Iram Parveen Bilal
Born
Iram Parveen Bilal

Alma materCalifornia Institute of Technology, University of Southern California
OccupationFilmmaker
Known forI'll Meet You There (Film) Qalambaaz (Screenwriting Lab)

Iram Parveen Bilal is a Pakistani-American filmmaker, activist and entrepreneur. In 2020, her latest feature film I'll Meet You There debuted at South By Southwest (SXSW) in narrative competition.[1]

Early life

Bilal was raised in Pakistan, and came to the USA to study at the California Institute of Technology. She graduated with her B.S, honors, in Environmental Science Engineering. Upon graduating, Bilal was awarded a unique opportunity with the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, a travel fellowship grant that took her around the world.[2]

She was the inspiration behind Kareena Kapoor’s character name in the movie Agent Vinod.[3][4]

Career

Filmmaker

Her latest film, I'll Meet You There, is a family drama about a Muslim cop and his teenage ballerina daughter. The project was a Film Independent writer/director lab project and 1 of 10 out of thousands selected to compete in the SXSW 2020 grand jury. It further went on to compete at the Bentonville Film Festival as well.

Bilal was also 1 of 15 directors invited to Cinefondation's L'Atelier at Cannes 2019 for her feature project WAKHRI (ONE OF A KIND), based on a social media star in Pakistan.[5]

Her previous film Josh: Independence Through Unity is a mystery thriller set in Karachi that follows an upper class woman who becomes determined to find out what happened to her missing caretaker. Her journey takes her to a nearby village run by a feudal lord, and in the process endangers herself and others. The story tackles themes of feudalism, youth movements, poverty, and the challenges of trying to do good amidst social unrest.[2] Josh was Pakistan's first film to be on Netflix and in the permanent selection at the US Library of Congress.

Bilal was hired to direct the live action adaptation of the wildly popular The PhD comics in 2015. That led to her second feature: The PhD Movie: Still in Grad School. She is a Thomas J Watson, Women In Film, Film Independent and CAPE fellow and an active member of the Alliance of Women Directors and Film Fatales, both organizations vested for fair representation of female directors in the entertainment industry.

Other feature projects in development have received attention by IFP, The Academy’s Nicholl Writing Fellowship, Mumbai Sankalan Lab, Film Independent and Women In Film. Prominent awards and honors include the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, Stark Special Project Scholarship,[6] Mabel Beckman Leadership Award, Paul Studenski Fellowship and the Dean’s Cup. In March 2013, she was asked to give a TedX talk entitled "Get Uncomfortable Now" at Caltech.[7]

Qalambaaz

In 2014 Bilal initiated Qalambaaz,[8] a platform that provides mentors and nurtures the growth of screenplay writers through competition. The screenplay writing competition was recently launched at The Second Floor (T2F) under Bilal's banner Parveen Shah Productions.[9] Bilal clarifies that the platform does not promise funding for filmmakers, but guarantees a final product that can be sold as a possible feature film production.[10]

Filmography

Year Title Notes
1 2009 Marwa Director Short Film
2 2012 Poshak/Facade Writer, Editor, Director & Producer Short Film
3 2013 Kwaku Ananse Writer Short Film
3 2013 Josh: Independence Through Unity Writer, Director & Producer Feature length film.

Screened at 14th Mumbai Film Festival

4 2014 Dho Dala: The Sin Washer Writer, Editor, Director & Producer Short Film
5 2015 Piled Higher and Deeper: Still in Grad School Director Feature length film. Comedy.
6 2017 Extinction Editor, Director & Producer Short Film[11]
7 2019 This is Personal Director Documentary
8 2019 Detained Writer TV Pilot
9 2019 I'll Meet You There Writer, Director & Producer Feature length film[12]

SXSW 2020[1] - Narrative Competition

9 2019 Wahkri (One of a Kind) Writer, Director & Producer Feature length film.

Cannes L'Atelier[5]

References

  1. ^ a b "I'll Meet You There". SXSW 2020 Schedule. Retrieved 2021-02-02.
  2. ^ a b "Caltech Alumni". Archived from the original on 30 December 2014. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
  3. ^ "Meet the real Iram Parveen Bilal - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2017-09-15.
  4. ^ "Ushering in the New-Wave of Pakistani Cinema: Iram Parveen Bilal - The Review Monk". The Review Monk. Retrieved 2017-09-15.
  5. ^ a b "L'Atelier 2019". Festival Cannes. 3/4/2019. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  6. ^ "Iram Parveen Bilal". IFFR. 2015-09-04. Retrieved 2017-09-15.
  7. ^ "Ted Conferences". Retrieved 11 January 2015.
  8. ^ "QALAMBAAZ | Parveen Shah Productions". Ipblsk. Retrieved 2021-02-02.
  9. ^ "The Story Exchange". Retrieved 11 January 2015.
  10. ^ Qamar, Saadia. "Qalambaaz: In search of the perfect screenplay". Retrieved 11 January 2015.
  11. ^ Siddiqi, Aiman (2016-09-18). "Iram Parveen Bilal's Extinction takes a dig at Donald Trump". HIP. Retrieved 2017-09-15.
  12. ^ Ramachandran, Naman (2020-12-17). "Level Forward Acquires North American Rights for SXSW Title 'I'll Meet You There' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 2021-02-02.