delhi Aug 28, 2019, 03.00 PM (IST)

As the Venice Film Festival 2019 kickstarts today, Pakistani filmmaker Saim Sadiq bags his first achievement in the form of his film titled ‘Darling’ becoming the first to represent his country at the fest. 

The film is the first-ever Pakistani film to get screened at the festival. It also competes in the category of short films. 

‘Darling’ is the story of a young boy and a trans girl as it is set a dance theatre in Lahore. Actor Abdullah Malik plays the boy named Shani while Alina Khan plays the trans girl named Alina Darling. This is Alina’s debut in the world of films. 

The star cast includes upcoming actor Mehar Bano and Nadia Afgan. Nadia has worked before in ‘Suno Chanda’ and ‘Shaslik’. 

As for the director, Saim is a 28-year-old filmmaker from Lahore. He made the film as he currently completes his graduate degree in film directing from Columbia University in New York.

A massive boost to his filmmaking career, Saim has also tasted success with his previous work, a short film titled ‘Nice Talking To You’ that was an official selection at South by Southwest 2019 and Palm Springs International Shortsfest 2019 and even won Vimeo’s Best Director award at Columbia University Film Festival 2018.

Sadiq is also working on his first feature ‘Gulaab’, which was selected for the Open Doors Hub at the 2018 Locarno Film Festival.

‘Darling’ is produced by Mahak Jiwani and Nadia Afgan with Fahad Nabi and Jasmin Tennuci as co-producers. 

Mo Azmi, who produced and shot ‘Cake’ and ‘Laal Kabootar’, was the Director of Photography for the film. 

‘Darling’ will see its world premiere in at the ongoing Venice Film Festival.