ISLAMABAD: The Foundation for Arts, Culture and Education (Face) Film Festival 2016 opened at the National Art Gallery on Friday with a series of short fictional films by foreign filmmakers, Pakistani films, discussions on filmmaking and musical performances.

A musical performance by the Bosnian ambassador, Nedim Makarevic, and his friends opened the event, followed by three short films of roughly ten minutes each by Bosnian directors. Among the featured films were ‘One Way Ticket’ by Jasmin Pivic and ‘I Am Adnan and I Will Not Blow You Up’ by Esma Saric.

These were followed by screenings of local productions, including ‘Moor’, directed by Jami Mehmood and starring Hameed Sheikh and Samiya Mumtaz. The hour and twenty minute film was set against the backdrop of the deliberately engineered decline of Balochistan’s railway system. Moor is a story of a father and son investigating human values and heritage through moral dilemmas.

The film was followed by a talk on the challenges of producing feature films, where the industry is headed and the future of indie cinema, as filmmakers Jami Mehmood and Yasir Jaswal answered questions from audience members.

‘Zinda Bhaag’, directed by Meenu Gaur and Farjad Nabi, was also screened at the festival. A realistic depiction of life in Lahore, the film follows three friends, Khaldi, Chitta and Tambi, as they beg, borrow and steal to get by while looking westward for something more than mere existence.

On Saturday, the second day of the festival, ‘Noor’ directed by Cagla Zencirci and Guillaume Giovanetti will be screened. The film follows Noor, a transgender man who is disappointed by Pakistan’s transgender community, gets a job at a truck decoration centre and makes up his mind to find a woman who will accept him as he is.

An hour and 50 minute long film, ‘Mina Walking’ will also be screened. The film is about Mina, who wanders the streets of Kabul selling cheap trinkets to feed her Alzheimer’s stricken grandfather and her father, who is addicted to heroin. Mina wants a normal life, and secretly attends school, a decision that sets in motion events that change her life forever.

On day two, guests will also have the opportunity to hear industry veterans, such as award-winning documentary filmmaker Bill Megalos and Washington Post film critic John Anderson speak on Hollywood’s success, and how this can be replicated in Pakistani cinema.

Published in Dawn, April 30th, 2016

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