Making the whole country proud, the short film, Darling, directed by LUMS alum Saim Sadiq won the Orizzonti Award for Best Short Film at this year’s Venice Film Festival. Darling, the first Pakistani film to be nominated and to have won at the Venice Film Festival, tells the story of a young boy and a transgender girl.
Darling premiered at the Festival’s new Orizzonti section, dedicated to new trends in international cinema, featuring short films and feature films from around the world, and proceeded to win in the category. The film is set to screen next at Toronto International Film Festival and has also been selected to screen at the Berlin and Cannes film festivals.
The film’s actress, Alina Khan, is transgender, which made for a richer performance as her acting was tailored in line with her real life experiences. Sadiq also highlighted in interviews, that he hopes films like Darling encourage other filmmakers to tell more original stories, and also hopes that Khan’s performance will open the door for more transgender actors to get roles in film.
Sadiq graduated from LUMS in 2014 with a BSc in Anthropology and Sociology from the Mushtaq Ahmad Gurmani School of Humanities and Social Sciences. He is currently completing his Master of Fine Arts at Columbia University School of Arts. His previous short film, Nice Talking to You ('18), was awarded Vimeo's Best Director Award along with five other awards at the 2018 Columbia University thesis film showcase. He is also the recipient of the Kodak Student Scholarship Gold Award 2018. Sadiq is in the process of developing his first feature film, Gulaab, which has been accepted at the Open Doors Hub at the Locarno Film Festival 2018.