Here’s your daily dose of an indie film in progress — at the end of the week, you’ll have the chance to vote for your favorite. In the meantime: is this a movie you’d want to see? Tell us in the comments.
Tweetable Logline: This feature doc delves into the lives of Pakistani showgirls, a world of stars, sex trafficking and raunchy punjabi music and dance.
Elevator Pitch: Our film follows women who live on the peripheries of Pakistani society, by making a living dancing on stage. Reema is a trans-woman and in reluctant retirement from Punjabi theatre. She struggles to find a new identity as she recounts her previous stardom. In the business since she was 13, rising star Afreen supports her family with her work while she fights to keep her name in the spotlight. Nadia lives with her criminal promoter as she deals with an estranged family, her own mental illness and a narrative of lost honor that comes from her Pashtun identity.
Producer: Anam Abbas is Canadian/Pakistani involved in documentary and live-action films in Pakistan. This is her first feature documentary. She is deeply interested in creating platforms for women’s voices and exploring life at the peripheries in Pakistan.
About the Film: This is a fiercely independent film. Our trailer has received backlash due to the taboo content. The stories we are telling are important. We talk about the sexual entertainment culture of Punjab and the grim realities of women who are professional dancers, are offered zero protection by the law, are harassed by customers, police and “handlers,” and many are killed or trafficked. While this is a character-driven film, it unveils a subculture that permeates Punjab and is seldom spoken of. We lift the veil of hypocrisy and let the showgirl speak for themselves.
Current Status: Crowdfunding for postproduction