LAHORE: Even though very few filmmakers dare to endeavor into parallel cinema, Exhibition, a short film screened at the South Asian Free Media Association (Safma) centre by Salman Shahid, showed that Pakistani audiences have much interest in well-made parallel cinema films.
The screening of Exhibition was attended by a large number of people who appreciated Shahid’s effort to come up with a 25-minute film which sheds light on our social attitudes in a surrealistic way.
The movie showed the emptiness of social and individual attitudes by using the concept of empty frames which were displayed in an exhibition. An art critic explained the framed paintings, but in reality there were no paintings except the person who looked into the frame fitted into it.
The film contained references to a certain political party and a politician who speaks a lot about revolution but the slogans were empty just like the empty frames.
A young beautiful model who comes to grace the exhibition remains the centre of attention of the media for quite some time. But in the end she dies with currency coins scattered over her body.
The film was met with resounding applause. The head of the National College of Arts Film and TV Department Shireen Pasha termed the film a ‘delightful and refreshing’ piece. She said that in an age when everybody was running after commercial things, it was a great effort to make such a film.
Hussain Naqi of the Human Rights Commission of Pakis-tan said that the movie was a nice effort which showed the emptiness of society’s various facets.
Safma Secretary General Imtiaz Alam jokingly asked Salman Shahid after the screening what the story was about. Right after Alam’s question the electricity went off and Shahid replied, “This is what the story is about!”
Shahid thanked the audiences for appreciating Exhibition and said that after making the movie he was searching various concepts on the internet and was glad to find out that the concept of empty frames has been existing for 150 years.
Published in the Express Tribune, June 14th, 2010.
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