Matteela was formed in 2001 as a media collective by Farjad Nabi and Mazhar Zaidi, with the not so ambitious aspiration to ‘change’ the sedentary mainstream narratives that permeated the public discourses in Pakistan. Matteela films began with projects that sought to engage alternative voices and histories so as to overhaul the shrink-wrapped version and vision of our past and common future.
Indie filmmakers, burgeoning authors, maverick musicians and self-proclaimed philosophers converged in Matteela’s beautiful if run-down studio in old Anarkali to debate, deliberate and disseminate their work. In the first decade we made some award winning documentary films, ran Lahore’s first Documentary film festival, produced a nation-wide short film project, published books and recorded an album of folk musicians which went on to win the BBC World Music Award.
In 2010, Meenu Gaur joined Matteela after completing her doctorate in film studies and with her came the urgent and compelling plan to make our first feature film which went on to be Pakistan’s entry to the Oscars after a gap of more than half a century. The film met with phenomenal success with reviewers calling it the ‘best film to come out of modern day Pakistani cinema.’
Matteela is up to a lot these days, we have our own top of the line color grading studio, we are making our first stop motion animation film, producing international and local feature and documentary films, conducting a travelling film festival, working closely with community based organizations, involved in several social campaigns, engaged in academic research on Pakistani cinema and so much more… delve in here and find out.