The U.S. Mission to Pakistan is committed to promoting constructive engagement on regional security and peace in South Asia. As South Asia’s entertainment hub, they seek to convene emerging filmmakers and digital storytellers in select provinces of India and Pakistan to develop stories that shed light on these cultural, traditional, societal, and historical narratives that can bring the people of Pakistan and India together.

Project Goal: U.S. Mission to Pakistan seeks proposals that inform the perspective of Pakistani and Indian digital storytellers and emerging filmmakers through people-to-people exchange and professional development. A successful program will develop visual narratives that celebrate the shared history and culture of Pakistan and India, while recognizing the partnership of the United States. The goal of the program is to enable creators of digital content to design projects that contribute to civilian regional stability by encouraging social change and peaceful understanding between India and Pakistan, highlighting the role of partnerships.


Over 12 months the grantee will develop the production skills of filmmakers and digital storytellers, conduct training workshops, and organize film screenings of the produced digital stories to build empathy and foster reconciliation through the arts. The program should build the capacity of filmmakers and digital storytellers to create and produce content that critically addresses problematic and destabilizing aspects of India-Pakistan relations. The phases of the project include expert trainer and participant identification, an online training, an in-person plenary session, a small grants program to support a collaborative product, and film screenings. Competitive proposals will aim to achieve and demonstrate the following objectives:

  • Increase in the capacity of filmmakers and digital storytellers in production (screenwriting, filming, videography, supervising), and post-production skills (video editing, sound mixing, special effects).
  • Increase knowledge of filmmakers and digital storytellers on reconciliation, shared history, conflict mediation, and countering stereotypes.
  • Increase audience awareness of critical thinking and destabilizing aspects of India-Pakistan relations.

Activities to facilitate accomplishing these goals and objectives include:

  • Phase I: Participant Identification
    • Solicit American, Pakistani, Indian, and other international experts working in digital media and/or film production who can train Pakistani and Indian digital storytellers on production (screenwriting, filming, videography, supervising), and post production skills (video editing, sound mixing, special effects).
    • Formulate and implement a marketing strategy and develop marketing material to solicit filmmaker participants from both Sindh and Balochistan in Pakistan, and the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Goa in India.
    • Solicit, receive, and store applications.
    • Shortlist applications based on the following selection criteria: be aged 21 to 35, have a minimum three years of experience in filmmaking, have at least two digitally published films/stories/videos, demonstrate an interest in developing positive narratives about India, Pakistan, and the United States.
    • Select 21 participants from Pakistan and 21 participants from India with diverse filmmaking skillsets. The grantee should seek gender parity based on the application pool.
  • Phase II: Online Training & Nepal-based Closing Plenary Session
    • Provide an online platform for training the participants. Develop a three-week online training curriculum on advanced technical skills on technical skills.
    • Deliver the training to the selected participants through the online platform.
    • Convene participants together in Nepal for a three-day training conference that includes sessions jointly administered by American, Indian, and Pakistani experts on reconciliation, shared history, conflict mediation, and facing and countering stereotypes. Sessions should critically examine how mass media covers India-Pakistan-U.S. relations and example bias and misinformation in the media.
    • Arrange all travel, accommodation, and workshop-related logistics for the three-day training conference in the third-country location, to serve as the conclusion of formal training on digital storytelling.
    • Facilitate participants to form cross-border groups with a mix of skill sets, for Phase III’s collaborative filmmaking project, including theme identification, and a draft production plan for their digital story.
    • Announce and explain the small grants program available for Phase III.
  • Phase III: Collaborative Filmmaking Small Grants Program
    • Announce the small grants ($5000-7000 per group recommended) available to participants to work on their India-Pakistan Digital Stories after submission of their storyboard/proposal/idea, along with the screenings in their local communities. A minimum of seven digital stories should be produced.
    • Measure progress through a milestone schedule developed as part of the small grants’ application process.
    • Reengage Indian, Pakistani and American experts to reinforce post-production skills and offer mentorship in the film development process, with a focus on connecting participants with television and digital media to air final products. Mentors and participants will be matched based on desired skill development and thematic interests.
  • Phase IV: Film Screenings
    • Organize a one-day film festival in Dubai where all seven digital stories will be screened in presence of Pakistani and India audiences, and representatives of prominent media organizations from Pakistan and India, with participants in attendance.
    • Facilitate participants in organizing film screenings in their regions of residence and/or work, as appropriate, to reach out to audiences from backgrounds and regions that are prone to believing and acting based on the negative narratives about the other country.

PAS Karachi would like proposals to consider the following recommended timeline:

  • Phase I: October 2020—March 2021
  • Phase II: March—April 2021
  • Phase III: April—May 2021
  • Phase IV: June—September 2021


  • Eligibility is open to international and Pakistan-based non-profit organizations. Organizations may sub-award or sub-contract with other entities, but only one non-profit organization can be the prime recipient of the award. Pakistan government entities are not eligible to apply.
  • For-profit entities are not eligible to be the prime recipient of an award under this NOFO. When subawarding or sub-contracting with other entities, the responsibilities of each entity must be clearly defined in the proposal.
  • The applicants must submit proof of their non-profit status with their proposal submission (e.g. proof of 501(c) (3) status, Pakistan NGO license). Applications that do not include proof of non-profit status will not be considered for an award. Individuals are not eligible for an award under this NOFO.
  • U.S.-based or registered organizations should provide proof of registration to operate in Pakistan or have a documented agreement with a partner organization registered to operate in Pakistan.
How to Apply

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