Screening of 'The Mermaid of Churna Island'

Upcoming screening of 'The Mermaid of Churna Island' at the British Council on 6th May.

Meet the Mermaid in person! :)

Production on documentary for Nameera Ahmed's "Le Corps de l'instrument" (The Body of the Instrument). Saint-Étienne, France, 2016

Ophélie Pierra on camera


From left to right: Guillaume Rolly, Ophélie Pierra, Nameera Ahmed and Franck Emery.

A film by Nameera Ahmed, Saint-Étienne, France. Realised during the international filmmakers and musicians' laboratory, Kinoctambule 2016

This documentary film explores the relationship between the electronic bass player, Franck Emery (also known as Frankhan) and his instrument. Camera operators: Ophélie Pierra and Guillaume Rolly 

Production on set for Noël Faure's "A tout à l'heure", Saint-Étienne, France 2016

Cast & Crew: Jean-Antoine Raveyre, Kathleen Dol, Guillaume Rolly, Olivier Pradel, Nadia Bakour, Cédric Lamarsalle, Agnès Noël, Aurélie Sivaciyan, Aurélie Nadia Pierra, Elodie Elson, Nameera Ahmed.  

Map of Churna Island

The map of Churna Island and its various dive sites, drawn as part of my PADI Divemaster certification course.

Article in Dawn

Befriending the mermaid on Facebook

New Documentary 'The Mermaid of Churna Island'

Video Format: Full Colour, HD 
Duration: 21 minutes
Languages: Urdu & English with English subtitles 
Directed and Produced by Nameera Ahmed


This is the story of Rosheen Khan, Pakistan’s first and only female SCUBA diving instructor, who overcame many hurdles in her young life to arrive where she is now. Rosheen comes from a conservative family background where even getting an education for a girl is a struggle. She met Yousuf Ali, a Master Instructor in Karachi, who propelled her down a path she could never have imagined, taking her on a scuba diving career from where she never looked back. With interviews also of her colleagues, both her male and female students, and Yousuf Ali, the film reveals startling elements not only from her scuba career, but from her personal life, telling the story of a woman of courage who dares to live her dream.

Directed and narrated by Nameera Ahmed, both Rosheen’s dive student, and a practicing documentary filmmaker in Karachi, this film is shot both on land and underwater by Nameera. It is a very personal account and a subjective response to women’s empowerment in her society, which she gives meaning to through Rosheen’s life. As the film progresses, it peels off layers of meaning, and takes the audience deeper into a poetic inquiry into life, death, desire, and longing.

International Screenings of film 'The Mermaid of Churna Island'

- Mumbai International Film Festival, Mumbai, 2018

The British Council, Karachi, 2017

- Pakistan International Mountain Film Festival, Islamabad, 2016

ASPTT Club de Plongée, Saint-Étienne, France, 2016

- Scuba Adventures Dive Centre, Karachi, 2016

- Al-Jazeera International Documentary Film Festival, Doha, Qatar, November, 2015

- Seattle South Asian Film Festival, Seattle, United States, October 2015

The Mermaid and Other Water Stories, Alliance Francaise, Karachi, June 2015

I am Karachi Film Festival, Karachi, June 2015

- Blue Planet Scuba, Washington D.C. United States, September 2014

- The Hill Center, Washington D.C. United States, September 2014

- Panel Discussion: Working in Media in Pakistan as a Woman Filmmaker

with Frances Hardin and Beth Mendelson, of Women in Film & Video

- American University, Film & Media Arts Division, School of Communication

Washington D.C. United States, September 2014

- Human Rights Film Festival, Echo Park Film Center, Los Angeles, U.S. October 2014

- Smith College, Northampton, MA, U.S. October 2014

- UCLA, Department of Art History, U.S. October 2014

- Mithat Alam Film Center, Bosphorus University, Istanbul, Turkey. November 2014

Vimeo Channel

Check out some of my documentary and video art work:

Exhibition at Ahmedabad International Art Festival, October 2012, India

My film "Give Me Your Love" screened at a programme of Sufi films curated by Amrit Gangar, at the Ahmedabad International Art Festial, India, October 2012.

Exhibition Kathmandu International Art Festival, Nepal November 2012

I was invited to exhibit my video art piece "Bloody Birds" and participate in the Kathmandu International Art Festival, Nepal in November 2012, along with around 90 artists from 30 countries.

"Bloody Birds"

“Viewer discretion is advised”

Video Art display "Bloody Birds" by Nameera Ahmed at exhibition titled "Rupture/Rapture"
Curated by: Sumbul Khan
Venue: VM Art Gallery, Karachi
Date: April 4th- 17th 2012

The video starts with a Pollock-esque image, a dark canvas with splashes of paint it seems, but as the video progresses, a gory aspect is revealed.

With references also to the surrealist Georges Franju’s 1949 documentary “Le Sang Des Betes” (The Blood of the Beasts) the statement my videowork poses is a critique of our eating obsessions and fetishes and the mass production of meat by the boom of the poultry industry in recent decades

By juxtaposing audio from a cooking show where the host talks about delicious 'chicken strips', it creates a parallel bird inferno with the enraptured 'chirpy' voice of the cooking host.

Artist’s Statement:

This video artwork is a continuation of my previous works on the theme of ‘the aesthetics of pollution’ where I forced the viewer to look at things we normally turn our faces away from. Within this theme my previous work for the ‘One Mile Square’ project displayed close-up videos of solid-waste pollution, running sewers, and industrial pollution.

Rescuing Raheema

My third film on the theme of the Pakistan floods, "Rescuing Raheema" (2011) was completed for Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum and OXFAM. This short film covers the rescue operations conducted by boat by the Fisherfolk Forum in Sindh, in which they saved 58,000 human lives, and a baby girl, Raheema, who was born after her pregnant mother was saved in these operations.

Nominated at Environment Film Festival, India, December 2011

The documentary "When the Rains Came" (2011) directed by Nameera and produced by Newsline Films for PANOS South Asia, has been nominated for competition in the 6th CMS Vatavaran Environment and Wildlife Film Festival, New Delhi, India, to take place from December 6-10, 2011.

"With more than 300 films from 27 countries and 21 Indian states competing to find a place, it was quite a daunting task for the jury to nominate the best films in each category. The jury has finally nominated 68 films for the 2011 festival. This includes 51 Indian films and 17 International films." 

My second documentary work on the floods, "When the Rains Came" (2011) explores the man-made aspects of the flood disaster of 2010 in Pakistan. As the the monsoon season of 2010 wreaked unprecedented havoc across Pakistan, a country besieged by multiple crises began to grapple with this unexpected crisis of epic proportions, and questions began to surface at many levels. This film explores how much of the damage was natural and how much of it was man-made.

Screening at Goethe-Institut Washington D.C. 2011

September 12  2011:The film "The Living Amongst the Dead" (2010) has been invited for a screening at the Goethe-Institut Washington in an evening of film screenings from Pakistan on September 12, 2011.

This film, produced by the Goethe-Institut Pakistan, about the Pakistan Flood refugees of 2010 Pakistan, who stayed at the historical Makli Tombs (14th-17th Century), one of the largest necropoles in the world, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This centuries-old cultural heritage site became a backdrop for the refugees' survival, and seemed like a threshold between life and death. 
Doha, Qatar, April 2011 

Screening at Goethe-Institut Pakistan

"Give Me Your Love" (2007)

"Give Me Your Love" is a documentary about the story of Jalaluddin Rumi's reed flute and the music of his Whirling Dervishes. Rumi had talked of the making and playing of the ney (reed flute) as a metaphor, for the training and subsequent transformation, of the human spirit. The metaphor still holds power for the Sufis, whose seemingly timeless world within a contemporary context is captured by the film. The viewer gets a taste of their world, of their philosophies and beliefs, the journey of love through audition and the aspiring to the sublime through the mundane.

"Give Me Your Love" has had international screenings in Palermo, Italy; Tehran, Iran; Mumbai, Jaipur and Indore in India; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Istanbul, Turkey; Baku, Azerbaijan; the Netherlands and Karachi, Pakistan. 

It is currently screening at an online film festival, Culture Unplugged.