The “Girls Impact the World” Film Festival happens every year. An organisation named “Connect Her” holds this event to feature short films made by students. The films focus on women issues. The stories surround issues such as education, violence, poverty and economic independence among others.
These stories hit home for everyone. They’re all very thought-provoking. They will make you stop and think about the world around you, you’ll see things you might’ve previously been blind to.
This year, Sarah Jehaan Khan, a Pakistani student at Oxford University won the competition’s “Global Impact” (Green IS) category with her film “Passoon”. In Pashto, Passoon (پاسون) means to rise up for a cause. It documents how women in rural Pakistan raise their voices against climate change. The main feature of the film is the story of a young girl named Manal Khan.
Manal Khan is an even younger, Pakistani version of Greta Thunberg. Her speeches are full of emotion and all of her points make sense. She is so young but has the environmental knowledge of a grown-up. She understands how trees help curb flash floods and how humans have impacted the earth – for the worse.
In just a couple of minutes, Manal’s voice will move you. It’s crazy to think about how children that young have to think about things like climate change. They have to worry about things like having adequate water to survive in the future and whether or not the Earth will have clean enough air to breathe when they’re older.
Sarah Khan portrayed the emotion and seriousness of the situation through her film beautifully. The shots, the music and everything in between will keep you glued to the screen throughout.
She travelled to Pakistan between her university assignments to film and edit the whole film! Most of us can’t even finish our assignments on time, and here she is travelling across the world to do everything at once!
Nikki Reed and Ian Somerhalder, who work with the organisation themselves, announced Sarah’s win in an Instagram post! They talked about how much they loved her film and urged her to keep making more films in the future.
Congratulations Sarah! We loved your film. Thank you for using this opportunity to show this side of Pakistan to the rest of the world. We can’t wait to see what you come out with next!