KARACHI: Film enthusiasts and students will have the opportunity to interact and learn from one of the best in the business as celebrated Bollywood film director and editor, Rajkumar Hirani will be visiting Pakistan in the first week of April to conduct a filmmaking workshop at the Karachi Arts Council.
In a conversation with The Express Tribune the general secretary of Arts Council, Ahmed Shah revealed that the director of iconic films like 3 Idiots, PK and the Munna Bhai film series will conduct workshops on the “technical aspects” of filmmaking.
He termed Hirani as “an unorthodox director” adding that this was an excellent opportunity for aspiring filmmakers to interact with a filmmaker of his stature and caliber. Shah emphasized that the week-long workshop will mainly focus on the technical side of filmmaking.
“Rajkumar Hirani had been an editor his whole life before becoming a film director. Learning from a person who progressed from putting the shots together as an editor to calling the shots as a director would be valuable for people,” stated Shah.
The general secretary believed that, “It is important to bring people who can share their success stories and experiences with the new generation of filmmakers.”
While describing the workshop as a great opportunity he praised the new wave of filmmakers for breaking Pakistani cinema out of the “traditional Gujjar film” mold.
“Our film industry is improving as the younger filmmakers are acquiring education in filmmaking from abroad. We are only lacking behind technically and such sessions will help us improve our knowledge in regards to the technical side of the craft of filmmaking,” said Shah.
While underlining his plan to bring filmmakers from Iran to conduct workshops he also hinted at the prospect of inviting celebrated Indian film directors, writers and lyricists Vishal Bharadwaj and Gulzar in the near future.
To a question about whether or not Hirani had any qualms about visiting the country in the wake of the Peshawar attacks Shah replied, “The show must go on.”
“We won’t give into the wishes of the terrorists by not holding such events. As what they really want is to stop our work,” exclaimed Shah. He added that as a center for arts and culture it was their responsibility to, “invite scholars from all over the world” but there were certain variables which were out of their control as well.
“We had invited Javed Akhtar for the Urdu conference but unfortunately due to the tension at the India-Pakistan border at that time he was forced to withdraw,” remarked Ahmed Shah.
This workshop is a major step in the Art Council’s aim of setting up a film academy very soon. Regarding the prospects of establishing a film school under the umbrella of the council Shah stated, “Previously we were facing problems regarding the space but once are new hall is complete we will have the required space needed and will hopefully lay the groundwork for a fully-functional academy.”
He pointed out to the lack of facilities as being a major obstacle for Pakistani artists and gave the example of how musicians in the country who “make better melodies than Indian musicians” were forced to go to India to record their songs due to the lack of resources here.
Hirani’s ancestors originally belong to Mehrabpur, a city in the Naushahro Firoz District in Sindh, and in an interview the director had expressed a desire to visit his parent’s hometown.