After producing a number of award winning documentaries, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy (SOC) Films is all set for Pakistan's first-ever full-length animated motion picture 3 Bahadur. With Academy Award winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy at its helm, the company seeks to introduce animated features to the Pakistan film industry.
“The movie, 3 Bahadur is not an initiative to join the film industry; it is the creation of a whole new industry altogether,” Chinoy tells The Express Tribune. While discussing the current status of the animation industry in Pakistan, the producer of the film speaks about the kind of talent and creative content similar ventures can produce. “It seeks to give the much-needed attention to our local animation industry that is incredibly talented, yet, undervalued. We want to prove that Pakistan can pull off such content and we hope that this film proves that there is a demand for it as well.”
The film is a work of fiction but it has a very relatable localised theme. Audiences will see streets and characters that look familiar — from graffiti to the crisscrossing wires that we see around local neighbourhoods.
“We have all our foundations in place; fresh skilled talent, an appreciation for the arts, a beautiful country that is bursting with stories,” says the 35-year-old. “With an audience that has grown familiar with the concept of going to the movies over the past five years, nothing can stop us, as long as we maintain this momentum and passion,” she adds.
Having specialised in producing content that highlights social issues, SOC Films has now taken an about turn, not only in terms of content but also in terms of their target audience. The film will be catering to the huge demand for entertainment for children in Pakistan.
“I want them to laugh with our characters, grieve with them, root for them and see themselves in our heroes,” says Chinoy.
Animation is a medium that pushes your imagination to new heights and compels you to escape into another world without hesitation. The film doesn’t promise anything less and will entertain the viewers, by giving them a colourful journey of textures, design and storytelling.
“The film seeks to entertain you; everything else is secondary,” says the producer. “It will prove to be a pleasant change from the sort of serious content that we are used to seeing and I hope it triggers the production of many more animated films in the near future.”
SOC Films has partnered with ARY Films to create a new production house that will solely produce animated content. “We have our second project in the pipeline at the moment and we hope to expand the number of animated material that comes out of Pakistan,” reveals the international award winner.
Currently, the team is also working on Sound of Sachal, a documentary film about a jazz ensemble in Lahore, trying to revive classical music locally. In addition to that, Sharmeen told The Express Tribune that she in the final stages of completing Peacekeepers, a film about Bangladeshi policewomen who are serving as peace-keeping forces in Haiti with the help of the United Nations.
While the SOC team is optimistic about their upcoming film, the verdict whether 3 Bahadur will have the desired impact on Pakistani cinema has yet to be witnessed. The animated film is expected to release in the summer of 2015.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 16th, 2014.
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