Beyond the Heights | Documentary Shorts


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Grains of GoldA nomadic tribe searches for gold specks along the riverbed in the remote areas of Northern Pakistan.

Dust to Dust: In the ageless city of Lahore, Pakistan, it is business as usual for Ashraf as he digs yet another grave.

RubaiRubai documents a day in the life of Kashmir through the accounts of four people.

Beyond the HeightsBeyond the Heights is a documentary film based on the true story of the first Pakistani female mountaineer to climb Mount Everest at the age of 22.

Presented by Tasveer and University of Washington South Asia Center

Free to UW students (ID required).

Film Descriptions

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Grains of Gold

11 mins || Urdu || Pakistan || 2017

In the northern areas of Pakistan, a tribe known as the Maru’tz has been panning for gold through the centuries. This trade has been continued to be passed down from family to family. Using traditional methods they acquire specks of gold through hard days of labour. The Maru’tz lifestyle is nomadic, forcing them to live in tents on the riverbed. As the gold begins to diminish they must move on to the next site, hoping for better luck.

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Director's Bio

Ali Atif was born on July 14, 1991 in Quetta, Pakistan. He is a film graduate from the National College of Arts Lahore. His work is based in the Northern Areas of Pakistan on the mountain tribes of this remote region.

Dust to Dust

12 mins || Urdu || Canada, Pakistan || 2017

Dust to Dust touches upon the fundamental truth of life – death – and the eternal human quest to transcend it. Ashraf, a gravedigger in Lahore, tries to find a greater meaning in life through his daily confrontations with death.

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Director's Bio

Dust to Dust was directed by Mahnoor Zaidi.


15 mins || English, Hindi || India || 2018

Rubai documents a day in the life of Kashmir through accounts of four people. A young girl who faces daily struggles to go to school and study, an outsider who is both excited and apprehensive about getting married in Kashmir, his wife who has bittersweet memories of growing up in the valley, and a native poet who finds peace in the spiritual connection of Kashmir. The film recalls the strength and love of the people of Kashmir as they hope against the prevailing turmoil.

Director's Bio

Rubai was directed by Fahd Shah.

Beyond the Heights

47 mins || Urdu || Pakistan || 2015

Beyond the Heights is a documentary film based on the true story of the first Pakistani female mountaineer to climb Mount Everest at the age of 22. A young woman from Shimshal, a small village in the Hunza valley once considered a prison, overcoming numerous hardships and sought new horizons with her willpower and motivation. The story also covers the relationship and love of a brother and sister, as the brother supports his sister’s dream of being the first from the country to reach to the top of Mt. Everest. The story encourages gender equality and is and example of women’s empowerment in Pakistan and in other Muslim countries. The film is a true story, filmed with only two cameras and a very limited budget.

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Director's Bio

Mirza Ali is a professional mountaineer, tour operator, adventure filmmaker/photographer, and promoter of outdoor education and adventure sports from Hunza/Shimshal in the Karakorum Frontier valley of Pakistan. Mirza has lived out his love for the outdoors in multiple climbing expeditions. Together with his sister Samina Baig, the only rising young female mountaineer in Pakistan, he has climbed the seven highest mountains on seven continents. He is a women’s empowerment activist, who encourages gender equality through mountaineering. Mirza is also a pioneer in making documentaries about mountain climbing. He is the first person from Pakistan who has made documentaries about mountain climbing and presented them at international film festivals.