New York film festival: Pakistani film scoops up two awards
By: Rafay Mahmood
KARACHI: Seedlings, a Pakistani film that was screened at the New York City International Film Festival (NYCIFF), left the audience spellbound by winning two major awards at the ceremony.
Starring Aamina Sheikh, Mohib Mirza and Gohar Rasheed, the production of Seedlings, also known as Lamha, was completed in Karachi in June 2012 and was directed by newcomer Mansoor Mujahid.
The film revolves around the lives of three individuals bound together by a devastating accident.
An intricately woven story of loss, forgiveness and redemption, the film explores the terrifying prospects of piecing together a broken life. The film, produced by Bodhchitta Film Works, won the People’s Choice Award for Best Film and well-known actress Aaminah Sheikh won the award for Best Actress in a Lead Role.
It was nominated in seven categories, including Mansoor Mujahid for Best Director, Aaminah Sheikh for Best Actress, Mohib Mirza for Best Actor in a Lead Role, Gohar Rasheed for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Summer Nicks for Best Original Screenplay and the young and talented Usman Riaz for Best Original Score and also Best Film.
However, the People’s Choice Award was a surprise and Aaminah’s award is yet another feather in her cap after her celebrated work for Pakistan Television.
“I am absolutely ecstatic for winning these awards,” she said. Summer Nicks, the screenwriter and producer of Seedlings, told The Express Tribune, “Each person who worked on Seedlings and made it a reality, from the chai walla to the director, investors and our partners Ice Animations, we share this with them all.”
For 26 years, Nicks has been pursuing his passion of producing films and it has taken him across continents but he is proud that it happened in Pakistan, his adopted home.
“All those years of hard work have culminated in my partner Meher Jaffri, Craig Peter Jones and I winning this award, this is for Pakistan. Let us keep showing the world what greatnesses we have to offer. Pakistan Zindabad!” an ecstatic Nicks belted. On the other hand, Faraz Iqbal, the cinematographer of the film was equally excited about the film’s achievement and hoped it would be screened in theatres across Pakistan.
“I am totally spellbound and am running out of words. All I can say is that since it won the people’s choice award, it means that the public would enjoy it and I hope it is released in theatres all over the country,” Iqbal said.
For Jasir Abro, the sound engineer/designer of Lamha, the experience of working with a talented team was what drove him to help make it a success.
“It was a refreshingly professional shoot and a great experience to work with the talented cast and crew of Lamha. I am not surprised by the awards,” he said.