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Usman Mukhtar makes his Cannes debut with ‘Bench’

Usman Mukhtar, Pakistan’s young aspiring director, and actor has made his debut at the Cannes International Film Festival with his short film Bench.

The film was shortlisted for the Cannes International Independent Film Festival earlier in September, another feather in Mukhtar’s cap!

Penned by Ali Mudar, the story of Bench explores the struggles of a young couple’s relation in through a simple conversation at a bench in the park played by Rubya Chaudhry and Mukhtar.

The update was also shared by the Embassy of Pakistan in France in a social media post, saying, “Pakistani short film “Bench” by Usman Mukhtar is being screened today at the Cannes International Film Festival taking place in France from October 18-20, 2020.”

Earlier in September, Usman broke the news that Bench was headed for CIFF this year.

“With great humility, joy and pride do we announce that Bench has been selected at the first Cannes International Independent Film Festival – CIFF. we will continue making more films and also make it to the one and only Cannes Film Festival one day”, wrote Usman.


Usman Mukhtar’s directorial got appreciation for its simplicity and ability to grasp attention from audiences and critics.

Earlier in July, the film also got recognition in South Shore Film Festival in New York and was also shortlisted for the best short film category at the Independent Short Awards festival in Los Angeles, USA.

The film had previously been selected for a screening at the 3rd South Asian Film Festival Kolkata, Prisma Awards in Rome and South Asian Film Festival Toronto.

Saman Siddiqui

Saman Siddiqui, A freelance journalist with a Master’s Degree in Mass Communication and MS in Peace and Conflict Studies. Associated with the media industry since 2006. Experience in various capacities including Program Host, Researcher, News Producer, Documentary Making, Voice Over, Content Writing Copy Editing, and Blogging, and currently associated with OyeYeah since 2018, working as an Editor.

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