Brown-Harvard Pakistani Film Festival


Click here to view the festival Program.

The recent revival of cinema in Pakistan has generated excitement and captured the imagination.  Film, like the nation-state, stands at a crossroads, and is invested with hope and aspirations towards a future that leaves the seemingly unending violence and militancy of the past decades receding into the distance. The magical qualities of film with its capacity to orchestrate our emotions and sensibilities, to conjure up fictions that become part of our reality, to transform the mundane into the extraordinary symbolizes this collective yearning for a new dawn.  A new generation of filmmakers ranging from the conventional to the experimental are exploring the possibilities of re-imagining family, friendship, love, the nation, and retelling ways of injustice and suffering. Love, War and Other Longings is an invitation to come and participate in these new narrations, to explore their possibilities and examine their implications. What kind of future is envisaged and what representations of the past does it require? What is being celebrated and who is being left out?

Last year the festival was held at Brown University in Providence and focused on the range of feature films from horror flicks to comedies and nationalist war films. The conversations generated between filmmakers, scholars and the audience raised various issues, some of which were on the representations of gender; the emergent nationalist war film; the treatment of religion and questions of class and marginality amongst others. The continued relevance of these issues in current film productions led to the planning of this second festival in which we have expanded our repertoire to include documentaries on LGBT communities and survivors of drone strikes, as well as shorts and video art. 

This year in bringing film-makers, academics, activists and members of the public together we seek to further the discussion in order to expand the range of film-making in Pakistan and to interrogate the relation of cinematic form to the politics and aspirations of the past, present and future.  We intend that the dialogue and debate will enable us to think of ways to support this nascent cultural industry, to expand our empathy, and to stimulate our politics. 

Interview with Nabeel Quershi, Director of Na Maloom Afrad from The Harvard-Brown Pakistani Film Festival 2015. 

Learn more about Love, War, and Other Longings