The Pakistan Four has premiered to resounding applause at the Fulbright Center in Lahore.
The documentary film by Fulbright alumnus Shehzad Hameed is an inspirational story of four Pakistani-American women who challenged cultural expectations on their journeys to meet personal and professional dreams.
The Pakistan Four follows award-winning Manhattan chef and winner of the reality cooking show Chopped, Fatima Ali, weight lifter Kulsoom Abdullah, who campaigned and won the right for Muslim women to wear covered sports attire at U.S. national weight lifting competitions, Hareem Ahmad, an MIT grad who went away a career in Wall Street to become an award-winning professional saber fight, and Nadia Manzoor, a standup comedian and actor.
The documentary was completely filmed and developed in the US by Shehzad, who at the time was on a Fulbright Masters Degree Scholarship to read News and Documentary Filmmaking at New York University (NYU) between 2012 -14, according to a press release put out by the United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan.
“I desired to showcase these women because their stories are uplifting and powerful. People need to learn about the amazing things Pakistani women are doing. To be capable to get behind the scenes and capture their day-to-day experiences were truly humbling,” says Shehzad. “It was as important to demonstrate how Pakistani women are changing the narrative when it arrives to the types of careers they can chose and excel at,” adds Hameed.
Talking to an audience made up of filmmakers, Fulbright alumni, journalists, university professors, and students, USEFP Executive Director Rita Akhtar said, “USEFP is so proud to be able to send talented young people like Shehzad to great schools in the U.S. in the Fulbright Program. We expect our Fulbrighters to return to Pakistan and contribute to the nation’s social and economic growth.
Shehzad is a big model of the value of the Fulbright Program. He simply turned back and is already creating a contribution with this wonderful film highlighting the achievements of Pakistani women in the U.S.”
The Pakistan Four has received critical plaudits in the U.S. following its world premiere at New York University Film Festival 2014.
Exclusive screenings of the film also took position at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Georgia Institute of Technology. In summation to the premiere in Lahore, several more screenings are planned for cities across Pakistan.