Coronavirus Updates: USC  |  SCA


April 8, 2014, 7:00 P.M.

The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108, George Lucas Building, USC School of Cinematic Arts, 900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007


The USC Levan Institute for Humanities & Ethics' Cinema of Substance Series, USC Pakistani Students Association, Outside the Box [Office], and Oscilloscope Laboratories, invite you and a guest to a special screening of

These Birds Walk

Directed by Omar Mullick and Bassam Tariq
Produced by Omar Mullick, Bassam Tariq, Sonejuhi Sinha, and Valentina Canavesio

7:00 P.M. on Tuesday, April 8th, 2014
The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108
900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007


"The filmmakers capture extraordinary adventure...[features] one of the most exciting and daringly filmed chase scenes in the recent cinema." 
- Richard Brody, The New Yorker
"Poetic...Haunting...These Birds Walk serves as a reminder of the resilience of children and how little it takes to keep hope alive."
- Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times

About These Birds Walk

In Karachi, Pak­istan, a run­away boy’s life hangs on one crit­i­cal ques­tion: where is home? The streets, an orphan­age, or with the fam­ily he fled in the first place? Simul­ta­ne­ously heart-wrenching and life-affirming, These Birds Walk doc­u­ments the strug­gles of these way­ward street chil­dren and the samar­i­tans look­ing out for them in this ethe­real and inspi­ra­tional story of resilience.

Provided courtesy of Oscilloscope Laboratories. Not rated. Running time: 72 minutes. In Urdu with English subtitles.

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Directors' Statement

These Birds Walk, on the face of it, is about a challenge and a boy. On the one hand, the film is the narrative of Omar, a runaway boy in Karachi at a house for runaways and his effort to get home; and ambulance driver Asad, who is charged with returning the boy and his friends to their homes.

Hanging over the narrative is a challenge, launched early in the film, by the aging humanitarian Abdul Sattar Edhi, the gruff national saint of Pakistan. He is founder of the Edhi Foundation, which provides a sanctuary, employment and welfare services for our protagonists and the country that binds them. He initially refused outright to be in a film about his work, but relented if we met his requirement. His challenge was this: if we wanted to know him, we should go to the ordinary people who work for him and whom he serves. If wanted to know his story, it was there.

Our film is a literal, even stubborn visual response. Edhi may bookend the film, but his presence is one that hangs irrevocably over all these lives. And the struggles these ordinary characters face to save and be saved under the roof of a private welfare institution represent a microcosm of the country at large.

The reason for making this film at this particular time was born of an impulse to look closely at the work of a humanitarian often deemed publicly to be a saint. His challenge is both the arc of the film and also the manner in which we look at lives and a country often reduced to socio- political categories in the public discourse. The universals of small daily lives,--these people’s concerns for maintaining and forging bonds of family--sidestep the academic and political categories used to understand the nation and lend the viewer an intimacy that provides a human take on boyhood, manhood, and family.

This film is a narrative plunge in to a few small lives and one in particular of a runaway boy birdcaged by his home, the streets and the runaway institution that may be his only sanctuary. And finally it is about an old man, and one of his drivers, standing at the gates trying to set some of these boys free.

-- Omar Mullick and Bassam Tariq

About USC Levan Institute for Humanities & Ethics

The Levan Institute for Humanities & Ethics, USC College, issues a Grand Challenge to every new student who comes to USC--to engage with, understand, and internalize the timeless values at the core of our humanity. The Institute collaborates with departments, professional schools, and programs across the university to bring students and faculty together with authors and artists, philosophers and practioners, and the ethical voices of our time.

To visit their website, click here.

About USC Pakistani Students Association

USC Pakistani Students Association strives to nurture a Pakistani presence throughout Southern California by the means of civic engagement and cultural activities. The purpose of the University of Southern California Pakistani Students Association (USC PSA) extends to foster a better understanding between students of Pakistani origin with the student body at the University of Southern California, increase the interest and awareness relating to the culture, tradition, and politics of Pakistan, assist Pakistani students in pursuit of involvement with the Pakistani community, and assist international students from Pakistan to settle into the University and their new environment.

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About Outside the Box [Office]

Outside the Box [Office] is a weekly showcase for upcoming releases highlighting world cinema, documentary and independent film titles. Recognizing a need for greater diversity on campus, the series will draw from around the globe to present movies that may challenge, inspire or simply entertain.

To view the calendar of screenings, click here.

Check-In & Reservations

This screening is free of charge and open to the public. Please bring a valid USC ID or print out of your reservation confirmation, which will automatically be sent to your e-mail account upon successfully making an RSVP through this website. Doors will open at 6:30 P.M.

All SCA screenings are OVERBOOKED to ensure seating capacity in the theater, therefore seating is not guaranteed based on RSVPs. The RSVP list will be checked in on a first-come, first-served basis until the theater is full. Once the theater has reached capacity, we will no longer be able to admit guests, regardless of RSVP status.


The USC School of Cinematic Arts is located at 900 W. 34th St., Los Angeles, CA 90007. Parking passes may be purchased for $10.00 at USC Entrance Gate #5, located at the intersection of W. Jefferson Blvd. & McClintock Avenue. We recommend parking in Lot M at 34th & Watt Way, or Parking Structure D, at the far end of 34th Street. Metered street parking is also available along Jefferson Blvd.

Contact Information

Name: Alessandro Ago