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Thursday, 17 April 2014

From FiLUMS to film-making

23:03 By Lollywood Online No comments

Students raised up to three hundred thousand Rupees in order to buy equipment for the film. PHOTOS: PUBLICITY
LAHORE: 
Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) isn’t exactly known for being breeding ground for aspiring filmmakers. While it has regularly hosted the LUMS International Film Festival (FiLUMS), arguably one of the larger student film festivals in Pakistan, there has always been a perception that its own film-making talent has not been brought to the forefront. In a strictly student run initiative, the LUMS Media Society has come through with its first feature film project, a fifty minute independent film which will be entered in several film festivals in the coming year.
The film La Hasil (the unachievable) is based on the famed O’ Henry short story, The Cop and The Anthem. The project was an interesting venture into amateur film-making, taking students with little to no film-making experience, and training them in order to create an attempted work of art.
The film has been shot at Qutubshahana, a small village near Sahiwal, and includes an all student cast which stars Khurram Bukhari as Jibran, Amtul Baweja as Anila, Nauman Khalid as Imtiaz and Ali Zafar as Wahid. The story has been written and directed by Arham Usmani.
The story is about a village boy named Jibran who makes ends meet by working at a factory. Unfortunately for him, the factory closes down and he is forced to leave his home in search of work, thereby ending up living in a remote village. Still without work, he concludes that maybe his best hope of survival, with three regular meals and a roof over his head, is prison. With this newfound possibility of escaping his current living situation, Jibran, in quite a comedic manner, sets out on a number of comedic escapades in the hopes of landing behind bars.
The premiere of the film, which was held at the LUMS auditorium, saw in attendance several people from the film industry. Bilal Lashari, Syed Noor, Shehzad Rafique, Murtaza Ali, Shahzad Ghafoor, Sheraz Ghafoor and Rambo were all in attendance.
“People really liked the initial screenings of the film; they were surprised by the cinematography and story. It was very difficult to make because none of us had any experience before, but we found a way to get it done,” says director Arham Usmani.
The students had little to no experience in film-making so in one fall they engaged with film-makers such as Zinda Bhaag arts director Ishra Tariq to gain some technical experience. They also held workshops with several people from the National College of Arts in the hopes of shoring up their skills.
Shot during the students’ winter break, they also raised funds to buy equipment and other things in order to increase the film’s quality. Usmani says his original scripts had to be changed completely in order to accommodate the constraints of the film. He also adds says that by the end, the story had changed completely.
“We, as a society, had been thinking about how our campus had hosted FiLUMS, but we had never been able to produce an actual film, something that we could say is a piece of art of sorts, that people could watch and enjoy. It also had to be something we would be able to complete in a year’s time,” says Usmani.
Project Manager Haroon Bajwa, a third year student, said that the project served as a potential launching pad and inspiration for other people on campus to try their hand at film-making. He said that they had raised between two to three hundred thousand rupees to make the film and, subsequently, were able to buy the latest equipment to help with editing. This, in turn, ensured the end result was polished. He added that the collective endeavor had showcased the rising interest in film-making across students, and was an attempt to use creative ways to produce art.
“The amount of hard work and effort that went into this project made a lot of people happy. In the past, there was only one other sort of attempt to do a film project of this magnitude, but it was never completed or showcased. This is our first big project, and we will be looking to get it to national and international festivals,” says Bajwa.

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