A single father has planned to give up his newborn son in exchange for money so he can take his daughter to safety across the border. But just minutes before their scheduled departure, he insists on seeing the adoptive mother as he confronts a sudden change of heart.

  • Meelad Moaphi
    A Scene, Every Monday, Republic of God, Film Concerto in Hanging Major, Arrhythmia
  • Meelad Moaphi
    A Scene, Every Monday, Republic of God, Film Concerto in Hanging Major, Arrhythmia
  • Meelad Moaphi
    A Scene, Every Monday, Republic of God, Film Concerto in Hanging Major, Arrhythmia
  • Waqas Shahzad
    Key Cast
  • Dania Jamil
    Key Cast
  • Babar Khan
    Key Cast
    "The Khan"
  • Shehrezade Mian
    Executive Producer
    A Scene, Black & Blue, Chosen One, A Family Affair
  • Ibrahim Khan
    Line Producer and Casting Director
  • Ali Sattar
  • Daniel Montiel
  • James M Findlay
    Sound Designer, Re-Recording Mixer and Location Sound Recordist
    Prince's Tale, Mirror Lake, Likeness, Captive Love, Among the Soil
  • Seyhr Qayum
    Production Design and Wardrobe
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Drama, Parenthood, Children, Sacrifice, Conflict, Refugee, Escape, Family, Immigration, Islamic world, Pakistan, Childhood, War, Fatherhood, Migration
  • Runtime:
    13 minutes 50 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 21, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    10,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    RED R3D (4.5K)
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Toronto Reel Asian Film Festival
    November 11, 2019
    World Premiere
    WINNER: Air Canada Best Short Film
  • Vancouver Asian Film Festival
    November 10, 2019
    Vancouver Premiere
    WINNER: Best Short (Canadian Short); WINNER: Best Director (Canadian Short); WINNER: Best Cinematography (Canadian Short)
  • Izmir International Short Film Festival
    November 4, 2019
    International premiere
  • Asia Peace Film Festival
    November 21, 2019
    Pakistani premiere
  • Filmi Toronto's South Asian Film Festival
    December 7, 2019
  • Austin Asian American Film Festival
    Austin, Texas
    United States
    June 17, 2020
    US Premiere
    Official Selection
  • International Film Festival of South Asia (IFFSA)
    August 13, 2020
    Official Selection
  • UWPG Film Festival
    October 19, 2020
    Winnipeg Premiere
    NOMINEE: Best Canadian Short; NOMINEE: Best Cinematography; NOMINEE: Best Leading Actor; NOMINEE: Best Supporting Actor
Director Biography - Meelad Moaphi

Toronto filmmaker Meelad Moaphi is a BFA ('10) and MFA ('19) graduate of York University's Film Production program. His work has screened internationally, including at the International Film Festival Rotterdam and Montreal World Film Festival. Moaphi's unique international upbringing has informed his culturally diverse body of work, which range in pieces in English and Farsi, to Spanish and Japanese. Moaphi is additionally a film instructor and also serves as video editor on commercial content. "Worth" -- Moaphi’s latest short film, shot in Pakistan with Urdu dialogue -- which was distilled from his feature screenplay to serve as a proof-of-concept, began its festival run in November 2019 and has already picked up 4 awards.

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Director Statement

It’s impossible to imagine the sacrifices made by those who must abandon their homes and loved ones for a better life. Apart from the only world they know, many leave behind their identities. “Worth” explores the impossibility of certain choices made at the moment of departure and the gravity of these dilemmas -- what or even who to sacrifice at such crossroads. Amidst all the madness, there is no greater fear than the primal one a parent feels when facing the possibility of being separated from their child.

The screenplay for “Worth” was distilled from a feature screenplay I wrote. Considering that the longer script was intended as a first feature, and that its story was set in a very specific location, I decided to test the story and its characters by producing a proof-of-concept that could simultaneously serve as a standalone short film.

The intention was never to cram a feature into a short, but rather to strategically select a snippet that could convey both the narrative and thematic gist of its source material, as well as effectively convey the protagonist’s conflict. After toying with several possibilities, I ultimately decided to hone in on the inciting incident and base the short on the first 20 pages of the feature screenplay.

If the objective is to create an effective proof-of-concept, it’s not enough to merely test the characters and narrative by producing the film locally in Canada using unconvincing set design. An integral element of the endeavour was precisely to explore the challenges that could arise from the literal production, or realization, of the film. With that in mind, I decided to bite the bullet and, with my shoestring budget, shoot the piece completely on location, in Pakistan, with an entirely local cast and crew. From a screenwriting and directing (but also producing) standpoint, only that could serve as the complete test.

“Worth” is the result of my adventure.