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Pakistani director Iram Parveen Bilal was thrilled to learn that her feature film Josh (English Title:Against the Grain), will be showcased at the prestigious MAMI (Mumbai Film Festival) in the world cinema category. (Click here to see stills from Josh)

“I was taking my car to the mechanic and just as I was about to head out the door, I got this news. I was constantly mouthing "Oh my God, oh my God. Alhamdulillah. I was delighted for two reasons, World Premier and Bombay. Bombay has a big part in my becoming a filmmaker. That city is a city of dreams to me; I guess I am still in a honeymoon phase with Bombay,” said Bilal who has been working on this film since four years.

Having directed internationally recognised, award-winning short films, Josh is Bilal’s debut feature. It is the only fiction film from Pakistan to be screened at MAMI in the last five years and the only Pakistani film entered in this year’s MAMI. Bilal will be sharing the screen with Academy Award-winning filmmaker Michel Gondry, Palme D’Or Winner Michael Haneke, Ken Loach and Walter Salles, also being showcased in the same category.

The World Cinema category focuses on screening the best films from all over the world, produced within one calendar year before the festival dates.

A few days after MAMI's announcement, on a social media website, Bilal also announced that Josh has been mentioned in Hollywood Variety and is one of only two narrative feature films picked for this year's prestigious Women in Film Finishing Fund.

“Women in Film is a very prestigious foundation that encourages women working in media and communications and we received one of their 10 fellowships this year, but what is very special is that we are one of the only two fiction features selected. The rest are all documentaries. Variety and IndieWire just released the press releases. It is very honourable as these are Hollywood's most widely read trade magazines,” Bilal told

Official festival poster of "Josh"

Josh is the story of a privileged woman whose life is shattered in a single moment. It is the story of a woman in search for a dangerous truth.  It is the story of the biggest challenge to Pakistan's still reigning feudalism: the country's youth. The film explores the internal debates the young are struggling with, and how solutions can be attainable if and when they stand united.

The film has an interesting ensemble of some of the finest actors from the Pakistani entertainment industry, who include Aamina Sheikh, Mohib Mirza, Khalid Malik, Navin Waqar, Adnan Shah Tipu, Salim Mairaj, Kaiser Khan Nizamani, Nyla Jafri, Parveen Akbar, Ali Rizvi and Faizan Haqquee.

The music of Josh is by Indus World Music that comprises veteran musician and composer, Shahi Hasan and his partner Noor Lodhi. In addition to that, the award winning British composer Andrew T. Mackay has been the soul of the score.

Bilal added further on the music for the film, “To top it all, I have respected and been completely star struck with Ali Azmat’s voice, poetry and musical talents. I gave it a shot to ask him for Na Re Na, and he agreed. It was pretty amazing. Na Re Na to me is a song that defines longing and our lead character longs for answers and clarity. It is a very universal song that can pull at ones heart’s strings in many situations.”

“I am very hopeful and I want the film to be watched by thousands of people and in the process, we want the film to inspire people by at least one element or thought in the film. My ultimate dream is that the entire team of Josh gets really good work and recommendations out of the film and that we can all grow in our careers and continue to contribute to Pakistani cinema, media, and activism,” Bilal said.

The 14th Mumbai Film Festival organised by MAMI will take place from October 18-25, 2012. Josh will be screened on the Monday, October 22 at 5:45 pm India Standard Time. The festival venue , INOX, Screen 4, Nariman Point and on Thursday, October 24 at 10:oo am at cineMAX:SION.

For further updates on when Josh will be released in Pakistan, keep checking their Facebook page.

Comments (24) Closed

Fahim Oct 15, 2012 09:50am
pak hardly make any big budget and good movies- they survive on showing indian blockbusters only- pak does'nt have money to produce large movies it seems.
Gulshan Oct 15, 2012 09:56am
After all the relegous party approve the screening of this film and after we have erected the demolished cinema halls, we may be able to show this movie.
Ghulam sarwar Oct 15, 2012 02:32pm
She is a good actor no doubt - her Play "Mera Saeen 2" was really awesome
russelj Oct 15, 2012 09:41am
best of luck for 'Josh' team
Aziz Oct 15, 2012 09:57am
It shows that the subcontinent can produce world class films through cooperation.We should thank our Indian friends for their magnanimous gesture of providing this important platform where Pakistani artists can showcase their talents. It is necessary to draw in Bangladesh with its very rich cultural heritage to contribute to this process. All of us would stand to gain by working together.
Cherian (Melbourne) Oct 15, 2012 09:45am
I have seen Khamosh Pani, Khuda ke Liye and Bol, each one of them unique and brilliant in its own way. Eagerly awaiting to watch this film as well. Be assured that like the above said movies this one will also be accepted by the Indian audience if it turns out to be good.
naushad Oct 15, 2012 05:44am
well done pakistan have to make these kinds of movies a lot.
Sam Oct 15, 2012 11:31am
Well, its a great great thing to know that our actor specially from our film industry are getting a proper platform abroad, where they can show the world, how much talented and gifted they are, but I just wonder why not such films are broadcasted in Pakistani cinemas? We do we only come to be know about such films when they get nominated for some award or given an appreciation outside pakistan?
Qulik Oct 15, 2012 10:37am
Is it true no cinema halls in Islamabad?
kirtherSG Oct 16, 2012 05:29am
Excellent news wish you guys more success, most of the time news coming out of Pakistan is depressing but this is very encouraging. Pakistani politicians must learn from little girl Malala a worthy Pakistani unlike the present lot of politicians. Pakistani's have to find their own way and this is a good way of projecting softer image of the society, Pakistanis are brilliant but rudderless due to lack of leadership.
ramshankerdubey Oct 15, 2012 09:20am
i think it will be appreciated too
Imtiaz Faruqui Oct 15, 2012 03:28pm
Such movies are only for less than 5% of viewer in Pakistan and has no commercial value.
Taha Raza Oct 15, 2012 06:46am
Has this movie been released in Pakistan?
Nina Oct 15, 2012 08:51am
Great to see such movies made by Pakistan. Our film industry has only a fraction of the resources available to Bollywood, so making such movies is really commendable.
Anand Oct 15, 2012 09:05pm
This is a good start for Pak movie Industry. For various religious, political and social reason Pakistani Movie Industry is not as mature as the Indian. However, the talent present in Pakistan is as good as in any part of the world if not better. Bol, Khuda Ke liye were exceptional movies and I know a lot of my Indian friends and family enjoyed and appreciated the movies. If Indian and Pakistani movie industries work together we can come up with realy good movies which can have a positive impact to both the societies. My only advice to the Pakistani movie makers and its artists is not to let India-phobia cloud their artistic thinking and creativity. If you do, the movie industry would end up being like the political situation in the movie and destroy lots of talents and creativity. All the best to you guys and hopefully one day, we can al work together in every field and become a formidable force in the world so that no one would be able to take advantage of of us or hurt us in any ways. God bless!
Zulfiqar Haider Oct 15, 2012 08:24am
Thanks God. Any thing other than killing spree is in news about Pakistan
Fawad Khan Oct 16, 2012 03:51pm
Atlast... something good coming from Pakistan cinema.. !! I hope the movie brings out and shows off the real Pakistani talent..
GulzarQ Oct 17, 2012 12:07am
Anand- you are a thoughtfull and level headed person. Kudos for you on your gracious remarks.
BEA Oct 16, 2012 09:54pm
i came across the lead actress in sme Pakistani Drama a while ago she was really good in it i was really impressed by her she can knock the spots of any Hollywood actress carry on the good work.
Saeed Oct 15, 2012 06:38am
Congratulations! Pakistanis are not less than any other providing they are determined to excel.
aps221219 Oct 15, 2012 09:00am
Where? Didn't you guys burn down a bunch of your movie theaters?
Bharat Oct 15, 2012 03:49pm
There are enough talented people though,the only problem is lack of domestic support by the public
manghirmalani Oct 15, 2012 06:08am
Rajinder Oct 16, 2012 02:57am
I can't wait to see this movie. Khamosh Paani was brilliant.