Pakistani film gets int’l award in festivals
Islamabad–Heal, a short film by Pakistani Director and Writer, Mian Adnan Ahmed has got four international awards in different film festivals featuring a unique story between the regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Heal is the winner of Jury Prize for Best International Shorts (Special Mention), Fantasia International Film Festival, 2010, Jesse Epstein Humanitarian Award, Cleveland International Film Festival, Best Student Film, Lake Arrowhead Film Festival, and Best of Festival, Lake Arrowhead Film Festival, 2010 (while in competition against short films, feature films and documentaries. HEAL is the first short film to have ever received this award).
The 24-minute movie captures the life of a gifted child Azeem amidst the conflict region between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Azeem and the other children look up to the only teacher in their village when circumstances turn for the worst in a tragic night which leaves their teacher in a state of despair. With education as their only hope, Azeem must now do everything in his capacity to help him start again.
According to the film maker, he always wanted to explore the supernatural genre. At the same time his experiences while making a documentary on children affected by a major earthquake that hit Pakistan gave him a real glimpse of what destruction can do to children.
This along with a constant awareness of the conflict in Afghanistan and Pakistan and seeing the hunger for education in the rural areas there, formed the basis for the need to tell a story such as HEAL. The reality is that a way of life, a culture, is slowly eroding away to conflict, war and nothingness.
“As a team of young filmmakers we were motivated to tell a story about a child having a special gift, while allowing audiences to connect at a human level with people living in these areas of conflict,” Adnan said.
The film has been officially selected for Rhode Island International Film Festival, 2010 (To be screened in August), Short Shorts Film Festival of Asia, 2010, Short Film Corner, Cannes Film Festival, 2010 and Gulf Film Festival, 2010 (out of competition).
Adnan is a Pakistani filmmaker who returned from the U.S last year, having gone on a Fulbright scholarship to pursue a Masters in Film Production (Directing) from Chapman University in California. His final year thesis film, “HEAL” was nominated in five categories at Chapman University’s annual CECIL Awards ceremony in 2009, winning in four, including BEST PICTURE.
Four was the highest number of awards received by any film. Since then HEAL has been selected at numerous prestigious film festivals and won awards while competing against professional filmmakers from all over the world, while in most cases also being the only film to screen at these festivals that was made by a Pakistani filmmaker.
Source: Pakistan Observer