NEWS DESK: Pakistanis can have a moment of pride as a film on the life and work of Pakistani architect and urban planner Perween Rahman won the second prize for best documentary at the 11th Istanbul International Architecture and Urban Films Festival.
According to a press release, the feature length film ‘Perween Rahman: The Rebel Optimist’ directed by filmmaker Mahera Omar was screened before audiences at several venues in Turkey throughout the week-long festival.
— Perween Rahman Film (@perweenrfilm) October 28, 2017
Perween Rahman was the director of the Orangi Pilot Project (OPP), an NGO based in Karachi. She was shot dead on March 13, 2013 on her way home from her office in Orangi.
The Orangi Pilot Project provided technical guidance to low income communities in Orangi for the laying of sewage lines in their lanes on a self help basis since the 1980s. Perween was instrumental in the development of this unique model of sanitation. Her work was based on extensive mapping of the lanes of Orangi, which soon spread to the entire city. She led the team that developed a concept for a sewage disposal plan for Karachi, which was accepted by the local city government.
She also mapped the more than 2,000 urban villages in Karachi and helped people get land rights. Perween was a champion for the youth and women of Orangi, and a role model for many. Her murder is a great loss for the world.
“Perween believed in cultivating human relationships. She had a very special connection with the people of Orangi. She won not only their hearts, but of whomever had the good fortune to come across her. I wanted to tell her story and that of her very important work in Karachi”, says Mahera Omar.
The film has previously screened at the 2017 Karachi Literature Festival, the Lund International Architecture Film Festival in Sweden, Architecture Film Festival of South Africa, Beijing international Women’s Film Festival and Awareness Film Festival in Los Angeles, USA.
Story first published: 29th October 2017