Pakistani celebs glam up the UN at our first film festival in New York
The first-ever Pakistan Film Festival kicked off Friday night and it was grand!
The UN Headquarters in New York had a red carpet reception attended by some Pakistani's biggest stars, ambassadors accredited to the UN, community members, media and movie buffs. We're talking stars like Mahira Khan, Mawra Hocane, Nabeel Qureshi, Saba Qamar, Wajahat Rauf, Yasir Hussain, Sheheryar Munawar, Asim Raza, Tooba Siddiqui, Adeel Hussain, Sanam Saeed, Jerjees Seja, producer Afia Serena Nathaniel and Mehreen Jabbar.
Chief guest of the two-day festival, UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson, congratulated the Pakistan Mission to the UN for organizing the festival, saying that cultural events such as this one play a key role in promoting better understanding among people of the world.
Eliasson pointed out that art, film and music build bridges across cultures and promote peace through inter-cultural understanding. He welcomed the artists saying "You have given life to this building," and added, "You have already conquered Pakistan, now you will conquer New York," to which the artists responded with a huge round of applause.
The festival will showcase at cultural centre Asia Society screening top-rated Pakistani movies over the weekend. Movies include Dobara Pher Se, Lahore Say Aagay, Actor in law, Pakistan's Oscar nomination, Mah e Mir, Oscar award winner Sharmeen Obaid's animated film, 3 Bahadur, Dukhtar, Dance Kahani and Ho Mann Jahaan.
Pakistan's Ambassador to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi, who took the initiative to hold the festival, read out a welcome address, saying the films from Pakistan will convey the energy and dynamism that defines today's Pakistan.
"This revival has been spearheaded by a new wave of young filmmakers and actors; they have produced a devise array of movies that have been pushing the boundaries and charting and breaking new ground by tackling bold themes and using digital technology," she said.
The Pakistani envoy added, "It is appropriate that we are launching the Festival here at the United Nations which embodies and represents the finest example of our shared humanity,"
Lodhi has also taken part in many projects to promote Pakistani art and artists before, including a Sufi night at the UN General Assembly hall with Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.
“Art, it is rightly said, transcends borders and connects people from different backgrounds and nations and unites all civilizations and cultures in a collective celebration of our emotional lives," said Lodhi.