“Outlawed in Pakistan,” which premiered in January 2013 at the Sundance Film Festival, received further recognition in an article by Michele Langevine Leiby in The Washington Post.
Pulitzer Center grantees Habiba Nosheen and Hilke Schellmann spent five years on the project, which explores legal proceedings and cultural clashes in Pakistan following an accusation of rape by teenager Kainat Soomro. Despite the danger to her life and the lives of her family members, Soomro took four men to court for allegedly gang-raping her as she walked home from school when she was 13.
“Filmmakers Habiba Nosheen and Hilke Schellmann follow Soomro and the men she has accused as they muddle their way through a legal system in which the vast majority of rape cases end with reputations tattered all around but very few convictions. The documentary’s conclusion? The criminal justice system in Pakistan is hopelessly flawed on all sides,” Leiby wrote in the article, published February 10, 2013.
In her article, Leiby notes Nosheen's observation that while there is a high level of awareness of sexual violence in Pakistan, "Pakistanis tend to pay more attention when the issues are discussed in films for a Western audience."
The Los Angeles Times called "Outlawed in Pakistan" “among the standouts” of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, where it was one of 15 short documentaries shown. The documentary also has been shown at the International Documentary Film Festival (IDFA). You can watch a short trailer for the documentary here.