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A woman with a purple wig in front of a store.

SFFILM Festival


Directed by Iram Parveen Bilal

Pakistan | Fiction | 99

28 Apr
Sun, Apr 28 at 2:00 pm PT

Guests Expected

Director Iram Parveen Bilal; actor Faryal Mehmood; producers Abid Aziz Merchant, Apoorva Bakshi, and Aalia Mahboob; and cinematographer Ludovica Isidori are expected to attend


Filmmaker Iram Parveen Bilal takes inspiration from the story of Qandeel Baloch in crafting this compelling drama. Baloch was Pakistan’s first social media celebrity, who often used her platform to speak out against the patriarchy, until her brother murdered her in an act of “honor” killing. Her life planted the seeds from which spring this film’s widowed schoolteacher Noor and her queer best friend Guchhi. To live out their dreams and aspirations, the pair leads double lives. In bright makeup and flashy wigs, Noor and Guchhi adopt brash, fearless social media personas, representing a freedom so enticing that people can’t look away. Too often the cinemascape has portrayed Muslim women and queer people from the Global South as victimized objects of pity. Wakhri has a different tale to tell, one that celebrates the resilience with which its protagonists demand equality within a flawed society.

Director Iram Parveen Bilal

Pakistani American filmmaker Iram Parveen Bilal was raised in Pakistan and Nigeria and came to the United States to attend the California Institute of Technology. She is the founder of QALAMBAAZ, Pakistan’s first screenwriting lab. She also serves as a mentor to women in tech and filmmaking. She made her feature directing debut with Josh (2013), winner of the Viewers Choice prize for best independent film at the ARY Film Awards. Her other features include Piled Higher and Deeper: Still in Grad School (2015) and I’ll Meet You There (2020).

Film Details

Language Urdu

Year 2023

Premiere California

Runtime 99

Country Pakistan/USA

Director Iram Parveen Bilal

Executive Producer Aalia Mahboob Elahi

Producer Abid Aziz Merchant, Apoorva Bakshi, Iram Parveen Bilal

Writer Iram Parveen Bilal

Editor Aarti Bajaj

Cinematographer Ludovica Isidori

Music Abdullah Siddiqui

Cast Faryal Mehmood, Gulshan Majeed, Shees Sajjad Gul

Closed Captions Closed Captions are not yet confirmed for this program

Audio Description Audio Descriptions are not yet confirmed for this program

American Sign Language (ASL) Interpretation American Sign Language Interpretation is scheduled for this film