Pakistan's first-ever film festival is taking place in New York this December and among UN dignitaries, notable personalities from our film industry have also been invited to be a part of the event.
The event, initiated and promoted by Pakistan's Ambassador to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi, has been organised by Frieha Altaf. Although the guest list has been a hush-hush affair, Images got exclusive deets of the celeb attendees who will be flying out to PFFNYC:
Power couple Fahad Mustafa and Sana Fahad, Ho Mann Jahaan team Sheheryar Munawer, Mahira Khan and Asim Raza, ARY CEO Jerjees Seja, Mah e Mir director Anjum Shahzad, actor Mawra Hocane, Actor In Law director Nabeel Qureshi, PFFNYC organiser Frieha Altaf, Dobara Phir Se co-stars Sanam Saeed and Tooba Siddiqui, Lahore Se Aagey team Yasir Hussain, Saba Qamar and Wajahat Rauf, photographer Faisal Farooqi and makeup artist Saba Ansari.
The festival, which will be held from December 3rd to 4th, will screen the following films: Dobara Phir Se, Lahore Say Aagey, Actor In Law, Pakistan’s Oscar submission Mah e Mir, Academy award winner Sharmeen Obaid’s animated film 3 Bahadur, Dukhtar, Dance Kahani and Ho Mann Jahaan.
Here's what the star attendees have to say about the fest:
"Pakistani films are just emerging, there is no real industry yet it's very important to encourage and showcase and create publicity for cinema. Sharmeen Obaid's Oscar wins have encouraged directors and producers to come forward but more needs to be done."
"Well, I think it's very important for our industry to do well and to be recognised not just in Pakistan but also worldwide. By making good movies we can promote our industry internationally."
"A festival based on (purely) Pakistani movies in NYC is an excellent platform to showcase our movies to the people who matter. It will open doors for Pakistani movies and talent. Opportunities like these lead to exchange of talent and collaboration which will be good for the growing industry of our country. We must organise international conferences and exchange of talent."
"Showing our films at the Pakistan Film Festival New York will give us filmmakers a chance to show Pakistan's contemporary cinema which will also improve our image in the international community.
I think everything [efforts to promote films internationally] before this festival has been by producers themselves. We can't reach out to other countries the way our government can through our embassies. To promote our films we need to attend conferences and festivals worldwide as a group so we can find more distributors for our films."
"It will have immense significance because a) it's happening in New York and in America there's a great film culture, b) many Pakistani films are not released worldwide or on the same date, and we're not able to go to America or England to promote a lot of our films. And right now Pakistan needs a screen, no matter where it is in the world."
"The selection of films screening [at the event] will be very important; Manto, Moor and like productions should also be screened besides mainstream films, to show the variation of films produced in Pakistan.
Our films need to start releasing internationally, and screen in different markets. Short films, documentaries and student films should also have a platform to showcase their work at festivals. Nowadays on social media there are countless bloggers who have no clue about film making and they write whatever comes to their mind. They should instead highlight the positive side of the films and promote it. Because if you discourage the filmmaker then how will he make films?"
"It's the first time the Pakistani govt is taking an initiative to promote our film industry, so that's good. We need more initiatives like PFFNYC and not just in America but other countries as well, especially the European side.
Now all Pakistani films are being released internationally, when we made Na Maloom Afraad, the Pakistani industry wasn't big on international distribution. But now we have contacts and we've started making good films so the distributors have also gained trust in our films."