Pakistani Film Passoon Wins at Girls Impact the World Festival

Sarah Jehaan Khan won the first prize at the Girls Impact the World Festival for her film Passoon, which is based on Manal Shad - a young climate activist.

A Pakistani student, Sarah Jehaan Khan, from the Oxford University won the first prize at the Girls Impact the World Festival for her short film Passoon. The story is based on Manal Shad, who is a young climate activist based in Dir.

What is Passoon About?

The short film highlights exactly what the word Passoon means; to rise for a cause. Passoon documents indigenous and innovative sustainability methods used in Pakistan and celebrates the leadership of young, Pakistani women – such voices are unfortunately overlooked, at times, in the international climate movement.

Inspiration for Passoon for the Girls Impact the World Festival

Sarah Jehaan Khan stated that that she had come across a video of Manal Shad on Social Media, where the young climate activist was giving speech to a congregation of men in Dir about social issues in her hometown. This is when she decided that she will cover this topic for the Girls Impact the World festival.

“I immediately knew I wanted to get in touch with her, and once I managed to find her in Dir, I spent some days at her home and visited her school where I filmed Passoon. Seeing the impact individuals such as Greta Thunberg have had, I felt it was equally important to amplify the voices of young climate activists from developing countries such as Pakistan.”

Furthermore, the filmmaker focused on Passoon for her submission to the Girls Impact the World Festival as it highlighted the cost that humans have to pay due to climate change, as well as reveal how it can threaten the rights of the humans as we know them.

When Sarah posted a shorter version of the film on Instagram, she stated, “Happy Earth Day, everyone! This is a short profile of a young climate activist in Dir, Pakistan named Manal Shad. In Pashto, Passoon (پاسون) means to rise up for a cause. It is just a small effort to document the stories of climate activism from rural Pakistan which tend to be overlooked internationally.

Women in developing countries are disproportionately impacted by climate change, but their knowledge and expertise also makes them the most valuable source of knowledge regarding climate adaptation and mitigation. 🌍”

Check out Passoon in the video below:


We would like to congratulate Sarah for winning the first prize at the Girls Impact the World Festival for Passoon, and look forward to her work in the future as well. 


If you want to read more about the COVID-19’s impact on the air quality in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, click here.


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