Pakistani filmmaker Iram Parveen Bilal arrives at Cannes 2019
KARACHI: Pakistani-Nigerian filmmaker Iram Parveen Bilal is currently at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival with his upcoming Wakhri project. She has reached the list of 15 directors for the Atelier de Cinefondation program at the festival. In its fifteenth year, Atelier de Cinefondation brings together filmmakers with promising projects in Cannes. The idea of the program is to provide access to the circuit of international co-productions and international financing opportunities to quickly complete the films.
In an exclusive interview with The Express Tribune, Bilal shared his experience of attending one of the biggest international film festivals.
‘The Express Tribune (ET)’: Is this your first time in Cannes?
Iram Parveen Bilal (IPB): Yes, the first time in Cannes because I have a personal rule to go alone to a festival if my work takes me there. This is the first feature film project in Pakistan’s 72-year history, so it’s an honor. Only our presence here has been a great privilege for ourselves, since we are flags that walk through the country. I decided to use Pakistani designers in the various galas and dinners to better represent my country.
ET: How has your experience been?
IPB: Cannes has all the most important film industries in the world present here. The opportunities are unlimited, but time and energy are limited. So prioritize who to meet and when has been a challenge, but also stimulating to see the possibilities. We have meetings all day and then network parties at night. If you’re lucky, you squeeze a movie there.
They asked me to be part of a panel of storytellers the first day I was here. It was a great feeling to talk with emerging filmmakers and share the lessons we have learned along the way. In addition, speaking at Cannes is in itself an honor.
ET: Tell us a bit about Cannes L’atelier and your movie.
IPB: L’atelier is the official artist development arm of Cannes, the Cinefondation program. They curate 15 directors from around the world to invite an accelerated funding program that takes place over the course of a week in Cannes. This is his fifteenth year. Its funding and launch success is 93%, so we have our fingers crossed.
ET: Who are the other directors with you?
IPB: There are 14 other directors, but only another director from South Asia. He is from Nepal and his name is Fidel Devkota.
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