All photographs courtesy Kami Syed
All photographs courtesy Kami Syed

Kami Sid made headlines when she debuted as a model in November last year. The transgender activist used her fashion shoot with photographer Haseeb M Siddiqui to highlight the need for the mainstreaming of Pakistan's transgender community.

Now, Kami is set to appear in a short film to send another message about transgender rights. The film, titled Rani, has been directed by US-based director Hammad Rizvi and produced by Karachi-based production house GrayScale and hopes through this effort.

Kami will play a toy vendor named Rani in the short film
Kami will play a toy vendor named Rani in the short film

Says Kami about her film, "The short film is called Rani and I play the titular character, who is a transgender. The film was shot around the beginning of October and is in post production now. The story is absolutely brilliant."

"In the film, we've shown that transgenders can do a lot more than just sex work and dancing at weddings."

The film will raise awareness about the transgender community
The film will raise awareness about the transgender community

Images decided to get in touch with Assistant Producer Omema Nasir at production house GrayScale to find out more about Rani.

Images: What can Grayscale reveal about the film Rani at this point? What is the film about?

Omema: Rani tells the story of a transgender who makes a living selling toys on the streets of Karachi, Pakistan. One day she finds an abandoned baby, lying in a cradle outside an orphanage. Overcome by emotion, she picks the baby and takes it home. Later, after a series of distressing events, she realises the discrimination the child would face as a result of her decision.

The film was shot in October last year
The film was shot in October last year

Images: How did the project originate? Did a writer/director come to Grayscale with the story, or was the story idea also generated in-house?

Omema: The story was written and developed by Hammad Rizvi, an award winning filmmaker based in the US, who came to us with an early version of his script. Given the nature of projects we had been previously involved in, we partnered with Hammad immediately and took on the role of producing the film for him.

Kami was considered the perfect choice for the role
Kami was considered the perfect choice for the role

Images: Could you tell us a little about the casting process? Did you go through several actors or did you always have Kami in mind for the lead role? Are there any other known personalities in the film?

Omema: We were already working with Kami, on a short documentary film on transgenders, when we were approached by Hammad. We immediately knew Kami was the right choice for the role, and after sending Hammad a video audition, locked her for the role early on. This was one of the best decisions we made, as Kami was instrumental in helping us develop our story, our dialogues, and in the remainder of our casting process. We used genuine transgenders in the film, and used mainly non professional actors, along with some new talent we sourced through a casting agency.

Images: When and where is the film likely to be premiered?

Omema: The film is currently undergoing post production in the US. We are hoping for a premiere sometime towards the middle of this year, and plan to take it to a number of festivals worldwide. Currently we are still undecided where to premiere the film, but have already gained considerable interest in our story.


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Comments (12) Closed

AHA Jan 10, 2017 10:20am

Good luck

Pakistani Jan 10, 2017 11:48am

I wish you success in achieving equal rights as humans in the society. I wish you, along with other brave people of Pakistan can change the life of trsnsgenders in this country. Kami you are a brave person, never give up on your dreams.

ahmar qureshi Jan 10, 2017 12:05pm

Best wishes for the whole team for the success of this movie. Success will only be achieve if people could learn a lesson & to practically implement upon what they will learn! Transgenders are Human beings first! They did not created themselves or opted to be in 3rd gender. Let them live like any other civilians.

abid Jan 10, 2017 12:10pm

i very happy to see kami is working on films . wish u all the best its a chance to tell the society u r not really like common people . when i see transgender i always thinking about them . There r few questions suddenly come in my mind that are they are the son or daughter of someone ? why their parents leave them like that just bagging on the street and people tease them ? what are the their feeling? what is the purpose of their life ? what are their wants and what want to become? why society treated like that ? why society neglect them? i think it i duty of govt and media to arrange transgender oriented jobs and also open a free education institutions to provide a technical education . I meet most of transgender they are very polite and soft heart.

abid Jan 10, 2017 12:21pm

wish u all best and its time the society that neglect u that u are not really a common people u people really are special .

Aly Alp-Ercelan Jan 10, 2017 12:49pm


sashayub Jan 10, 2017 01:31pm

excellent initiative...........wishing all those involved, the best of luck. all prayers.

Ahmed Qureshi Jan 10, 2017 02:22pm

Good luck Kami. I wish you will prove yourself as beacon light for your other colleagues. You are human and must be treated as man and woman in our society.

Keep it upl

Babar Jan 10, 2017 03:20pm

Why should they be parked aside. They are also human beings, creation of God.

Agha Ata Jan 10, 2017 08:15pm

Congratulations Kami Si, you are a pioneer. :)

Zeeshan ahmed Jan 12, 2017 02:36am

We have a responsibility as citizens to ensure vulnerable people receive the right guidance and are not misled to their ultimate demise. Homosexuality is a mental condition which prevents the human species from biologically reproducing. There is an abnormably high rate of STDs amongst this community. Telling them they are normal and that what they practice is natural is deceiving them. They need help and treatment, not approval by those who feel the need to pat themselves on the back to win the liberal award.

Junaid Ghauri Jan 12, 2017 08:35pm

I slute all of the team of film Rani. Especially director Hamad rizvi and all team for a brave step. I wish you a very good luck. I am waiting for this movie badly. I am sure with this movie many hearts and minds will change. Transgenders are part of our socity anf we should respect them and provide them opprotunity to become effective part of our society and to prove them selfs but i am sure with this movie we hope that people will change