There has been a surge in the creation of short films in Pakistan with many of them proving to be huge hits. Pakistani short film ‘Bhai’ has been selected to premiere at Toronto International Film Festival in September.
The movie has been written and directed by Hamza Bangash and executive produced by Mina Husain of Pakistan Institute of Living and Learning (PILL) and Salman Ahmed. It has been co-produced by Taha Sabri of Taskeen and Westbury Group and Carol Noronha. The creators have cast a differently-abled actor, Ayan Javaid, to play the lead. This is huge for the representation of differently-abled people in Pakistani media.
Bhai is a story of two brothers who go out to celebrate Independence Day at a restaurant. The younger brother, who is autistic, has an episode while he is waiting for his older brother to return with their food. The older brother is watching the struggle, however, from inside the restaurant and he must make a choice: help his brother or ignore him.
Amid the bustle of Karachi on Pakistan’s Independence Day, the tumultuous events portrayed in Hamza Bangash’s bracing, tension-filled drama widen the gulf of understanding between two brothers, Bhai as described on the TIFF’s website.
The film is about the choices we make, shame, trauma, brotherhood, and finding a small sliver of happiness in a brutal world.
“In 2021, for the first time, I’m going to get to experience the festival as a filmmaker,” said director Hamza Bangash, sharing his previous experiences at the festival as a volunteer and an intern.
Hamza expressed his gratitude to the film’s team and wrote, “It’s a film about choti khushiyan [little joys], and about everyday bravery, the kind that Karachiites have in spades.”
The film will be screened at the festival in September 2021. Hoping this is just the start of more Pakistani movies and artists being internationally recognized and appreciated.