Taken from the Turkish language, sanat translates literally to mean ‘art’, but in usage, sanat has broader associations and nuances; explaining not just objects or vocation, but defining the artistic process and the sociological implications of art. Sanat Initiative was founded in early 2014 as an art initiative with an aim to promote visual art from Pakistan and to explore the relationship between art, artists and society through active partnerships with curators, galleries, art fairs and museums worldwide.
Sanat Initiative provides artists with a platform for groundbreaking projects, thereby promoting experimental and innovative streams of thought in art. In a short span of time Sanat Initiative has become the lead source of distributing visual art from Pakistan all over the world while also launching the careers of emerging artists from the Country.
In 2017, Sanat Initiative expanded into film production with I'll Meet You There (Bismil), a feature drama (US & Pakistan co-production) which was an official selection at SXSW 2020 and also competed for the Grand Jury Award in Narrative Feature Competition. Sanat Initiative also ventured into a few short films which got critical acclaim at various important international film festivals getting nominations at Locarno Film Festival's Pardi di domani, Palm Springs Best of the Festival Award, Venice Film Festival’s Orizzonti, American Film Institute and Sundance Film Festival. Sanat Initiative's second feature Wakhri (One of a Kind) (currently in development) was selected for Locarno's Open Door Hub in 2018 and thereafter at the Atelier of Cinefondation, Festival de Cannes in 2019. A third feature Panah Khana (Haven of Hope), also currently in development has been selected at Venice Biennale College Cinema 2021-22 and Produire au Sud 2021.