New York Celebrates first-ever Pakistan Film Festival

Pakistan Film Festival opened in New York for the first time, with screenings of outstanding films, captivating audiences with celebrities galore.

New York Celebrates first-ever Pakistan Film Festival

“It felt glorious to stand amongst the best of the best! Can’t wait to make more films.”

Pakistan Film Festival draped New York in exquisite glamour with a handful of Pakistan’s trendiest celebrities.

This first-ever edition held on 3rd and 4th December 2016 was organised by Maleeha Lodhi, the representative of Pakistan Mission to the United Nations.

The festival celebrated Pakistan’s revived film industry, along with modern star-powered appearances.

As well as Pakistan’s most prized films, Oscar award winner, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy’s animated blockbuster, 3 Bahadur, was also showcased.

DESIblitz looks into this first international film event.

Maleeha Lodhi on Pakistan Film Festival


Through the progressing efforts of the United Nations, Maleeha Lodhi delivers Pakistan via its creative talents.

From organising international artistic exhibitions for Pakistan to bringing the Lahore Literary Festival to London and New York. Maleeha has created an inspiring and positive representation of the nation’s culture and artistic future.

Speaking about the Pakistan Film Festival, Maleeha says:

“The dramatic and exciting revival of Pakistani cinema that the country has been witnessing in recent years.

“The spectacular comeback by the film industry is part of a cultural renaissance in the country. Where creative voices in art, music, and literature are all contributing to a vibrant and lively cultural scene.

“This also reflects the energy and dynamism of a nation, which despite its challenges, is hopeful and upbeat about its future.”

As a result, the event marked the dynamic modern change in Pakistani cinema.

Pakistani Films Showcased at New York


Significantly, the festival featured eight exceptional films of Pakistan.

These included: Actor in Law, Dukhtar, Lahore Se Agaye, Dobara Phir Say, Mahe Meer, 3 Bahadur, Dance Kahani and Ho Mann Jahan.

Maleeha told the Express Tribune:

“We are bringing some of Pakistan’s movies to New York so that diplomats from 193 countries at the UN also have an opportunity to see what the country’s entertainment industry is producing.”

After the first screening, she tweeted: “Just saw the first movie in our Film Festival,  Actor in Law. Such an uplifting feel-good movie.”

Actor in Law,  a firm entertainer, is full of jokes and striking satire. It depicts an aspiring actor who is a disappointment to his lawyer father.

Moreover, Dukhtar portrays the lengths that one Pakistani mother will go to protect her daughter. It is an in-depth exploration of a mother-daughter relationship.

3 Bahadur is Pakistan’s first-ever animated creation. With a content to educate and entertain children, 3 Bahadur had set new standards in Pakistani cinema.

Particularly because it became the highest earning animated film in Pakistan. In addition, the woman who brought the Oscar home, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, produced and directed this artistic work.

All the above are internationally released movies of Pakistan. Markedly, each movie has its own distinct style, featuring different personalities.

Celebrities at the Pakistan Film Festival


With a gathering consisting of many of the crowned directors and producers of Pakistan, the festival also witnessed the stunning divas of the film industry.

These included Mahira Khan, Mawra Hocane, Saba Qamar, and Sanam Saeed. Most appreciably, the legendary actress, Sabiha Khanum, also attended.

Receiving her award at the United Nations, as the Youth Representative of Pakistan, Mawra says:

“It felt truly glorious to stand amongst the best of the best we have! Can’t wait to make more films.”

The finest queens of Pakistan have been out in force for this glamorous two-day festival!

In detail, Mawra Hocane wore a black and white, floral print lace top paired with black leather jeans.

When receiving her award, she carried a red mini dress, with gold details.


In contrast, wearing a sophisticated ensemble, exceptionally designed by Elan, simply see how elegant Mahira Khan looks.

Her mini black and gold dress, with a cape-like jacket, had intricate details. It was her statement earrings, which gave the glam look!

Meanwhile, Sanam Saeed gracefully rocked a white saree, designed by Shehla Chatoor.

On the other hand, the dapper actors, Fahad Mustafa, Yasir Hussain, Sheheryar Munawar, and Adeel Hussain, wore impeccably tailored suits.

Wearing a fitted grey suit, Adeel Hussain styled a royal blue tie. In contrast, with his trademark hair-bun, Yasir Hussain, was notably wearing a striking red bow, on a black suit.

With their arresting red carpet looks, these celebrities have wowed us at the Pakistan Film Festival.

All in all, this two-day festival concluded as a first successful step towards celebrating the new wave of Pakistani cinema.

An opening of what we hope will be a yearly event.

So, to find out more, visit the Pakistan Film Festival website here.

Anam has studied English Language & Literature and Law. She has a creative eye for colour and a passion for design. She is a British-German Pakistani "Wandering Between Two Worlds."

Images courtesy of Official Twitter of Maleeha Lodhi, Elan Official Instagram, Mahira Khan Official Instagram and Fashion Central

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