To what lengths will a mother go to save her daughter from a child marriage?

Written and Directed by Afia Nathaniel

In the mountains of Pakistan, a mother and her 10 year-old-daughter flee their home on the day of the child’s marriage to a tribal leader, triggering a deadly hunt for mother and child.

Dukhtar (Daughter) is a drama/thriller set in Pakistan. A mother kidnaps her ten-year-old daughter to save her from the fate of a child bride. Their daring escape triggers a relentless hunt. As their pursuers close in on them, mother and daughter meet a cynical truck driver who offers an unlikely hope. Their destinies entwined, the trio embark on an epic journey through the stunning landscape of Pakistan where the quest for love and freedom comes with a price.

To find out more about the film, go to the Dukhtar website


Nominee: Gotham Awards “Live The Dream” grant from Calvin Klein
IFP Narrative Labs 2013
Winner, Women in Film Grant
Winner, Adrienne Shelly Filmmaker Grant, Tribeca Film Institute
Winner, NYSCA grant
Awarded, Cinereach Grant- Post-Production
Winner, WorldView New Genre Fund, UK
Winner, Sorfund, Films from the South, Norway
Semi-Finalist- Nicholl Fellowship-Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
Winner, Geri Ashur Screenwriting award, NYFA
Official Selection, Fast Track, Film Independent, Los Angeles Film Festival
Official Selection, Berlin Talent Market
Winner, National Geographic- All Roads Seed Grant
Winner, Hubert Bals Fund –Development, Rotterdam Film Festival
Awarded, Cinereach Grant- Development
Winner, “Best Screenplay” Emerging Narrative, IFP Market, New York
Winner, “Ezra Litwak Award” for Distinction in Screenwriting, Columbia University.

Press and Reviews

The Hollywood Reporter: “Afia Nathaniel’s feature directing debut generates enough tension to fuel a harrowing real-life story while adding another unforgettable heroine to cinema from the region.”

Indiewire: “‘Dukhtar’ is a small gem forged out the director’s desire to craft a story which, though small in scope, could connect with Pakistani people on a more profound level than the shiny musical tales in mainstream local cinema ever could. This is in its own right a groundbreaking film unlike anything done by a director from this particular part of the world. It’s art and social change united in harmony via soulful storytelling.”

NY Times Interview with direct Afia Nathaniel: “Avoiding Sectarian Violence to tell a story that refused to go away.” http://carpetbagger.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/12/12/avoiding-sectarian-violence-to-tell-a-story-that-refused-to-go-away/