LAHORE: The Rafi Peer International Film Festival kicked off at the Rafi Peer Cultural Complex (RPCC) in Raiwind here on Thursday.
This is the first film festival organised by Rafi Peer Theatre Workshop (RPTW). Earlier, the film festival had been a part of the World Performing Arts Festival. The shows are scheduled from 430pm to 1030pm everyday.
The aim of the festival is to provide the people of Pakistan with an opportunity to appreciate other than their own cinema, Maliha Aftab, the RPTW events and promotions manager, told The Express Tribune.
Aftab said the festival hoped to promote independent cinema in the country. “What better way of promoting cinema than by beginning in Lahore – the hub of the Pakistani film industry,” said Aftab.
Around 30 documentaries, feature and animated films produced for various age groups will be screened in the festival.
Aftab said as many as 60 entries had been received from various countries. She said the RPTW had tried to shortlist films that would provide an opportunity to the cinema goers to appreciate independent film.
“We hope to educate children through documentaries and informative films in dedicated screenings,” Aftab said.
We are also encouraging students pursuing studies in filmmaking to attend the festival, she said.
“We hope to provide a platform to young talent.”
The festival is scheduled to run in Lahore for four days. Aftab said the organizers expect to draw an audience of almost 2,000 people on the first day. She said there was no entrance fee.
She said it was initially planned at the Alhamra Cultural Complex. However, it had to be relocated to the RPCC in view of the festival’s requirements.
“The venue provides not just space to screen films but also other activities to promote culture and arts,” she said. The complex will also host puppet and laser light shows and musical performances each night.
The festival shall also display hundreds of vintage Pakistani cinema posters. Aftab said the exhibition was a tribute to Pakistani cinema with posters dating back to the first Pakistani film Teri Yaad produced in 1948. “We want people to appreciate that era of Pakistani films,” she said.
The festival is also expected to make its way to at least three educational institutions, cultural and arts centres in each province. Aftab said the travelling festival is expected to conclude in November.
Having drawn as many as 32,000 people to their five-day puppet festival earlier this year, the RPTW hopes to draw a larger crowd from the cities it goes to, Aftab said.
Films from Brazil, United Kingdom, Iran, India, Italy, Bangladesh and France shall be screened on the first day followed by a musical performance by Rafaqat Ali.
The festival was scheduled to conclude in Lahore on September 23.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 21st, 2012.
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