The Losing Side, a Pakistani film that depicts the problem of forced conversions to other religions in Sindh, won an award at the Cannes International Film Festival for November’s Best Human Rights Film.
The movie is released under the Jawad Sharif Films label and received a nomination by mid-December after being nominated many months earlier. Sharif enthusiastically revealed on Instagram that his film had now received a prize. “What wonderful news on the final day of 2022. The Losing Side, a movie we made, earned the Cannes World Film Festival’s Best Human Rights Film Award “the filmmaker wrote.
The Losing Side tells the harrowing story of four women named Vahitoo, Simran, Keeran, and Reena who were “victims of forced conversion and marriage.” The documentary follows a variety of activists, politicians, and legal professionals as they contribute to the “discussion as to why such cruel practises occur on a daily basis.”
Sharif hopes that viewers would be able to empathise with such victims and urge authorities to act quickly. He wrote, “Before we are all free, nobody is. I’m hoping that this film helps us see the need for quick and structural reform.”
“While some victims prefer to not come in the spotlight, others are willing to come forward and speak about their experience, if it helps even one other person not go through the same thing.”
“It was necessary for us to see this. For us to see that one of the most marginalized and vulnerable communities in our country runs at risk of having their control over their lives swiftly and brutally snatched away by anyone who chooses to do so. These criminals are not only given protection but are celebrated and given markers of respect for these acts of barbarity,”