Short film 'Darling' by director Saim Sadiq has become the first Pakistani short film to screen as part of the prestigious Venice Film Festival.
Not only that, the film which is pegged as a queer love letter to Bollywood, stars trans actress Alina Khan and took out the coveted Orizzonti Award for Best Short Film.
The film, the first starring a trans actor to be recognised by the Venice Film Festival jury, “tackles the lack of transgender representation in [Pakistan's] visual arts" while exploring "relationships that have previously not been the subject of films in Pakistan,” according to The Nation.
Speaking to Arab News following his big win, Sadiq said the result came as a surprise, particularly given he didn't expect the film to even be selected.
“I sent it in during the open submission call with zero expectations that it would be chosen,” he said.
“Through luck or something, we got in.”
Darling is thought to be Khan's first on-screen role and will hopefully lead to a new spate of opportunities for the actress.
You can watch the trailer for Darling below:
You can watch SBS On Demand's Queer for Shorts collection here.