The Mermaid of Churna Island

“The Mermaid of Churna Island”

Video Format: Full Colour, HD 

Duration: 21 minutes

Languages: Urdu & English with English subtitles

Directed and Produced by Nameera Ahmed



This is the story of Rosheen Khan, Pakistan’s first and only female SCUBA diving instructor, who overcame many hurdles in her young life to arrive where she is now. Rosheen comes from a conservative family background where even getting an education for a girl is a struggle. She met Yousuf Ali, a Master Instructor in Karachi, who propelled her down a path she could never have imagined, taking her on a scuba diving career from where she never looked back. With interviews also of her colleagues, both her male and female students, and Yousuf Ali, the film reveals startling elements not only from her scuba career, but from her personal life, telling the story of a woman of courage who dares to live her dream. 

Directed and narrated by Nameera Ahmed, both Rosheen’s scuba student, and a practicing documentary filmmaker in Karachi, this film is shot both on land and underwater by Nameera. It is a very personal account and a subjective response to women’s empowerment in her society, which she gives meaning to through Rosheen’s life. As the film progresses, it peels off layers of meaning, and takes the audience deeper into a poetic inquiry into life, death, desire, and longing.

You can watch "Mermaid of Churna Island" here.

International Screenings of “The Mermaid of Churna Island”:

Pakistan International Documentary Film Festival, Islamabad  2016

Scuba Adventures Diving Club, Karachi  2016    

ASPTT Club de Plongée, Saint-Étienne, France  2016

Seattle South Asian Film Festival, Seattle, October  2015

Al-Jazeera International Documentary Film Festival, Seattle, November 2015

Alliance Francaise de Karachi, June   2015

Screening Programme “The Mermaid and Other Water Stories”

I Am Karachi Film Festival, Karachi, June  2015

Bosphorous Univeristy, Istanbul, November  2014

Public screening and discussion:

Smith College, Northampton, MA, October   2014

Global Salon screenings and discussion:

UCLA, Los Angeles, Department of Art History, October  2014

Screening and discussion with students and faculty:

Human Rights Film Festival,

Echo Park Film Center, Los Angeles, October 2014

School of Communications, American University, Washington D.C. October 2014

The Hill Center, Washington D.C., October  2014

Panel Discussion with Women in Film and Video (WIFV),  with Nameera Ahmed, Beth Mendelson, and Frances Hardin

The Blue Planet Scuba Dive Center, Washington D.C., October  2014

You can watch "Mermaid of Churna Island" here.