Scenes from the film Lucky Irani Circus. — White Star
Scenes from the film Lucky Irani Circus. — White Star

ISLAMABAD: In an effort to revive film and cinema, Divvy Film Festival opened at the Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) on Friday, featuring 20 independent productions. The festival will go on till Nov 16.

“PNCA is striving hard for the revival of film and cinema in Pakistan by taking various steps to give it strength so it could stand on its own. The film diploma course announced by PNCA is also a move forward in this direction,” PNCA Director General Dr Fouzia Saeed said while addressing participants of the ceremony.

Jointly directed by Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy and Andy Schoken Song of Lahore was the first film to be screened followed by Darling by Saim Sadiq, Burka Avenger by Haroon and K2 and the Invisible Footmen by activist and filmmaker Iara Lee.

More than 20 independent films, documentaries, feature films, short films, fictional films and animations will be shown every Friday evening for the next six weeks while some films will also be premiered.

The event has been carefully curated to create a thoughtful and immersive experience for the viewer, ending with a discussion with a panel discussion with filmmakers.

The film Song of Lahore tells the story of the musicians from the Lahore Sachal Ensemble and portrays how restrictions have stifled artists from expressing themselves and pursue their passion.

Saim Sadiq’s Darling — which won the Orizzonti Award for best short film at the 76th Venice Film Festival 2019 — is set in a dance theatre in Lahore. The plot revolves around two friends as they struggle towards getting Alina, a woman from the transgender community, the role of lead dancer for show.

The animated series Burka Avenger targets the masses as it attempts to create awareness about the importance of education for girls. Several other social issues have been highlighted in the series.

The last film, directed by Iara Lee was about the lives of Pakistani porters and Nepalese sherpas who carry luggage and assist mountain expeditions.

At the end, a discussion was held about the themes of these films. Directors, cinematographers and crew members of the films were part of the panel. Technical aspects were also discussed followed by a question and answer session.

Published in Dawn, October 17th, 2020

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