Day Three of ZAB Media Festival 2019 explores film, narratives and music | Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Pakistan Press Foundation

Day Three of ZAB Media Festival 2019 explores film, narratives and music

Pakistan Press Foundation

ZAB Media Festival 2019, a festival that aims to ‘Discover Pakistan’ through a “kaleidoscopic trove of films, documentaries, design and photography” is currently taking place at SZABIST. Organized by the SZABIST Media Sciences Department, it commenced from April 2 and featured panel discussions, movie screenings and much more. The five-day long event comes to an end today.

Starting from the screening of Jawad Sharif’s documentary Indus Blues on the opening day, the festival explored the fields of design, photography and advertising on the second day.

The third day, however, featured multiple panels, starting from one on narratives across digital spheres that featured the likes of George Fulton, Dolly Singh, Ali Gul Pir, Gul Zaib Shakeel and Akbar Chaudry on the panel.

“An online content creator earns from views and ads,” shared Ali Gul Pir, adding that brands are scared to take risks when it comes to progressive content. “I do one project for the tummy and one for the soul; I will sell candy in one ad and will invest the money in my own song. I still have to do that because brands have not evolved as much as the industry has. When there is more money involved, more content will happen.”

India based social media influencer, Dolly Singh, who was also a part of the panel via a video call, noted, “There are some brands in India too that aren’t too okay with some ideas; it depends a lot on how much you can push them for a particular kind of content.”

“As content creators, we need to decide what we want to tell our audience,” she continued. “For me it is a mix of both socially conscious content and content that aims to entertain; sometimes I attempt to convey a social message via sarcasm or a heart to heart video and other times I just want to entertain people. Also, I merge the two at times but I make sure I don’t hurt anybody’s feelings.”

The next panel featured Tina Sani, who spoke about the time when she was in Kabul, with which Pakistan didn’t share a very good relation at that point, and returned to a “troubled Pakistan”.

“I could feel that there was a tension on the streets; not the terrible kind of a tension but the fact that as a Pakistani I wasn’t liked,” she recalled. “But I didn’t understand at that time what the background to that was. Anyhow, I came back to a very troubled Pakistan. Back in Kabul, being a self proclaimed diplomat, I was very aware of my finding out who I was as a Pakistani.”

‘Films, Narrative and Karachi,’ the final panel on Day Three had an interesting lineup of artists including writer Bee Gul, directors Kamal Khan and Nabeel Qureshi, producers Fizza Ali Meerza, Sadia Jabbar, Habib Paracha and musician Babar Shaikh of Chand Tara Orchestra.

With reference to cinema revival in Pakistan, the panel discussed about narratives in local films and what will Pakistan’s film industry identify with in the coming time. Panelists reflected on their experiences having operated in the industry for long while they also highlighted how ‘Karachi’ city serves as a strong character in films like Nabeel Qureshi’s Na Maloom Afraad and Kamal Khan’s Laal Kabootar that released last month.

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