Our ConnectHER Fellows program identifies past ConnectHER filmmakers and helps develop those young leaders to teach filmmaking to youth in their communities.
Lives in: Pakistan
I went to Law School.
That’s a tough one! Although I always thought Guy Ritchie’s ‘Snatch’ was a film beyond its years. From the sound track, characters and the interlaced storylines, I could watch it a 100 more times and still enjoy it!Film(s)
I made two films for the ConnectHER’s film festival. The first one - Scarred Reality – was based on the stories of 4 female acid survivors in Pakistan (winning the 2 awards at the festival). My second film, titled Fatima highlighted the efforts of an incredible woman fighting to free female bonded laborers in Pakistan (it won the GREEN IS Award!).
I began researching film festivals for first time filmmakers and came across the Connecther Film Festival. I really thought it was too good to be true, but it turned out to be everything I had imagined and more!
I was terrified. I had never really shown my work to anyone before, and I think what I feared most of all was failure. But I now realize that risking failure is in fact the first step to succeeding; I honestly wish I could tell my younger self that- it might have helped with the sleepless nights I spent after submitting!
I teach the art of camera angles, script writing as well as video-editing.
Definitely! Transitioning to a teacher is a huge responsibility, but at the same time it’s extremely fulfilling. The mistakes I made as a filmmaker and the struggles that I experienced have given me the opportunity to pave a smoother road for my students. I truly want them to see filmmaking as an achievable goal, without any of the additional hurdles and the unnecessary disappointments. Having a mentor to guide you in this field goes a long way, and it’s something I wish I had when I first started out.
I’ve learned that promoting filmmaking, particularly documentary filmmaking, inadvertently fosters an empathy for activism. I’ve experienced first-hand how my students’ perception of the world around them has changed, and how willing they are to become an active part of society’s movement towards acceptance, by using film as a medium.
It’s been a pleasure running the workshops, the feedback is always so positive and wholesome! Hearing students share how they’re now “more familiar with the process of creating a film”, and that they feel “so much more confident now in wanting to pursue a filmmaking career path”, are just some of the many satisfying takeaways from the fellowship.
One of the most memorable messages I received was from my student, Ayesha Umar:“It was an incredible experience learning about the process of filmmaking starting from the very basics- Ma’am Halimah’s workshop has really impacted the way I view films and I can’t wait use the skills I’ve learned.”