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Pakistani Flick “Wakhri” Makes It to Cannes Film Festival 2019

Wakhri is loosely based on social media stars such as the infamous Qandeel Baloch

Pakistani filmmaker Iram Parveen Bilal’s Wakhri made it to Cinefoundation’s L’Atelier, at the Cannes Film Festival this year.

Wakhri is the story of a pioneering female math teacher, who is passionate about providing education for girls. To attract students, the teacher creates an alluring avatar called Wakhri to promote the cause she believes in.

Le Livre des Projets de #LAtelier2019 | Chapitre 10WAKHRI, réalisé par Iram Parveen Bilal (Pakistan)« Wakhri est une muse virtuelle pour les foules en manque de sexe. »#Cinéfondation2019

Posted by Cinéfondation on Sunday, May 19, 2019

How the avatar is received by the Pakistani public comes as a surprise and is the reason why the film deserves a watch.

The film covers themes like “hypocrisy, trolling and the ultimate empowerment of self”.


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The plot is loosely based on social media stars such as the infamous Qandeel Baloch.

Proud Pakistani film-maker Iram Parveen said that she hopes to gain a strong international framework of support.

“It has been an honor for Abid Merchant, the producer, and I to be in the company of our esteemed colleagues. We hope to gain a strong international framework of support so the project once made insha’Allah can have a wide and celebrated reach.”

Pakistan’s Wakhri was lined-up along with projects from countries like Denmark, Spain, Finland, and Turkey to name a few.

Cannes’ Cinefoundation Atelier will run between May 16th to May 23rd, 2019.

About the Filmmaker

Iram Parveen Bilal was raised in Nigeria and Pakistan. She is actually a Physics Olympian turned filmmaker. Her notable works include feature-length film Josh (Against The Grain).

This is Pakistan’s first film on Netflix. Besides that, the film is a part of the permanent selection at the US Library of Congress.

Parveen Bobby, while speaking to a local daily, said that the general manager of the L’Atelier program had been trying to track her down after seeing her work in the Locarno film festival’s film library.

“This program has a 93% financing and distribution success rate. The general manager of the program watched my work at the Locarno film festival’s film library and had been tracking me.”


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About Cinefoundation’s L’Atelier

Cinefoundation’s L’Atelier is a line-up of 15 directors from all over the world. The program is organized by the Cannes Film Festival’s Cinefoundation.

Besides the Cannes’ red carpet the Cinefoundation’s L’Atelier is one of the key events in the festival week.

L’Atelier is a seven-day intensive fast track finance program. This program has a 93 percent financing and distribution success rate.

The program emerged in 2005 and since then  L’Atelier has presented around 198 projects. Of these 198 projects, 157 have been released in theaters and 27 are currently in post-production.

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Written by Ummara Sheraz

Entertainment & culture writer at ProPakistani/Lens. Occasionally dabbles in other news.


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