Curtain call: KWIFF comes to a close amid glitz and glamour

Notable Pakistani artists grace award ceremony of first Karawood Film Festival.


Photo Athar Khan/our Correspondent September 19, 2015
Sabri was one of many celebrities who graced the red carpet. PHOTOS: ATHAR KHAN/EXPRESS

KARACHI:


After countless movie screenings across four days, the Karawood International Film Festival (KWIFF) finally drew to a close with a star-studded awards ceremony at the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) museum on Friday night.


Hosted by actor-cum-VJ, Faizan Haqque, the event started with a delay due to minor technical difficulties. But the audiences were compensated for that in the proceedings, when Faisal Qureshi and Saima Azhar took the stage for back to back dance performances. Kicking off the event with a tribute to the legends of yesteryear, Faisal performed on a medley of classic Pakistani film songs alongside a young dance troupe.

The festival saw both student-made films and feature films compete alongside each other with the student productions managing to outdo their more commercial and high-budget counterpart in certain categories.

Read: Karawood International Film Festival draws to a close

One such instance was the Best Original Soundtrack category, which saw the independent film Toota Tara win in the ‘Best Playback Singer — Male’ and ‘Best Song’ categories whereas playback singer Zarrish won in the ‘Best Playback Singer — Female’ category for the Karachi Se Lahore song, Rabbi Ralli. Child artist Aashir Wajahat collected the award on her behalf as she was unable to attend the event .

A major aspect of the event revolved around honouring legends of the Pakistani entertainment industry. Some of the artistes who were awarded with the lifetime achievement awards included Amjad Sabri and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.

Sharing his thoughts on the award, the famous qawwal said, “I am grateful that the organisers of the Karawood International Film Festival thought that I was worthy enough for this award.”

Congratulating the festival’s organising team on their efforts for holding such a grand event, Sabri said that such events were the need of the hour as there were very few activities and performances taking place for families to attend. Singer’s award was followed by a power-packed qawwali performance along with his group.

Other notable actors to be awarded for their contributions to the Pakistani entertainment industry included Fawad Khan, Ali Zafar and Atif Aslam. Not only have the trio made a name for themselves in the Pakistani film and music industries but have also flourished in their respective crafts across the border.

Having performed playback singing duties for a multitude of Bollywood actors like Emraan Hashmi, Saif Ali Khan, Ritesh Deshmukh and with his songs also featuring in Hollywood movies such as Man Push Cart and The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Atif Aslam was given a special award, ‘Voice of the Nation’.

Ali Zafar and Fawad Khan were awarded for their acting stints in Bollywood. Fawad Khan, who made his Bollywood debut opposite Sonam Kapoor in Khoobsurat was presented the award for ‘Best International Debut — Male’.

Whereas Ali Zafar, who has been part of the Pakistani entertainment industry for close to a decade and a half, both as a musician and an actor, was given the award for ‘Most versatile artist’.

Other notable movies to win awards were Manto, Khamosh Khwahish and the ISPR documentary which won in the categories of Best Editing — Feature Film, Best Editing — Short Film and Best Documentary respectively.

Some of the movies that were screened at KWIFF included Tamanna, Thora Sa Waqt, Pak Air Force (documentary), Gee Aya Sahab and Beebal. International films from the United Kingdom, USA, UAE and France also made the cut, including the likes of Power Rangers, Shark, Abu-Rami, Last Remarks and L’Enigma.

The festival had received endorsements from international actors like Stephen Baldwin and Anil Kapoor with the latter saying in a video message that he would love to visit Pakistan.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 20th, 2015.

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