Bradford played host to a young female Pakistani filmmaker, who has been in the midst of a metamorphosis in Pakistan’s film industry since the emergence of new talent and an independent film scene.
Having studied in California, USA, the articulate movie director and script-writer, Iram Parveen Bilal, who has not been any part of a film fraternity whilst growing up, is one of the new breed of talent that is driven to steering a wave of change in Lollywood’s much-declined and dilapidated world.
Iram is currently on tour across the UK with her debut film titled ‘Josh’, which is screening at Odeon cinemas. ‘Josh’ made history last year by becoming the first Pakistani film to be showcased at the London Indian Film Festival.
Speaking about her film she said: “I feel that the narrative of much of Pakistan’s film industry is outdated and the new generation of Pakistanis is eager to change this.
“Many of these new films have been largely focussed on powerful social narratives. Pakistan is always in turmoil and so you can either focus on the turmoil or go completely escapist in your narratives. But we’ve only just restarted the process of making films, and the more that are made, the wider the spectrum will get.
“I had a shoe-string budget but fantastic people around me, and I believe we have managed to create a movie which shows both the affluent side of Pakistan as well as the other side of the coin.”
‘Josh’ is a film about class separation, education, women’s rights, feudalism and the youth movement. The gripping tale has its fair share of twists and turns, but ultimately sends out both a powerful and positive message.
Originally studying to become an engineer, Iram says that she was far too impatient to wait for a scientific discovery that would help mankind, and desired a more immediate reaction to her work.
Being the daughter of parents who are both teachers, she said that education had always been a top priority and she feels that her experiences as a student both in California and Cambridgeshire have made her acutely aware of the negative perception of Pakistan and it’s people.
Commenting on the global perception of Pakistan she said that she felt this was a weakness from Pakistanis within themselves. Lack of comradeship and due to bureaucratic and political boundaries, Pakistan inhibits itself from promoting the abundance of great work and people from within the country. She’s passionate about changing that.
Commenting on being a new talent in Pakistan’s film industry, Iram said: “The most important thing is that it’s a movement from the ground up. It’s no longer just people from film families making films. That will hopefully lead to a greater variety of films, and ultimately a cinema which is thick and strong.”