A documentary about Sheema Kermani won big at Montreal’s South Asian Film Festival

Sheema Kermani, one of the most celebrated Pakistanis for her fight to end social injustice in the country, has a documentary based on her life and work.

Directed by Taimur Rahim with Waheed Ali as associate producer, With Bells on her Feet is a glimpse into the classical dancer’s past and the trailer is nothing less than inspirational.

It’s no surprise then that the doc won big at the South Asian Film Festival of Montreal; the team bagged the Best Short and Audience Choice accolade.

Rahim revealed, “This film is a labour of love. Miss Sheema Kermani’s many years of experience and especially the beauty she brings to every movement is the essence of the film. Moving forward my hope is that our youth be uninhibitedly allowed to express themselves, whether it’s dance or any other form of expression. May freedom, kindness and tolerance always prevail.”

In the one minute trailer, Kermani’s voiceover explains how dance for a woman is a freeing experience. “For me, there is a direct relationship between dance and liberation. When a woman stands on stage to dance what she’s saying is: ‘Here I am, I’m not ashamed of my body, I am confident and I do not fear you.'”

“My journey has been a lonely one but what keeps me going is a hope that future generations will embrace dance not just as an art form it is a means to achieve peace, humility and beauty.”

Talking to Images, Kermani shared, “I was quite taken aback and surprised when a handsome young man came to see me, he introduced himself as a filmmaker and said that he wanted to make a short documentary about my life and work. Nothing that I said would put him off and soon I was persuaded by his conviction and determination.”

“It is a pleasure and truly an honour for me and I congratulate both Taimur and Waheed for these awards. And yes! the bells must tinker on!”

The 15-minute doc will be available online some time next year.