• 'Darling' became the first Pakistani film to take a prize at the Venice Film Festival. (Darling)
The Pakistani film is celebrated as a queer love letter to Bollywood.
Samuel Leighton-Dore

9 Sep 2019 - 10:12 AM  UPDATED 9 Sep 2019 - 10:48 AM

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.

'A step in the right direction': IMDb introduces new trans-friendly naming policy
However, GLAAD says the company is still putting trans people "at risk".
'Jessica Jones' star Aneesh Sheth slams the 'sensationalism' of trans bodies
“A lot of the narratives that have been available to trans people to play on television and in film have been a lot of stigmatised misconceptions of what being trans is."
The revival of 'Rocko's Modern Life' to include prominent trans character
Fans of the 90s animation are getting emotional.
SBS On Demand premieres diverse collection of Australian LGBTIQ short films
SBS On Demand has launched 'Queer for Short: Home Grown', a series of short films showcasing LGBTIQ+ stories from teams of emerging filmmakers across NSW.