Anam Abbas is a Pakistan based Pakistani/Canadian filmmaker. As a producer and DOP her first feature "Showgirls of Pakistan", premiered in competition at IDFA 2020 and was released globally by VICE. “This Stained Dawn” is her debut feature as a Director. She is also one of the founders of the Documentary Association of Pakistan (DAP).
Films shown in Divvy Film Festival 2023
Saya (Shadow), 2019, Fawzia Mirza & Anam Abbas
Karachi, the largest city in Pakistan, is a conundrum wrapped in contradictions: screaming with activity, yet abandoned; full of potential, yet full of abuses; it has power and resources, yet is corrupt and decaying. The people of Karachi are somehow both teeming and invisible. And the stories of Karachi while holding fiercely to their truth, weave shrouds of mythological mystery. Saya or Shadow, is an experimental collaboration between filmmakers, Fawzia Mirza and Anam Abbas, shot guerilla-style, in Karachi Saya is a memory and a moment, a film that is both a shadow and about the shadows, exploring Karachi, its chaos, its beauty, its ghost stories, its land politics, and its women. In an unexpected turn of conversation between a wealthy, American born, Pakistani MemSaab and her new driver, Abdul Malik, the city's mysteries and fault lines take physical form.
This Stained Dawn, 2021, Anam Abbas
Detailing the preparation of the multi-city Aurat March (Women’s March) in Pakistan, This Stained Dawn tells the story of a feminist movement asserting itself in the country’s urban spaces through the eyes of the march’s organisers. Just a few weeks before the start of the pandemic, 10,000 protesters gathered in Karachi. Filmmaker Anam Abbas follows the organisers of the march as they negotiate a deeply surveilled, paranoia-inducing, and often physically violent space in the hopes of spurring a revolution. The film’s approach is, suitably, a polyphonic one. Observational footage of the event’s planning and orchestration mixes with animation, and archive, tracing a history of the state suppression of women’s resistance in Pakistan and illuminating the urgency of the unfolding struggle of today, where "my body, my choice" becomes a controversial slogan that holds the country's imagination in its grip. What emerges is a philosophical work, not just about the Aurat March, but about the act of political organising itself.
Films shown in Divvy Film Festival 2020
This film is an ode to the Lucky Irani Circus, Pakistan's hardest working circus troupe. Whimsical vignettes of the off stage lives of its child stars and tight knit families explore the heartaches and joys of circus life.