Festival at LUMS: Learning from others key to reviving film industry

Published: February 13, 2011

Premiere of short film Heal draws a large audience.

LAHORE: “We can revamp our film industry by learning from the experience of Hollywood,” filmmaker Sarmad Sultan Khoosat said on Friday.

He was speaking at a workshop on film making skills at the second day of FiLums, amateur film festival, at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS).

The artiste said one way for the upcoming filmmakers to learn the necessary skills was to try producing adaptations of foreign movies.

“Film making is an art. There can be no restrictive definition for an art,” he said.

He said only free thought could ensure that film makers realise their creative potential.

He said improving one’s story-telling skills was necessary to become a successful film maker.

Quoting from a Hindu text (Nav Ras), he said, effective portrayal of nine emotions was critical to an actor or a film maker’s expression.

Film making, he said, was team work.

He added that there was great room in the national media industry for emerging film makers to market their talent and make a name for them.

“We need to redefine the film industry. There’s no reason why we can’t once again have actors and film makers who become household names,” he said.

Earlier, the second day of the festival began with the screening of movies. More than 50 short films, animations, documentaries and feature-length films were screened throughout the day.

The highlight of the day remained the premiere of Heal by Mian Adnan Ahmad.

The work was appreciated by an audience including several professional actors and directors as well as a large number of students.

During the question-answer session, Ahmed said he wanted to highlight the importance of hope in a society facing multiple challenges. He said he had never attended a film school.

Director Syed Noor suggested that newcomers try their hands on short films and documentaries first. The day they would get a chance to work on big-budget movies the experience would help them, he added.

Other prominent visitors were Lolly wood celebrities Meera and Rija and pop band EP’s Hasan Khalid and singer Shiraz Uppal.

FiLums convenor Rafiq Abdul Rehman said he realised that watching a lot of movies back to back could get boring.

However, he said, they had limited time to conduct the entire festival and that they did not want to miss any movie.

He said when planning the event the organisers had not expected such a huge turnout. He said the university policy was to disallow large crowds as the semester was underway.

“Had the festival been held during semester break we could have had a bigger audience,” Rehman said.

Nida Aslam, one of the participants, said being a film student she had always wanted to compete with others but there were few opportunities. “We need a platform to exhibit our work,” she said.

She said she was particularly impressed to learn that entries would be penalised for use of copyrighted music.

Besides regular screenings and a workshop, there will be an awards ceremony for best entries in all categories on Sunday.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 13th, 2011.

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