March 2, 2017

Screening of Dukhtar (Daughter) by Afia Nathaniel opens spring edition of Cinema Today series

The Visual Arts Program in the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University and the Princeton Garden Theatre will present a special screening of Afia Nathaniel’s award-winning film Dukhtar (Daughter), opening the spring edition of the collaborative film series Cinema Today. Followed by a discussion with the filmmaker, the screening will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 9 at the Garden Theatre, 160 Nassau Street. Tickets ranging from $6 to $11 are available to the public at; tickets are free to Princeton University students, faculty and staff with ID at the Garden Theatre box office.

child bride

A scene from Afia Nathaniel’s film Dukhtar (Daughter)

Dukhtar, Nathaniel’s debut feature film, follows a mother and her ten-year-old daughter as they flee from their village in Pakistan on the day of the girl’s marriage to a tribal leader. A deadly hunt ensues for them in a surreal landscape, which the Huffington Post calls “a road journey to end all road journeys”. The film premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in 2014 and was Pakistan’s Official Submission for Foreign Language Film for the 2015 Academy Awards®. The film has played to critical acclaim in over 20 countries and became a Village Voice Critics’ Pick for 2015 and a People Magazine’s Pick of the Week, winning several other awards as well.

The current Cinema Today series has been organized by Director of the Program in Visual Arts Joe Scanlan and Mike Kamison, programming director of the Garden Theatre. The series tackles issues within the film industry today through conversations with four contemporary filmmakers – all of whom have a connection to Princeton. A fall edition of the series included screenings and discussions with filmmakers Charlie Kaufman, Terrence Malick, and Kelly Reichardt, among others.

The Princeton Garden Theatre was recently named the best movie theater in New Jersey, as voted by readers. The Garden is recognized as the theater that best serves its community, with a robust and unique programming schedule that caters to casual movie-goers, film buffs, college students, live theater aficionados and more.

Afia Nathaniel, a computer-scientist-turned-filmmaker, is currently the Peter B. Lewis Arts Fellow (2016-18) at Princeton and is teaching film courses. She has been featured in Variety, The New York Times, Indiewire, NPR, Huffington Post and Screen Daily. She is the recipient of the Adrienne Shelly Award for Directors and was nominated for a 2013 Gotham Award. She has been a fellow of the New York Foundation for the Arts, World Studio Foundation, American Association of University Margaret McNamara Memorial Fund, a recipient of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association Grant, and Ezra Litwak for Distinction in Screenwriting Award. She has taught screenwriting at Columbia University’s School of the Arts and NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Born and raised in Pakistan, she has been living in the U.S. since 2001.

Future screenings in the Cinema Today series include Su Friedrich’s documentary I Cannot Tell You How I Feel and her autobiographical film Seeing Red on March 16 and Princeton alumni Todd and Jedd Wider’s God Knows Where I Am, a documentary that questions societal norms for dealing with the mentally ill and homeless.

The Cinema Today series is supported through the John Sacret Young ’69 Lecture Series fund. Sacret Young is a 1969 graduate of Princeton and an author, producer, director, and screenwriter. He has been nominated for seven Emmy Awards and seven Writers Guild of America (WGA) Awards, winning two WGA Awards. He is perhaps best known for co-creating, along with William F. Broyles Jr., China Beach, the critically acclaimed ABC-TV drama series about medics and nurses during the Vietnam War, and for his work on the television drama The West Wing. Young has also received a Golden Globe and a Peabody Award, and his original mini-series about the Gulf War, Thanks of a Grateful Nation, was honored with his fifth Humanitas Prize nomination.

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