RAWALPINDI: The award distribution ceremony of NAQSH Digital Film Festival, a nationwide event to showcase short films and documentaries created by students, amateurs and emerging professionals, was held at the new auditorium of Fatima Jinnah Women University (FJWU).

Renowned actor Jamal Shah was the chief guest. Pakistani media industry from acting to film production and from legendary camera professionals to direction including Shahzad Nawaz, Noorul Hassan, Ahmer Sohail Basra, Memoona Qudoos, Pervaiz Akhtar, Hajra Yamin, Ejaz Gul, Nargis Hashmi, Aqeel Shah, Syed Farooq Hassan, diplomats from the US embassy, representatives from advertising agencies and production houses were present at the ceremony.

Taana Baana, a documentary on fading chair-caning industry by Hamza Farooq, won the award for best documentary in professional category whileMain Malangiby Ahmad Abbas won the award for best documentary in the student category.

In the short films category,Don’t be Afraid, Jiyaby Hamza Baig secured first position for best short film in professional category andOnusby Abu Bakar won the best short film award in student category.

Cash prizes were also given to winners of the competition.

Speaking on the occasion, Jamal Shah said Pakistan was full of beautiful imprints that needed to be shown to the world. He said it was up to the youth of the country in general and young film-makers in particular to highlight the beautiful face of the country.

He praised the department of Communication and Media Studies (CMS) of the Fatima Jinnah Women University (FJWU) for organising the festival, adding that such events were much needed to provide a competitive opportunity to the youth to nurture and transform their innovative ideas into digital media content.

Speaking on the occasion, FJWU Vice Chancellor Dr Saima Hamid said the university was a leading institute which was following new trends, especially during and after the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Events like NAQSH Digital Film Festival are crucial for implementing the goal of women empowerment which is in line with the vision of Fatima Jinnah Women University,” she said.

The festival’s director and head of Communication and Media Studies department Dr Mohammad Ali was of the view that it was the vision of the department to provide platforms to students where they could learn and experience the practical aspects of the production, which ultimately led towards creating the skilled workforce for the media industry.

Yasir Qadir, CEO of Rime Digital and collaborator of the festival, said Pakistan had a strong talent base as witnessed through all the entries submitted in the competition.

The stories were really inspiring and the digital infrastructure is growing which proves that it is the right time to focus on digital media sector from both content and platform creation perspective, he added.

Published in Dawn,June 20th, 2022

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