While most of the film festivals decided not to showcase Pakistan-based artists and their work, Lyari Notes, a documentary set in Karachi, Pakistan was recently screened at Peace Builders International Film Festival in the Capital. Directed by Pakistani filmmaker Maheen Zia and Indian documentary maker, Miriam Chandy Menacherry, the films highlights the story of four women in Karachi.
“It is quite unfortunate that festivals are not screening Pak-based documentaries. Building peace is of paramount importance in these times. The organisers of Peace Builders festival have moral courage and I’ve respect and admiration for them,” says Zia.
Talking of many similarities between the two countries, she says, “We are both grappling with modernity.”
Due to the ongoing dispute between the two countries, Zia was unable to visit the Capital for the screening, but still has a fondness for the city. “During my first visit to Delhi, I had a feeling of familiarity and connection with the city... now there is definitely a bit of my ‘dil’ in Dilli,” she says.
Zia has roots in the city as well.“My father was born in Delhi, and my paternal grandparents are buried there. My mother’s family was also from Delhi. I grew up hearing about the city through the stories of my father’s boyhood. I visited in 2007 to connect with his roots and look for his home and felt a sense of familiarity,” adds Zia.