Film festival ends on a high note | Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Pakistan Press Foundation

Film festival ends on a high note

Pakistan Press Foundation

KARACHI: The week which saw a lot of patronage for arts ended on a promising note as I am Karachi Film Festival concluded with better prospects for aspiring film-makers.

Divided over three events, I am Karachi Film Festival wrapped up its last installment on Sunday at Expo Centre. Starting off on May 31, the first event held at the Arts Council saw amateur film-makers showcase their work for the audience to be followed by a second screening of different films at the Seaview Park.

Taimur Suri, who took the initiative of giving a platform to young film-makers, said that although the first event did not see many people, about 500 attended the second screening, probably because the venue was an open space.

The event, divided into two sections namely fiction and non-fiction films, was followed by panel discussions where the guests shared their views about the screened films.

The fiction ones varying from a minute to 41 minutes included This is not a true story by Salman Abedin and Irfan Kheiri, Baazgasht by Raza Abbas, Balcony Stories by Alyna Farooqui, Nazar by Shujauddin and Shehenshah by M. Ziad Azad.

The panel discussion hosting retired bureaucrat Kaleemullah Lashari, film-maker Nameera Ahmed, lecturer Nauman Baig and Rausheen had the guests talk about the portrayal of intangible realities in films with respect to fiction work by the younger lot.

A performance by Dastangoi, Tilism-i-hoshruba and Mir Baqar Ali, and Haveli from Mushtaq Ahmed Yusufi’s Aab-i-gum left the audience chuckling before the event moved onto fiction films.

In the second half the non-fiction films screened namely I am alive and so is my city by Misaal Khalique, Guddu by Mohammed Ali Hakim, Kaali patang by Seraj Salikin, Neighbours by Haya Hassan and Haya Faruqi were appreciated by the audience but it appeared that the film-makers needed to shift their focus to the technical aspects of the direction and camerawork.

Three entries by Traveling Films South Asia (TFSA), No 62 Pansodan Street by Cho Phyone, The story of one by Kannan Arusalam and No burqas behind bars by Nima Savestani were also selected by the jury; and were chosen to highlight the similarities which made them relatable to Karachi. The chosen films were about Burma (Myanmar), Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. They portrayed issues such as poverty, female suppression and the plight of those who go missing.

Moderated by Taimur, the second panel discussion, which had actors Rubina Ashraf and Misbah Khalid, and Prof Dr Markus Heidingsfelder as panelists, the talk centred on the future prospects of the film-makers, whose efforts were deemed commendable by the three guests.

Pointing out to numerous film-makers who quit making films after entering professional life, Misbah said that was bound to happen.

Rubina, however, advised all film-makers to air their films on television to draw larger audiences. “They can get airtime; I would love to see such short films every day. I would want them to get sponsors and showcase their films on that medium because television is here to stay,” she said.

Heidingsfelder commented that although the films were not technically perfect, they were modifying the view of Karachi. He added that at the institution he came across enthusiastic students, who were keen to work. “They have a strong social connection and have mixed traditions,” he remarked.

The three-day festival ended with a musical performance by Amateurs Melodies supervised by Arshad Sultan.