In Flames

Saturday, March 2
The Screening Room
7:00 pm
Sunday, March 3
The Screening Room
4:00 pm

A grave series of crises for a young medical student in Karachi takes a supernatural turn in this eerie and affecting feature debut by Toronto’s Zarrar Kahn, a recent prizewinner at the Red Sea International Film Festival. As her family faces daunting financial challenges in the wake of her grandfather’s death, Mariam (Ramesha Nawal) grows closer to a fellow student only for her chance for happiness to be dashed by misfortunes and other events that are harsh reminders of the perils facing women in her society. Blending stark social realism with touches of horror and fantasy, Kahn finds an original and very potent means of portraying not just his characters’ predicament but a wider reality in a way that’s not soon forgotten. Fun fact: Zarrar is a graduate of the Queen’s University Stage & Screen program and is a former KCFF intern.

Director: Zarrar Kahn

Cast: Ramesha Nawal, Bakhtawar Mazhar, Omar Javaid, Mohammad Ali Hashmi

Language: Urdu with English subtitles

Runtime: 98 minutes

Content advisory: themes of abuse; mature themes, frightening scenes, sexual innuendo

Zarrar Kahn, director


Zarrar Kahn is an award-winning Pakistani-Canadian film director and screenwriter, whose debut feature film In Flames premiered at the 2023 Cannes and TIFF Film Festival’s. He directed a number of short films in the late 2010s and early 2020s, earning a reputation as one of the most exciting new Pakistani filmmakers, before making In Flames. He is an alum of the 2021 Norman Jewison Film Program, an alumnus of the TIFF Talent Lab, Locarno Filmmakers Academy, Open Doors Locarno, Asian Film Academy and Director’s Lab program at the Canadian Film Centre. His works have been screened and awarded in over 100+ film festivals worldwide, including TIFF, Locarno, and BFI London.


Kahn’s international breakout short film Dia, about a girl who pursues an online relationship while her conservative mother is suggesting an arranged marriage, won the Shorts Weeks audience award at Locarno film festival in 2020.  Additional short films include Stray Dogs Come Out At Night, which played at Clermont-Ferrand and BFI London Film Festival; Bhai, which played in Toronto and was nominated for IMDbPro Short Cuts Award for Best Canadian Film; and 1978, which competed at both Locarno and Palm Springs film festivals.