Pakistani students win international award for film on drones

Published: May 11, 2012

A short film on US drone attacks in Pakistan made by Iqra University students won an international award this week, said a press release.

The film The Other Side was awarded with Best Audience Award at National Film Festival For Talented Youth, Washington. The short film is written and directed by Danish Qasim along with five other team members.

The 20-minute film revolves around the idea of assessing social, psychological and economical affects of drones on the people in tribal areas of Pakistan.

The film identifies the problems faced by families who have become victims of drone missiles, and it unearths the line of action which terrorist groups adopt to use victimised families for their vested interests.

Despite being chosen for the award, the filmmakers were unable to attend the award ceremony as their visa applications were rejected twice.

“If we got the visa then it would have been easy for us to frame our point of view in front of the other selected youth filmmakers,” Qasim said.

“The film gained interest from the audience across the globe compelling festival administrators to give Audience Award to the film,” he added.

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly named the director of the film as Danish Ali. This has been corrected.

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Reader Comments (42)

  • UseIt
    May 11, 2012 - 7:32PM

    Moment of pride for Pakistan.


  • mani
    May 11, 2012 - 7:33PM

    Finally! well done lads!


  • Asim
    May 11, 2012 - 7:37PM

    Congratulations … good work… can we see it on youtube?


  • May 11, 2012 - 7:41PM

    Plz somebody make film/Dacomentry on American/NATO terrorism in Afghanistan etc too … or wait i will make inshaAllah after 25 :)


  • Imran Mohammad
    May 11, 2012 - 7:43PM

    filmmakers were unable to attend the
    award ceremony as their visa
    applications were rejected twice.

    Because they were talking about the ” The other side” and that side is not welcome in American public discourse in general and corporate media in particular. But the fact that it was awarded by Washington based entity is admirable.


  • 110
    May 11, 2012 - 7:45PM

    Great IU Students!


  • An Observer from the US
    May 11, 2012 - 8:02PM

    Will the film be shown in Pakistan?


  • Pungi
    May 11, 2012 - 8:15PM

    Liberals…Get a drift..!


  • Ali
    May 11, 2012 - 8:18PM

    Its not at all shocking to see that they were not granted us visas. Just goes on to prove that the drones are something the americans are using as an act of war. Shame on them for killing innocent children and shame on our govt. for allowing them to do this! No wonder the world is a mess today. We muslims ought to get united…..


  • Faisal
    May 11, 2012 - 8:20PM

    Sharmeen Chinoy was awarded an oscar for the movie on a subject that was more welcomed by the US and on the other side filmmakers visa application was rejected twice because they made a film on drone attacks and dared to show the other side of the US to the world. Again an utter display of double standard by the US !!!


  • Faisal
    May 11, 2012 - 8:26PM

    Whether it will be rcecognised in the west or not but I’m sure The Other Side will gain much appreciation in Pakistan than Saving Face


  • Lone Star
    May 11, 2012 - 9:53PM

    Great Job. I find it easier to convince Westerners and Americans by showing of these sort of clips, now let’s hope these students will make some other movies to show how many schools with kids, mosques with worshipers and markets with merchandisers have been destroyed by the locally produced terrorists. I urge these students to educate local people to stand up these rogues in the society.


  • Talat Haque
    May 11, 2012 - 10:15PM

    Something to be truly proud of! …………. not such a pitiful nation after all !!!!


  • vigilant
    May 11, 2012 - 10:33PM

    why they can be given any visa for attending the ceremony……it’s US embassy calling shots and endorsing visas……


  • May 11, 2012 - 10:48PM

    USA wants visas for CIA and Blackwater terrorists from us and they don’t gives visas to our students.


  • Bilal Butt
    May 11, 2012 - 11:21PM

    Very well done, seems like our educated youth is concerned about Pakistan and are actively involved to find a solution to curb these problems. The international award to talented Danish Qaseem’s short film is a proud for Pakistani nation. We should try and show this “Other Side” again and again! Be heard!


  • G. Din
    May 11, 2012 - 11:40PM

    Those who exult here thinking that the film is against the use of drones should read the write-up carefully one more time and note the following:
    “…and it unearths the line of action which terrorist groups adopt to use victimised families for their vested interests.”
    So, it is more a condemnation of “terrorist groups” for “their vested interests”. The rest is a documentary of how families are victimized directly by the drones, brought on indirectly by the terrorist groups.


  • Sadia Mahmood
    May 11, 2012 - 11:48PM



  • May 11, 2012 - 11:53PM

    “And the chain reaction continues …”

    Few days back Shahzad Chaudhry wrote in his column that drones are a bonafide tool of war, and a brilliant one at that.

    Concurred! Now let’s look at the other side of the picture. There are huge gaps between this bonafide tool, its tactical usage and the horrendous outcome.

    Nice effort, collegians.


  • May 11, 2012 - 11:53PM

    How ironic is that !!


  • Afridi
    May 11, 2012 - 11:58PM

    good effort in highlighting US drone strike on our beloved innocent tribals. it has given our tribals immeasurable hurts .. drones should be stoped


  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    May 12, 2012 - 12:13AM

    The Visa Officers of US Embassy or the Consulate did not wanted the youth of Pakistan who made the film “The Other Side” to go to US and make their point of view.

    After all the film was against the actions of Obama Administration but the interesting point is that the “Best Audience Award” was awarded by the Washington based organisation.

    The point to be noted is that people of the United States do not want that US should attack Pakistan through drones, but the policy of Obama Administration is to continue to attack Pakistan through drone strikes and kill the terrorists.

    I don’t have the data to put here that how many terrorists were killed by the US drones but I am confident that the drones killed more innocent people than the terrorists. For US, the loss of lives of innocent people is called as “collateral damage”.

    Despite the fact that the visas of the youth of Pakistan were rejected twice but despite rejecting the visas twice, the youth of Pakistan have made their point very clearly to US Authorities to say “NO MORE DRONE STRIKES”.

    I hope the government of Pakistan will also give special awards to the youths, as the point made by the youths could not be elaborated in the similar manner by the Government of Pakistan.

    Well done youth of Pakistan.

    May Al-Mighty Allah Bless You All.


  • Great video. Congratulations to Danish Qasim and his team for such an awesome presentation. This is a big contribution in about 2 minutes video.


  • PakArmySoldier
    May 12, 2012 - 1:21AM

    The message is good but the video could be exponentially better. It looks like what high school students would make.


  • Baba Ji
    May 12, 2012 - 1:39AM

    Now thats excellent … shabaash !!!! need to think about a strategy to float this movie in the western media so that the “goras” can see what havoc their governments are playing here …Recommend

  • Pakistani
    May 12, 2012 - 1:58AM

    Hats Off!
    this is an example how can we use international media and platforms to rise our daily external issues. Don’t just hope for a better Pakistan. WORK FOR IT!


  • Umer
    May 12, 2012 - 3:10AM

    Drones are the only mechanism to get rid of terrorists at present in Pakistan as courts won’t punish the terrorists. Some people do not want drone attacks, to protect terrorists from annihilation. Pakistan is indeed as safe a heaven as can be for terrorists in the current circumstances.


  • @Asim: While watching it here double click on YouTube in the video-pan and then you could watch it on YouTube.


  • Knotty
    May 12, 2012 - 4:39AM

    @ G. Din

    You are such a genius (sarcasm!)
    I wish there were such geniuses in the US embassy, it would have made their visa possible!
    Does that mean US is in favour of the extremist when it refuses visa to the makers of anti-terrorist film?


  • Imran Con
    May 12, 2012 - 5:15AM

    People act like everywhere but the US gives Pakistanis visas easily these days.


  • G. Din
    May 12, 2012 - 4:19PM

    I did not speak about the visa issue. Did you fail to notice that because you are too modest to recognize your own genius (sarcasm intended, in case you don’t notice that, too)!


  • May 12, 2012 - 5:22PM

    IU Rocks! :) :)
    I’m proud to be a student of IU(Media Sciences department) and friend of THE OTHER SIDE team :)

    Congrats once again :)


  • Said and Done
    May 12, 2012 - 7:30PM

    This is more important than the Chinoy Oscar that was won for a subject that was favored and promoted by the west. Really do not have anything against Ms Chinoy but the fact remains that the subject of drones is so “not favored and promoted” by the West that even the directors of this particular movie didnt get visas. Hence, in my book this award for the young guys from the university is NUMBER UNO. Great work guys.


  • May 12, 2012 - 8:35PM

    well dun gayz to show american’s terrorist activity but in Pakistan many group of terrorist and they are said we are Taliban but reality is they are not Taliban they are agent of america and india


  • Mohsin gilani
    May 13, 2012 - 9:30AM

    Its pretty certain that evrey action has its reaction what we have to realize to respect humanity the world with war is nothing and will through humanity back to old age era we have to respect humanity apar of religom and natnality to won the heart of the people its the love not the drones


  • Mohsin gilani
    May 13, 2012 - 9:37AM

    Where is the humanity it seems that we are forgetting something or may be running the world based on color or religon we have to repect the humanity to won the hearts of people one should respect and give love to have same in retrurn


  • faiza
    May 17, 2012 - 9:22PM


  • May 18, 2012 - 11:57PM

    Congrats!!! the Team of Other side Hats of,,, you guys really made us proud once again,,, Also IQRA University students great work :)


  • sami
    May 19, 2012 - 12:17AM

    congrates every 1 who worked hard 4 making this un forgetable movie ..keep working hard like as u did ..proud of u guyzz cause u have made uss proudd.


  • Macroman
    May 20, 2012 - 4:22AM

    “The 20-minute film revolves around the idea of assessing social, psychological and economical affects of drones on the people in tribal areas of Pakistan.” You mean economic, not economical. The words have different meanings.


  • May 26, 2012 - 11:16PM

    Congratulations! We need more hard working people like this, who’re willing to place importance to such horrifying problems!


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