ISLAMABAD: The premiere of the first-ever European Film Festival was held at the Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA) on Wednesday which woulud showcase a range of films depicting European culture to a broad Pakistani audience.
The festival’s organisers said the event would nurture cultural dialogue, mutual understanding, respect and understanding of cross-cultural issues.
The film festival is held annually across the world to celebrate the diversity and creativity of European cinema, heritage and culture. This is the first time it has been organised in Pakistan.
The event brought together government officials, diplomatic missions, civil society, actors and filmmakers besides media representatives.
EU Delegation Charge D’ Affaires Thomas Seiler said: “We are excited to be hosting the first-ever European Film Festival in Pakistan. This celebration of cultural diversity and cross-cultural dialogue through cinema highlights the EU’s firm commitment to strengthening its relationship with Pakistan, particularly at the people and local community levels.”
Mr Seiler said film was a gateway to other cultures and worldviews, which was why “we have called it Europe ki aik Jhalak”.
“It is an amazing medium that connects people across borders, faiths and ethnicity and celebrate our common humanity,” he added.
Three films, all co-productions, were screened on the opening night. These included two feature films – My Brother Chases Dinosaurs (Italy/Spain) and Our Struggle (Belgium/France) – and one short film Hungry Seagull (Switzerland/China).
The screening was followed by a panel discussion on family relations with distinguished guests from the Pakistani film and television fraternity including Sarmad Khoosat, Sania Saeed, Anam Abbas, Haris Khalique alongside Elena Gómez Aoiz, deputy head of mission at the Spanish embassy.
The festival will feature 21 award-winning films from across Europe on a range of issues such as gender equality that highlight diversity of cultures across Europe and how it relates to Pakistani audience.
The festival will move to other cities in Pakistan including Faisalabad, Peshawar and Karachi before concluding in Lahore on Dec 12.
Published in Dawn, December 9th, 2021