Bo Kata

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Bo Kata
Directed by Shehzad Afzal
Produced by Shehzad Afzal
Music by John Walden
Cinematography Shehzad Afzal
Edited by Shehzad Afzal
Filmedup Ltd
Distributed by Filmedup Ltd
Release date
  • 22 February 2007 (2007-02-22)
Running time
26 minutes
Country Pakistan
United Kingdom
Language Punjabi / Urdu
Budget Private-Finance

Bo Kata is a 2007 documentary film produced, directed, edited and shot by Shehzad Afzal.[1][2][3][4]

The original sound track for Bo Kata was composed by musician John Walden from Fife Scotland, who runs studio outfit Daft Dog Music.[5]

Douglas Mackinnon, Scottish Film and TV Director ("The Flying Scotsman", "Jekyll", "Bodies", "The Vice", "Dr Who"), who attended the film premiere of Bo Kata in Dundee at the Contemporary Arts Cinema (February 2007), said it was "A beautifully made film about a world of kites and conflict, with marvelously atmospheric music."[6]

Bo Kata was nominated for the Satyajit Ray Film Foundation Award 2007 for Best Film in association with the British Council and the British Film Institute.

Bo Kata received a limited theatrical release across the UK in 2007, and was selected for in-competition for a number of international film festivals and showcases.


Still from Bo Kata, directed and produced by Shehzad Afzal - depicting the kite flyers on the rooftops in the city of Lahore, Pakistan, 2004

Cries of Bo Kata are chanted when kites are eliminated during torrid sky battles which see duellists pit their best crafted kites and kite string to the ultimate test of skill and endurance. Bo Kata when translated into English roughly means hacked!

Bo Kata was filmed during the Basant Kite festival in Lahore, Pakistan, over three continuous days. The documentary depicts the unique rooftop kite duellists of the city.[7]

The annual celebration of the coming of Spring, known as Basant in Pakistan, has been a tradition and cultural heritage of Pakistan for over 400 years. A series of tragic accidents resulting in decapitations and dismemberment from illegal chemically coated strings used to fly the kites has seen the age old tradition come under attack from politicians, the authorities and the non kite-flying public.

Still from Bo Kata, directed and produced by Shehzad Afzal - depicting the energy and passion of the kite duelists on the rooftops in the city of Lahore, Pakistan, 2004

The Bo Kata documentary provides an insight into the fanatical kite flying population and the lucrative industry surrounding it amidst the political backdrop of an impending ban.


Bo Kata was filmed on location in Lahore, Pakistan during the Annual Basant Kite Festival (Spring Festival) over three consecutive days in February 2004.

Shehzad Afzal wanted a simplified music palette for the score to denote the kite strings and to convey lightness and space. John Walden used a mixture of guitar strings and Indian instrument sounds to produce a beautifully orchestrated sound space, which married perfectly with the visuals.[8][9]


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