This Stained Dawn
Dagh Dagh Ujala

Canada, Pakistan202189 minUrdu, English with English subtitlesNorth American PremiereDocumentary, Women Filmmakers

In the electrifying lead-up to the multi-city Aurat March (Women’s March) in Pakistan, director Anam Abbas follows grassroots organizers as they navigate a deeply surveilled and violent environment to assert a growing, nation-wide feminist movement. Negotiating freedoms with fearful relatives and dodging constant scrutiny, activists move with unbreakable commitment to galvanizing their communities with a radical feminist agenda.

Using observational footage of heated organizing conversations and extensive coverage of the movement and its backlash across 11 cities, Abbas constructs a layered narrative, astutely tracing state suppression of women’s resistance in Pakistan to the damage caused by its colonial past. This Stained Dawn (Dagh Dagh Ujala), which borrows its title from a verse by revolutionary poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz about the tainted dawn after a violent partition, is a powerful record of a turning point in Pakistan’s history, as one of the most urgent displays of large-scale feminist organizing gains remarkable momentum and promise.

- Mariam Zaidi



Sheffield DocFest

Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival


Director Bio

Anam Abbas

Anam Abbas is a Pakistani Canadian film producer, director and cinematographer. She is a 2018 Berlinale Talent, 2020 Berlinale Talents Project Market, 2019 Film Independent Global Media Maker, and 2020 Cannes Producers Network Fellow. Abbas is also one of the founding members of the Documentary Association of Pakistan.

10 Nov, 2021

to 19 Nov, 2021




With Support From

Community Supporter 

Toronto Global Shapers


  This presentation has no captions.

This presentation has English subtitles.

You May Also Like...

Online Presentation: Islands

Shy, sheltered, middle-aged Joshua lives with his elderly parents and is desperately lonely as he longs for a wife. When he’s suddenly forced into a caretaking role for his family, Joshua goes further adrift into isolation, and his Scarborough bungalow feels like a prison. Help arrives unexpectedly when his cousin Marisol flies in from overseas to help—except now, Joshua finds himself confronted with emotions and experiences he’s never had before.

10 Nov. - 19 Nov.

Hail, Driver!

Aman, a young aspiring writer, moved to Kuala Lumpur to follow his dreams, but all he has is his late father’s old car and nowhere to live. To make ends meet, he uses his room on wheels to illegally earn money through a driving-service app. This is how he meets Bella, a student from Penang.

10 Nov. - 19 Nov.


The shorts in this program include works screened two decades ago at Desh Pardesh, as well as films made last year by a cohort of South Asian and Indo Caribbean emerging filmmakers who participated in Inside Out Festival’s Short Film Lab.

10 Nov. - 19 Nov.

Open Tickets Cart