Monday 10 February 2014

FiLums 14 rises to the occasion

09:03 By Lollywood Online

At the occasion, Resham discussed her decision to return to the film industry with a role in the film Swaarangi. PHOTOS: PUBLICITY
The 8th installment of the LUMS International Film Festival (FiLums), which began on Friday, showcased the creative knack and talent that students in Pakistan are brimming with.
Despite the fact that the LUMS student body comprises of students who are pursuing degrees in traditional fields of study, such as economics and engineering, many young minds are avidly interested in the dynamic art of film-making.
Their passion is reflected in the three-day-long festival, which constituted both in-person and virtual sessions with notable names of the entertainment industry from both sides of the border.
Kites Grounded
Saturday began with an interesting seminar on the yet-to-be released indie film Kites Grounded.
The film’s team includes producer-director duo Murtaza Ali and Seema Hameed, actor Tasneem Kausar and Ali Noor from the band Noori. Noor, who is one of the few people who have watched the film, is looking towards contributing a song to it.
The interactive discussion revolved around the technicalities of film-making, the ban on Basant, commercial versus art house film-making, and the prospects of film distribution.
“The festival is very nice, but it has been happening for many years and I wish it would expand and be open to the general public,” said Ali. “The response was good, but you still have that feeling – that film-making is not being taken seriously as a profession.”
Old cinema versus new cinema
The seminar featured an entertaining and no-holds-barred talk with Chambaili producer Shahzad Nawaz and director-producer Shehzad Rafique.
Both veterans believe that the industry is heading in the right direction, but there is still a need to produce more films and bring new film-makers to the forefront.
Awaz said that he has witnessed the change that has taken place in the industry, which favours issued-based film-making that challenges the conventional film narrative. “Film-making for a cause is like a struggle; it requires forming a new narrative – one that is our own,” he said.
He urged new film-makers to be honest to their work and not take shortcuts. He stressed upon the need for them to focus on their work instead of networking. “I think we are going in the right direction; the technology is flowing in, but what continues to persist is the need for more films,” he added.
Rafique provided a retrospective glance at the highs and lows of the old industry. He made a pertinent point: Film-makers should not shun veterans. In fact, they should seek apprenticeship from them to improve their practical knowledge of film-making.
He shared that more film festivals should be organised to promote young and independent film-makers in the country. He predicted that by 2017 local cinemas will not have to depend on Bollywood films due to what he foresees as a boom in local films.
Kaanebaz Q&A
Ali Sade’s film Kaanebaz, starring Mohib Mirza, Aamina Sheikh, Faisal Rehman, Rashid Farooqui and Shabbir Jan, premiered at the festival on February 8. It was followed by an interesting session, where Rehman shared that the film was shot in Karachi nearly a year and a half ago.
He encouraged students who are interested in the industry to consider acting as well. “It’s easier to be an actor compared to being a film-maker, because a film-maker has to be an actor and cameraman, while an actor has to be shameless to work in front of the camera and look confident,” he quipped.
It is fitting to see that the external relations team at LUMS brought together some of the industry’s biggest personalities.
Hosted by Shamoon Abbasi, the closing ceremony was attended by Resham, Sangeeta, Omair Rana, Sarah Tareen and Abdul Mannan.
At the occasion, Resham shared her decision to return to the film industry with a role in the film Swaarangi, which is a parallel cinema project.
Sangeeta aptly highlighted the value of such festivals in altering mind sets: “In our time, making a film was considered a sin. This why we want to encourage youth and young film-makers to join the industry.”


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