Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy Launches Mentorship Program For Pakistani Female Filmmakers

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy Launches Mentorship Program For Pakistani Female Filmmakers
PRESS RELEASE: In the first of its kind, two-time Academy Award and four-time Emmy Award winning filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy has announced “Pakistan Stories" for Patakha Pictures, a funding and mentorship programme for Pakistani female filmmakers.

In partnership with Scottish Documentary Institute [SDI] and the British Council, the program aims to celebrate the female gaze and support a new generation of female Pakistani documentary filmmakers who wish to create engaging films that reflect on and question their society and its 75 years of Independence.

As part of this programme, Pakistan Stories will work with 20 emerging female filmmakers in pairs of two, over a period of 10 weeks, to develop and finance their creative skills and help them to realise their short documentaries in a safe environment, enabling them to reach new local and international audiences through their work.

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy said of the program: “This is a passion project for me. Telling stories that matter is what I truly believe in so with our first ever funding and mentorship programme Pakistan Stories for Patakha Pictures, we want to empower and champion creative independence in visual storytelling and support a community of emerging and the next generation of female filmmakers who embody diversity, innovation and uniqueness of vision. We realize that filmmaking is not easy, so together with our partners Scottish Documentary Institute and British Council, we are here to help our female filmmakers achieve their dreams.” said

Participating film-makers will explore documentary creativity for the international film festival market. This practice-led workshop in documentary will allow participants to:

  • Develop an understanding of creative documentary for local and international festivals

  • Develop and finance an idea into a short creative film

  • Work with characters, sound and visuals dramatically and emotionally

  • Produce a 10’ documentary ready for national and international distribution

  • Network with other filmmakers from different regions across Pakistan and internationally

The workshop will be made up of a mixture of seminars and consultant-led advice sessions by experts from Scotland and Pakistan. The film lab will be delivered online through Zoom and other online tools accessible to the participants, followed by a gathering for an intensive week in Karachi to finalise the edit of the films. Female filmmakers from remote areas and underprivileged and marginalized communities are encouraged to apply.

“Scottish Documentary Institute is delighted to be collaborating with British Council and partnering with Patakha Pictures to deliver Pakistani Stories. We are pleased to offer a unique opportunity to female documentary filmmakers to enhance and develop their storytelling skills on time to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Pakistan’s Independence.” said Noé Mendelle, Director of SDI.

“The British Council is thrilled to partner with Patakha Films and Scottish Documentary Institute under the Pakistan/UK Season to mark Pakistan’s 75th anniversary and equally to celebrate 75 years of friendship between UK and Pakistan. We are very excited to follow the journeys of 10 exceptional Pakistani women who through this project will be mentored by the best in the industry from both countries to produce their own films”. said Mariya Afzal, Director Pakistan/UK Season at the British Council.

Interested female film-makers can apply for this programme at:

The last date to submit an application is 22nd February 2022. Announcement of shortlisted applicants will be done by last week of February 2022 and the Pakistan Stories workshop will commence from March 2022.