immagine gff 2022




Category: Edition 2022

Sheila Chaudhary (19) is a Pakistani-Canadian teenager living in Ontario. Her parents, Aliya and Azeem have always given her freedom and encouraged her artistic pursuits, a rarity among their Pakistani community, especially towards young women. Yet now, nearly finished her first year of undergrad and falling in love for the first time with her classmate Eden, Sheila craves more freedom than her parents are willing to give. After starting a secret relationship with Eden, Sheila discovers that keeping her two worlds separate comes at a great cost. 

Original Title Quickening
Category Official Competition
Section Generator +16
Tipology Feature Film
Duration 88'
Production Year 2021
Nationality Canada
Directed by Haya Waseem
Screenplay Haya Waseem
Director of photography Christopher Lew
Editor Brendan Mills
Production Design Dialla Kawar
Costume Design Courtney Mitchell
Music Spencer Creaghan
Main cast Arooj Azeem, Ashir Azeem, Bushra Ashir Azeem, Quinn Underwood
Talent Manager Jesse Griffiths
Produced by Yona Strauss
Production Quickening Films Inc. (Canada)

HayaWaseemHaya Waseem

Haya Waseem is a Pakistani-Canadian filmmaker, raised in Switzerland and living in Brooklyn. Constantly adapting to new environments and people, Haya developed a keen sense of observation that she weaves into her work. She began her career as a documentary editor and then went on to directing. Her short films have screened at prestigious festivals such as TIFF, Cannes, Berlinale and across all Air Canada flights. She is an alumna of the Director’s Lab program at Norman Jewison’s Canadian Film Centre. QUICKENING his Haya’s debut feature.

Director’s statement

“Quickening is a personal film but meant as a shared experience. Many of the stories we hear or see on screen resonate with me on an emotional level but there was always a disconnect between the specific characters and my circumstances. Myself and others like me would often have to translate the stories to fit our experiences.
With this film, I gained an opportunity to set the characters and their environments based on what I found familiar. What it proved to me was that the stories and emotions we experience are indeed universal, but what difference does it make to see it through a particular lens? It creates space for dialogue. It invites other observers to join.
[...] There is something undeniably special about sharing stories. It acts like a mirror and allows us to grow our understanding of ourselves and the world around us. I am overwhelmed by the support and community that has emerged as a result of this film. Worlds that I thought were separate are coming closer together.
Emotions that were held onto find ways to release through the lens of a character. I am fortunate that cinema and storytelling had an impact on me from a young age and with naive ambition, I pursued this path. There are many others like me who have thought this path to be inaccessible to them. This is not true. In involving the community on and off-screen, I feel a small shift. Nothing is more fulfilling than bridging a gap in any small way possible. [...] This is only the beginning of an exciting shift. Who knows what we have yet to discover, but the mirror of storytelling will reveal in due time.”

Festival contact
Quickening Films Inc. (Canada)
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