New York, 16 March, 2017
The award-winning Pakistani film Dukhtar attracted a large and distinguished audience when it was screened at UN headquarters on Wednesday evening.
Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN, Dr Maleeha Lodhi organised this side event in the Trusteeship Council Chamber during the 61th annual session of the of Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).
Ambassador Lodhi, in her opening remarks said that Pakistani film industry revival is being spearheaded by young film makers including women who were producing an incredibly diverse and entertaining array of movies with powerful social messages.
Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi introduced Ms. Khawar Mumtaz, Chairperson of Pakistan's National Commission on the Status of Women who is also the mother of the lead actress in the film, Samiya Mumtaz. She briefly talked about how her daughter got interested in acting and that Saikmiya’s main interest remained organic farming. Ms. Mumtaz said that her daughter was a dedicated actress and only acted in movies with an inspirational message.
Ambassador Lodhi then introduced the film director Afia Nathaniel to the gathering who gave details of the making of her film. Ms. Nathaniel said that the film was about a mother's love and sacrifice to save her daughter from a child marriage. She also said the film had a universal message and its showing at the UN will help build bridges and bring people together.
The event was attended by a large number of diplomats, UN Secretariat personnel and the Pakistani diaspora and was much appreciated. The Deputy Executive Director of UN women, Lakshmi Puri was also present.
Last year, Oscar-winning Pakistani filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy's documentary “A Girl in the River” was screened to coincide with CSW.
Since assuming charge as Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to UN, Ambassador Lodhi has undertaken several cultural projects and organized a series of events to promote Pakistan’s soft image and highlight its modern and vibrant culture but also its ancient civilizational roots.
The Pakistan Mission, under her leadership, organized the first ever Pakistan Film Festival in New York. Dukhter was also one of the films shown during the 2-day festival.
A “Sufi Night” at the UN General Assembly hall to mark Pakistan Day last year featuring Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.
Ambassador Lodhi also organized an Exhibition of Contemporary Art from Pakistan at the UN, which showcased some of the best works of art to demonstrate how Pakistan is becoming a powerhouse of creativity. She was also instrumental in bringing the Lahore Literary Festival to the Asia Society in New York.