KARACHI: The country’s first national production and entertainment trade conference — FocusPk16 — is set to open its door on Saturday for a two-day event at the Beach Luxury hotel.
This is being organised by the Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) — led by the FPCCI-Standing Committee on Production and Entertainment committee’s chairperson Atiqa Ohdo.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Ms Odho said that the conference was going to be a real game changer in the industry. “This is being done for you and for anyone who is interested in this business,” she said, adding that it was time for the financial sector to take the entertainment industry seriously.
Atiqa Odho added that on the first day of the conference they would honour two men who had made major contributions to the entertainment industry — Anwar Maqsood and Ghazanffar Ali.
“FocusPk16 shall be filling in a wide gap in our industry where we have resources but aren’t sure of how to utilise them,” said the actress, adding that they were trying to create a medium of interaction not only for people in the industry but aspiring filmmakers and entertainers.
“This is a first of its kind event and gives industry professionals the opportunity to network and exchange views with likeminded individuals, decision-makers and the real stakeholders,” she added.
FPCCI VP Muhammad Hanif Gohar said he was looking forward to the conference — the first of its sort in Pakistan and something he had been following since its inception.
“I am so happy to see our country’s entertainment and production industry — which had been ignored earlier, getting good attention,” he said, adding that Ms Odho and her team had worked very hard to bring that together.
FPCCI senior vice president Shaikh Khalid Tawab said this was the first time the federation was doing something related with the entertainment industry. “This is and can become an even bigger industry but it has to be promoted,” he said.
Shafqat Jalil, the director general of the federal information ministry, said the government fully supported FocusPk16. He added that the information minister would be attending the event to exchange views on several topics of discussion.
According to Mr Jalil, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was interested in reviving the film industry and wanted to hold a national convention to discuss and see how the government could help and contribute to its revival.
The sessions will begin at around 11.30am and go on till 5.30pm. They will cover a range of issues, including scripting and storytelling, animation, theatre, music, parallel cinema, programming, foreign content and syndication, censorship policies and audio engineering.
Speakers at the conference will include information minister Maryam Aurangzeb, Pemra chairman Absar Alam, Aly Mustansir, Usman Peerzada, actress Maria Wasti, actor and director Sarmad Khoosat, Choorian director Syed Noor, Vasay Chaudhry, singer Zeb Bangash, writer Hasina Moin, Sarwat Gilani, Samina Ahmed, Misbah Khalid, Zohaib Kazi, Salman Shahid, Seemi Raheel, musician Shallum Xavier, cinema owner Nadeem Mandviwala, Sohail Hashmi, CEOs, media house owners, producers and directors.
To attend, you can register at www.focuspk.net by clicking on register. Tickets are free for people related to trade or industry.
FPCCI vice president Arshad Farooq, Fareshteh Aslam, Seema Jaffer were also present at the event.
Originally published in Dawn, November 30th, 2016