KARACHI: The four-day Pakistan International Film Festival (PIFF) finally came to a close on Sunday night, with a closing ceremony and gala awards night.
As expected, the grand finale of the festival, which took place at six venues throughout Karachi and included film screenings and panel discussions, saw the who’s who of entertainment industry grace the red carpet.
At the show, the international delegation of film-makers, writers and actors that had come to Karachi for PIFF was also present. “Since childhood, it was reinforced that Pakistan is the enemy. But the biggest enemy was Wasim Akram,” said SS Rajamouli, director of the Indian blockbuster Bahubali, speaking to the first hosts of the evening Azfar Rehman and Sarwat Gilani. “But we’re one people and have been together for thousands of years.”
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Punjab Nahi Jaungi star Humayun Saeed was also present at the occasion and commented on the big night. “This last month has been great for us. First PSL, then PIFF, and now international cricket happening too,” he stated.
“We’re grateful to KFS and Sultana Siddiqui for opening their arms to you all,” said superstar Mahira Khan, addressing the international delegation. “But more than that, we’re grateful to you for coming running into these arms.”
Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Maryam Aurangzeb thanked the delegation for coming to Pakistan “and showing that people from other countries can also come to Pakistan and assist Pakistani cinema in its revival.”
She said no one had sacrificed more to terrorism than Pakistan. “It shut artists, actors and film-makers up. But now the time has come, and it is good news,” Aurangzeb added.
She went on to announce that Pakistani films will now also be played in Chinese cinemas and that a film fund was being established for Pakistani film-makers to be able to continue producing quality content. “Academies will be opened in the country as well,” Aurangzeb said.
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The minister further revealed that the authorities are planning to initiate and establish Pakistan Film Awards which will hopefully come to fruition by May. “It will be on a small scale as of now. I understand that the government should be doing more on a federal level and for that, I need your voices and support to make it happen.”
Apart from a fun little segment which saw the hosts interact with the Pakistani and Indian artists, some awards were presented. Anjuli S from India won in the Best Documentary Short category for Veil Done, which explores the stories of three burqa-clad women from Delhi who take charge of their lives and go through a transformative journey.
Mahera Omar from Pakistan won the Best Documentary Feature award for Parveen Rehman: The Rebel Optimist based on the life of the late Pakistani activist who was murdered in 2013. Hamid Reza Hosseinian from Iran won the Best Short Film trophy for Aghaie Nazim, while the Best Feature Film went to Mehreen Jabbar for Lala Begum.
Pakistan International Film Festival kicks off with a bang
Further, PiFF presented awards to mainstream Pakistani films released over the last two years. And the most noteworthy part of it was the introduction of technical categories. In that, the Best Editor award went to Mitesh Soni for Janaan and Best Cinematography to Rana Kamran for Na Maloom Afraad 2.
Besides that, Sahir Ali Bagga won the Best Music award for Arth: The Destination. Actor Hania Aamir won the Best Debut (Female) and Ali Rehman Khan won Best Debut (Male) for Janaan. Khalilur Rehman was named the Best Writer for Punjab Nahi Jaungi. And lastly, PIFF honoured Ali Zafar with the Artist for Peace award. After the awards distribution, the audience was treated to a memorable performance by the one and only Abida Parveen.
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