Mango Festival kicks off at The Centaurus in Islamabad
Islamabad – Seeking to revive the Pakistani cinema and to provide a much needed platform to the passionate young generation, Creative Pakistan Film Festival began here at Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA). Twelve short films made by amateur film-makers are to be screened during the three-day (23–25 May) Festival, co-organized by Akash Media Group and PNCA.
Adnan Tasneem, the project director of Akash media told Pakistan Observer that “the basic idea behind the film festival is to promote the young talent who are unable to pursue this field due to lack of opportunities.” The event is also aimed to support and revitalize the film industry of Pakistan.
Aijaz Gul, a film critic and Azhar Niaz, a seasoned producer will judge the quality of films. Speaking on the occasion, Aijaz Gul urged the organizers to initiate film clubs in Pakistan. “Because a good film is not only entertainment but it is a worthwhile learning process,” he added.
The first short film titled ‘Ehsaas’, directed by Shehryar Iqbal represented the traditional arguments within families due to generation gap.
In six-minutes, the film ‘Life’ described the uncertainties of life and was greatly appreciated by the audience because of amazing directional skills by Furqan Dogar. ‘Life is unpredictable’ remarked the director smilingly. Directed by Ahsan Sami, the 11-minute film ‘Shortcut’ warns that the only way success is continuous hard work.
‘Paradigm shift’ is an 18-minute musical film which explains that it takes a little effort to find light of guidance in the darkness as “we, youngsters are in the habit of pointing out problems but do not look towards the solution” commented Shayan Jamil, director of the film.
‘Facebook – Faces are mystery’ is a story of four friends who decide to change the conventional plight of the country but learn that “great changes begin from within – by changing your own self first” explained Shehryar Iqbal, the director.
Other films included Paisa Naach Nacahaye, Blast, Patched, Overcoat, Invasion of a Psychopath, Pakiography.
The presence of little audience indicated the lack of interest of people in local films and the declining state of cinema in Pakistan.
In the ‘golden days’ of Pakistani cinema, the industry produced more than 200 films annually in 70s, but today the film production has reduced to a dozen films each year. The Federal Bureau of Statistics shows that once the country boasted of having at least 700 cinemas operating in the country. This number has since declined to less than 170 by 2005.
However, the young filmmakers emerging from schools all over the country are a good sign for the film industry. “We have new film schools which will definitely revive the cinemas,” said Shehryar Iqbal, an aspiring filmmaker.