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Pakistani filmmaker Zarrar Kahn’s film selected to screen at the Directors’ Fortnight section at Cannes Film Festival

The Cannes Film Festival 2023 has selected the debut film In Flames by Pakistani filmmaker Zarrar Kahn to be screened at the Directors’ Fortnight section. This section is independent and runs parallel to the Cannes Film Festival every year. In Flames is among 20 feature films and 10 shorts that have been chosen to be screened at the festival, which will be held from May 16 to May 27.

This is the second consecutive year that a Pakistani film has been selected for screening at the Cannes Film Festival, following Saim Sadiq’s Joyland in 2022. Joyland had its world premiere at the Un Certain Regard section of the festival, where it won the Jury Prize and the Queer Palm award.

In Flames marks Pakistan’s return to the Directors’ Fortnight after 43 years. The first Pakistani film to be shown in this section was The Blood Of Hussain by filmmaker Jamil Dehlavi in 1980. In Flames is a Canadian-Pakistani co-production and is the first South Asian horror film to be selected for the Directors’ Fortnight section. The film is set in Karachi and centers around a mother and daughter whose lives are disrupted by figures from their past after the death of their family patriarch. The story follows how they find strength in each other to survive the malevolent forces that threaten to engulf them.

In addition to In Flames, Indian filmmaker Kanu Behl’s film Agra has also been selected for screening in the same section and will have its world premiere at the festival in May.


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