‘In Flames’, Pakistan’s official submission for the 96th Academy Awards, screened at Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Festival on Thursday. Directed by Zarrar Kahn and produced by Anam Abbas, the film also premiered at the Directors’ Fortnight Selection in Cannes earlier this year. The film is based in Karachi and tells the story of how a mother and daughter’s lives are upended by entities from their history – both tangible and spectral. When Mariam’s grandfather, the patriarch of their household in Karachi, dies, the young woman, played by Ramesha Nawal, and her family are suddenly left imperiled. She worries about her bereaved mother Fariah, played by Bakhtawar Mazhar and her spacey brother Bilal “It’s called a horror, but the horror is stemming from society itself,” Mazar was quoted as saying by Deadline earlier this week. “It’s not a Western style of horror. It’s a horror which is coming part from religion, part from our social fabric, which is very complicated, especially with women. I think everybody should see this film to understand Pakistan and Pakistani women at large,” she added. Among other films that screened were Bollywood filmmaker Karan Johar’s ‘Kill’ which also premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) earlier this year. Described as a martial arts and murder choreography, Johar called the film more “relentless” than the ‘John Wick’ action franchise in an earlier conversation with Variety. On Saturday, Johar became the first Indian filmmaker to receive the Variety Vanguard Award, presented by the festival. The award recognizes industry leaders who have significantly contributed to the global entertainment business. During a conversation with Variety at this year’s festival, he spoke about how instead of Hollywood he prefers to work in Bollywood as “the world needs to wake up to Indian stories and storytelling.” Celebrities in attendance this year included Will Smith, Johnny Depp, Sharon Stone, Katrina Kaif and Sofía Vergara. Actor Diane Kruger received a lifetime achievement award, while Bollywood actor Ranveer Singh received an honorary award. Last year, Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan was given an honorary award for his contribution to cinema.