Director Saim Sadiq, whose short film “Darling” premiered at Venice Film Festival 2019, has won the award for best short film.

SHANI, a sixteen-year-old background dancer at an erotic dance theater in Lahore, is in love with an older transgender woman ALINA. While Alina prepares to audition for the spot of the new headline dancer, Shani struggles to find the right moment to confess his feelings. The film follows this unlikely couple and explores questions of gender, sexuality and identity.

The director, a bis fan of Bollywood cinema, has this to say about his film:
​ “Darling is loosely based on my feature film in development, Gulaab – both being an exploration of masculinity and femininity set in a highly sexualized erotic dance subculture, an open secret in the otherwise repressive Pakistani society. It is in equal parts a coming-of-age story, a queer celebration, and a love letter to the Bollywood dream.”

The AMP would like to congratulate director Sadiq as well as his cast and crew.

Ever since I watched Takeshi Kitano's "Hana-Bi" for the first time (and many times after that) I have been a cinephile. While much can be said about the technical aspects of film, coming from a small town in Germany, I cherish the notion of art showing its audience something which one does normally avoid, neglect or is unable to see for many different reasons. Often the stories told in films have helped me understand, discover and connect to something new which is a concept I would like to convey in the way I talk and write about films. Thus, I try to include some info on the background of each film as well as a short analysis (without spoilers, of course), an approach which should reflect the context of a work of art no matter what genre, director or cast. In the end, I hope to pass on my joy of watching film and talking about it.