THE short documentary titled Lyari’s Girls Café directed by Sehrish Turk has won the bronze prize at the GREENit film festival organised by the German Consulate. The prize was given to the team of the video film by the German Consul General, Holger Ziegeler.
Speaking on the occasion Ziegeler said the festival — an initiative of the German Embassy Islamabad in collaboration with German Consulate General Karachi spread across Pakistan — is about the environment: the forest, the waves of the sea, rivers. “It is a planet given to us by providence to own but to maintain in such a way that we and our future generations can own it.”
The consul-general said keeping the city [of Karachi] clean is the duty of the administration. "But it is our city as well. We clean our house, our room etc. That’s also how we keep our city clean. Civil society needs to see that it’s a city where you can enjoy life. So you have to contribute.”
Giving details of the festival to all those involved in the making of the short documentary and the media, Ziegeler said its topic is the environment. “But you have to make it visible by making a movie about it. We tried to collect short documentaries, 52 in total entered, and then they were put out to vote for the public on social media to find out which is the best one.”
The CG then invited the maker of Lyari’s Girls’ Café and some other members of her crew to collect their prizes.
Sehrish Turk in her speech thanked the German embassy and the consulate for arranging the event. She said she’s happy that her video was selected among the top three shorts.
Shazia, a member of the team that has made the film, said although the situation for girls in our society has improved, it is still not as good as it should be.
Sajida Qazi, Additional Deputy Commissioner, East, said looking at all the young girls from Lyari (who had showed up for the programme at the consulate) had given her goose-bumps. Festivals like these are the need of the hour. “The most important thing in Karachi is the need for all of us to take ownership of the space that we occupy,” she said.
Two short documentaries from Gilgit-Baltistan have won the first two prizes.
Originally published in Dawn, August 15th , 2021