Solatia: A Story of Displacement at Red Sea Film Festival
A Pakistani short film Solatia, with Amtul Baweja playing the lead character, is set to be showcased at the Red Sea Festival in Jeddah next month. Directed by a woman filmmaker Hira Yousafzai, Solatia will be featured alongside films from Iran, South Africa, the US, Germany and Indonesia, as well as other countries.
Solatia is a story about a woman called Zamda who is displaced and lives in a shelter with others like her. Baweja expressed excitement about playing the role of Zamda. “I’m very, very excited because it’s our first submission. And of course, getting selected on your first submission is, I think, a win in itself.”
She believes the Red Sea Film Festival is one of the most prestigious events in the world. Baweja has crossed her fingers as she eagerly awaits the audience reviews.
Solatia – a Film of Despair, Hope and Love
Hirra Farooqi, the co-producer of Solatia, said the themes of love, loss, resilience and hope were deliberately included in the film, alongside the context of displacement. She pointed out that women, in most films, are shown to be waiting for their significant other or their partner to save them.
“Zamda is compelling and different in this context. She is looking for her husband, she is the one who was asking for answers and demanding them.” Farooqi believes displaced people are merely looked at as numbers and often not humanized.
Solatia at Red Sea Film Festival
She explained that Solatia is a humanizing story. “We wanted to humanize their stories by tying in these themes of hope, love, loss, resilience, through the characters and through the compassion that they feel for one another.” It will turn heads at the Red Sea Film Festival.
Baweja says people will be able to relate to the film. “As soon as I read the script, I was like ‘Okay, I need to do this, I need to make this happen. I want to do this.’ I think wherever this film will be played, people will relate to it.” She shared that the lead character Zamda is very strong and not afraid to stand up for what’s right.