Karachi (Muhammad Yasir) The first Pakistan International Film Festival (PiFF) kicks off in Karachi on a high note. Day one featured acclaimed actor and director Nandita Das with screen writer Anjum Rajabali, Sajal Ali, musician Harsh Narayan, Asim Raza and Asif Noorani for a session titled “Collaborations across borders: Possibilities and Future Directors”. The other session “Innovation on Screen: Digital Dimensions” featured Abrar Ali Khan of Rockville, Farees Shah of iflix with Tazeen Hussain as the moderator. Along with screenings of documentaries Cake the movie premier’s was held at Nueplex cinema as a part of the festival. Day one was well attended by media personalities and members of the film and entertainment industry.
This festival comprises panel discussions on the subjects of ‘Film Diplomacy & Cross Border Collaboration’, ‘Innovation on Screen: Digital Dimensions’, ‘Genre Busters’, ‘From Script to Screen and Beyond’, ‘Films for Change: Socially Motivated content in South Asian Film Industry’ and ‘The Future of Music and Lyrics: How important is music in the subcontinental cinema’. The participant lineup is diverse and includes prominent local and foreign speakers; Sultana Siddiqui, Asim Raza, Anjum Rajabali (celebrated Indian script/screenplay writer), Nandita Das (actor/director/producer of upcoming Indian movie Manto), Harsh Narayan (Indian filmmaker), Sajal Ali, Rashid Khwaja, Abrar Ali Khan, Farees Shah, Faizan Syed, Adnan Sarwar, Sana Tauseef, Atiqa Odho,S. S. Rajamouli (director of the mega blockbuster movie, Baahubali), Vinay Pathak (acclaimed Indian actor), Kamran Jawed, Amin Farooqui, Tahir Moosa, Zeenat Lakhani (writer of Saba Qamar starrer Hindi Medium), Saket Chawdhari (director of Hindi Medium), Nishtha Jain (maker of documentary film Gulabi Gang), Haseena Moin, Jami, Subhash Kapoor (prominent Indian producer, screenplay writer and director, known for his work in Jolly LLB 1 and 2), Vishal Bhardwaj (Indian filmmaker), Hareem Farooq, Izzat Majid, Asif Noorani, Sultan Arshad, Rekha Bhardwaj (Indian playback singer), Dr Omer Adil, Nila Madhab Panda (director of Kadvi Hawa) and Mr Shobu (producer of mega blockbuster movie Baahubali).
Day two of the event will feature director of Baahubali S.S. Rajamouli, Adnan Sarwar, Atiqa Odho, director of Hindi medium Saket Chawdhari. The two panel discussion sessions will be titled Genre Busters: and From Script to Screen and Beyond.
There will be a total of eight movie premieres – Cake, The Valley, Lala Begum, Moomal Rano, Zaraab, The Song of Scorpions, Kuch Bheege Alfaaz and The Wishing Tree. The Wishing Tree features Shabana Azmi and Zaraab is the first Balochi language film to be premiered in Pakistan. A special matinee show of the newly released animated movie Tick Tock will also be arranged for children at Nueplex Cinemas. Apart from the premieres, screenings of short films, documentaries and feature films are organised at various institutes throughout the city including Goethe Institut, Iqra Defence Valley, Iqra University North Nazimabad campus, Alliance Françoise and T2F.
The four-day event is supported by the Cultural Department of Sindh Government and Ministry of Information of the Federal Government of Pakistan, HUM TV, Nueplex Cinemas and Dawn Media Group. Commercial partners are Unilever and Khaadi.