Mariam Hassan

30 Jun 2023

The recent Gold Coast film festival Love Letters From Pakistan featured the finalist films from the 2021 Pakistan National Amateur Film Competition. The prize for the creators of those films was a scholarship to study at the New York Film Academy’s Gold Coast campus. The diversity of the storylines and depth of content within those films shed a new light on Pakistan, a country that has remained largely obscured to the west since its independence in the 1940’s.

One of the films from that festival was an absolute standout, a stunning, magnificently shot film that took an empathetic view to what many would find an unsavoury subject. ‘The Disgustful’ explores the life of garbage collector, Shareef Maseeh, who has been cleaning the streets of Lahore for the past 35 years and takes immense pride in his work of serving his community and his country. It’s an extraordinary story full of worldly wisdom from one considered to be the lowest of the low in Pakistan society.

Mariam Hassan was one of the film makers responsible for that documentary and since arriving at the New York Film Academy she’s developed a newfound personal and professional confidence with one of her current projects chosen to be screened at the recent Gold Coast Film Festival. The past 12 months on the Gold Coast have been a revelation for this young and self-confessed rebellious Pakistani film maker, who’s real journey of self-discovery and artistic expression has only just begun.

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