Paula Returns – Honor Diaries at the Chicago International Film Festival

By Paula Kweskin

I’ve made it home from our world premiere at the illustrious Chicago International Film Festival and am still riding the wave of all the positive feedback for Honor Diaries.

I am delighted that we sold out both of our film festival showings, and that so many different types of people came to learn about honor violence and show their support for women and girls worldwide: moms, dads, students, new immigrants, young and old, people from all walks of life, religious beliefs, and backgrounds.

The experience was an emotional one for me.  It was very powerful to reunite with Raheel Raza, Zainab Khan, and Juliana Taimoorazy!

Paula and the Honor Diaries cast Chicago

The strength they exude and , the power of their sisterhood uplifted and encouraged me.  Their spirit always helps me tune out the intense negative subject matter and focus on our ultimate goal: empowering women.

I moderated a panel discussion with K Sujata from the Chicago Foundation for Women, Detective Chris Boughey, a homicide detective from Peoria, Arizona and a staunch advocate of women’s rights, and our own Raheel Raza.  The panel enabled viewers to get answers in an enlightening way and I was glad to engage in dialogue: one of the most important messages of our film!

A big thanks to the warm and inviting Chicago community.  We were so gratified by the amazing organizational representatives and activists who expressed interest in partnering with our work, from the YWCA to the South Asian Film Festival.

One of my highlights was being interviewed along with Raheel on WBEZ radio in Chicago – check it off the bucket list!  I am a huge fan of This American Life and Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me, so it was incredible to be in the studio.WBEZ interview

Alexandra Salomon, the host of Worldview was very interested in the topic and, asked insightful questions.  She, created an atmosphere of engagement and conversation, and I’m grateful for the interview.  You can check out the full interview here.

Next stop? St Louis!  Check back with us as we head to the St Louis Film Festival in November.

Honor Diaries in St Louis