Sitting on the couch, with a television set in front of you; what would you watch?
With the inevitable death of cable and the rise of streaming services all over the globe.
This phenomenon has even penetrated the Pakistani Household as well.
With smartphones now a requirement rather than a commodity as well as having a fear of missing out they now want to see and experience what the global market has to offer.
The Need of Quality “Local Content”
As a person starts to watch the entire catalogue of the offering, to him not everything appeals to him at first and so he starts looking for the things that seem familiar to him as everything else seems to foreign and alien to him.
In a catalogue filled with content from everywhere except the country, you live in.
It may seem very, very lonely and isolated especially with content from a certain country always seems to bombard their eyes each and every time they open the NETFLIX application as well.
It was a dire situation before the namesake occurred and pioneered a new platform for local content so that it might be enjoyed by the general masses and be more tech ‘savvy’.
Sitara: A grand Netflix debut
And what more could one ask for the initiator of this local content than a pioneer in Pakistani entertainment than the two-time Academy Award winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy?
She is a force to be reckoned with within the nation in the field of film making.
With such a pedigree behind the first-ever debut on a global market, it would be guaranteed a success both in commercial and critical terms.
And thus Sitara: Let Girls Dream was born.
A short animated film which was unveiled last year in September at theaters in New York.
This is the story of a 14-year-old girl named Pari living in Pakistan who dreams of one day flying through the skies as a pilot but the society in which she lives refuses to acknowledge her dreams and ambitions.
It is produced under the banner of Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s animation company, Waadi Animations entirely in Pakistan, in association with Vice Studios and Gucci’s Chime For Change.
The music for the film has been composed by Emmy Award-Winning composer Laura Karpman.
Recorded and mixed at the world’s most famous and iconic studio, Abbey Road Studios, Karpman’s score has been paramount in bringing the film’s story and characters to life.
Pakistan Entertainment Industry’s Next stop: NETFLIX
After its debut internationally in September 2019, it was a huge success critically by winning three awards at the Los Angeles Animation Festival 2019 in North Hollywood in December 2019.
The awards of the best-Produced screenplay, best music score, and the Humanitarian Award were given to the movie.
And soon after that, it got the attention of the streaming platform king: ‘Netflix’.
A deal later and the award-winning film was on a new home for a new year in 2020 which coincidentally turned out to be in the month of March.
With its newfound home, it also found a much, much larger audience than ever before with a total global viewership of 150 million and over 190 countries being shown in.
This would ensure that the film becomes a sustained hit even after its initial release window with people watching it at their own leisure time and place at will.
A message of female empowerment by Sitara – The Netflix Original
This short animated film carries a singular message that a girl is no less than a boy in any matter whatsoever.
As reported in by Samaa, in an interview with NETFLIX itself, and the filmmakers:
“Young girls everywhere still face considerable hurdles in achieving their dreams. Sitara embodies that struggle; it is the story of Pari, a young girl who dreams of becoming a pilot and is robbed of it,”the director told Netflix.
“Twelve million girls every year are forced into child marriage, losing their ability to dream. We hope this film gives young people and their families the ability to spark a conversation for a different perspective on what we allow our children to aspire to be when they grow up. We are thrilled to have Netflix as a partner to share this project with the world.”Executive producer Wengroff
In conclusion, it can be said that this film is a small but effective first step in a move to show the world what good content that Pakistanis have to offer.
However, the conservative nature of the nation itself is somewhat of a restriction for the entertainment industry to showcase their works to a wider and more engaging audience.
And as a sort of gateway for more innovative and better content to come through and make the Pakistani Film industry a worthy contender on the global stage
To make more works of art with an even more socially taboo message to convey in order for it to change the common man’s mindset and make it a better world for everyone to live happily and thrive in for years to come.
Staff Writer: Najam Ilyas