Female Filmmaker Friday: Mahak Jiwani’s ‘Darling’
Today we’re focusing on a talented indie filmmaker who we first heard about a few years ago. In fact we’ve featured her work before – Mahak Jiwani is a talented producer who has worked all over the world.
Originally from Pakistan, Mahak Jiwani has worked in Chile, USA, Japan and Pakistan. In 2017, she produced Premonition in Chile, which won the Cacho Pallero Award at Huesca International Film Festival and screened at Aspen ShortFest, Seattle International Film Festival and Palm Springs International ShortFest.
Jiwani’s films Horizon (2018) won the GiGadgets Technology Award and Darling (2019) was awarded the Katharina Otto-Bernstein Production Grant at Columbia University Film Festival. Darling is set to world premiere at the Venice International Film Festival. She’s also developing the features Gulaab (Locarno Open Doors 2018) in Pakistan and Shadow in Chile.
Jiwani is a graduate of the MFA program at Columbia University and is currently working for Alex Gibney’s Jigsaw Productions.
Darling is set in Lahore, Pakistan at an erotic dance theater. As the theater prepares for a new show, a sacrificial goat goes missing, a dreamy trans girl vies for the spotlight, and a naïve young boy falls in love.
Darling’s cast includes newcomer Mehar Bano and veteran actress Nadia Afgan. Leads include Shani (Abdullah Malik) and Alina (Alina Khan – a trans girl in her acting debut who was discovered after an exhaustive search through the Lahore trans community).
Darling will have its world premiere at the Venice International Film Festival, where it will be the first Pakistani film to screen in competition in the Orizzonti Section. The film has also been selected for the Short Cuts program at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Follow this inspirational producer on Instagram.
Also look out for Congratulations, whose world premiere is set for the Santiago International Film Festival in August in the national talent section of the program.