Film Screening: "The Mermaid of Churna Island"
Come meet visiting filmmaker Nameera Ahmed and view her latest work, “The Mermaid of Churna Island,” the story of Pakistan’s first and only female dive instructor.
The Mermaid of Churna Island
Duration: 21 minutes
Languages: Urdu & English with English subtitles
Directed and Produced by Nameera Ahmed
This is the story of Rosheen Khan, Pakistan’s first and only female SCUBA diving instructor, who overcame many hurdles in her young life to arrive where she is now. Rosheen comes from a conservative family background where even getting an education for a girl is a struggle. She met Yousuf Ali, a Master Instructor in Karachi, who propelled her down a path she could never have imagined, taking her on a scuba diving career from where she never looked back. With interviews also of her colleagues, both her male and female students, and Yousuf Ali, the film reveals startling elements not only from her scuba career, but from her personal life, telling the story of a woman of courage who dares to live her dream.
Directed and narrated by Nameera Ahmed, both Rosheen’s scuba student, and a practicing documentary filmmaker in Karachi, this film is shot both on land and underwater by Nameera. It is a very personal account and a subjective response to women’s empowerment in her society, which she gives meaning to through Rosheen’s life. As the film progresses, it peels off layers of meaning, and takes the audience deeper into a poetic inquiry into life, death, desire, and longing.
Nameera Ahmed is a Karachi-based filmmaker, visual artist, Rescue Diver (PADI), a Digital Reviewer for Leonardo Reviews (Leonardo/ISAST), and has been teaching at the Karachi University and other schools in Karachi.
Her films have had international screenings in Italy, Germany, Iran, Brazil, India, Qatar, Azerbaijan, The Netherlands, U.S.A., Turkey and Pakistan, covering themes from heritage and culture, music, education, social issues, floods, and the environment. Her film “When the Rains Came” (2011), was nominated at the 6th CMS Vatavaran Environment and Wildlife Film Festival, New Delhi, India, 2011. Her film “The Living Amongst the Dead”(2010) was screened at Looking at the Other: Cultural Dialogue in Film’ a film program organized by Goethe-Institut Washington and the 9/11 Arts Project.
Her video artworks and installations have showcased at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (2009) in Berlin, at the Kathmandu International Art Festival in Kathmandu, Nepal (2012), and the Ahmedabad International Art Festival in Ahmedabad, India (2012). She has also exhibited at the Mohatta Palace Museum’s ‘Rising Tide’ exhibit (2010) Karachi, the 1mile² exhibit at the Arts Council Pakistan (2009) Karachi, the V.M. Art Gallery in Karachi (2012).