The Aiwan-i-Quaid Auditorium lightened up with the enthusiasm and passion of youngsters on Saturday evening at the screening of the 60 Second International Film Festival and American Film Showcase.
Amateur and aspiring filmmakers gathered to screen 10 of the best films of the 60-second international film festival and three documentaries from the US. The screening was followed by a question and answer session with Andy Merkin and Martha Michell, renowned American filmmakers, where aspiring filmmakers questioned experts about technicalities of filmmaking.
The American Film Showcase (AFS) is part of the American film diplomacy bringing US filmmakers and their work to worldwide audiences. AFS is a partnership between the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. The idea behind the showcase was to highlight the significance of films in order to identify problems and find solutions while fostering dialogue and discourse.
The event will go on till June 3 where American filmmakers will participate in various festivals, conduct workshops, chair discussions and share the intricacies and best practices of filmmaking with aspiring filmmakers.
While opening the event, US Ambassador Richard Olson said “To compete in the global entertainment market, a strong foundation of filmmakers and experts is a necessity. The American Film Showcase will have a lasting and positive impact on Pakistan’s economy and cultural heritage”.
The event began with the screening of two short films: ‘Listening is an act of love’ and ‘The science of character’, after which the top 10 films were screened.
Martha and Andy’s visit is being conducted in partnership with Hunerkada College of Visual and Performing Arts and the 60 Second International Film Festival, a project by Morango Films. In an exclusive conversation with The Express Tribune, both mentioned that they were delighted to come to Pakistan for the event. “It is exciting to see so many people interested in film and filmmaking and since the audience is so diverse, the entire event has become even more fascinating. As a producer of one of the films being showed, I feel honoured to be a part of this,” said Martha.
“Our trip to Pakistan has been going great so far, we’ve just landed this morning and are so delighted to see the response of young filmmakers who are encouraged and inspired to do great work,” said Merkin.
Abrar Hassan, the director of Morango Films, said “The best thing about promoting film is that we get to see the work of people from small towns and rural areas, which makes us realise the potential of the youth of this country,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 25th, 2015.
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