KARACHI: A priest of the city has recently turned filmmaker and his movies force one to sit up and take notice because it’s a labour of love.
Reverend Father Arthur Charles, the parish priest of St Anthony’s Church, screened his second movie on the big church screen here.
Titled Thora Sa Waqt, his hour-long film tackles the issue of living in an empty nest and how children can go astray without parental guidance.
As happens in the film, the father dies in a road accident and the mother takes up the responsibility of earning for her family. Doing so she is not able to stay at home most of the time and her children fall into bad company. One son leaves for greener pastures abroad, the other turns into a useless drug addict while the only daughter elopes. Then she hears that her elder son has gone missing while risking his life, trying to get into some country without the necessary documents, the building mafia, who have their eye on her house, also gets after her. But in all this, she also finds some caring people who give her back the will to live.
Thora Sa Waqt is about how children can go astray without parental guidance
All the actors playing these roles in the film are common people who Rev. Charles came across in his church and asked to act. They were all there at the screening cheering for him and themselves also.
Speaking to Dawn later, Rev. Charles said he always had in the back of his mind that films are great for spreading messages. “They are very impactful in our lives. And because the positive impacts outweigh the negatives, it is our duty to choose the right content and present it to the people,” he said.
“Looking at our society and its trends, I listen to my inner voice to reach out to people with a message. This is the motivation behind my doing the films. Moreover, the intentions behind my films are that they should mirror what we believe in and how we coexist as people. I try to bring the concerns, attitudes, flaws, and strengths of our society that I can decipher from our daily interactions,” he added.
His earlier film, which he completed in January, is Kaise Kahun, in which a young man surrounded by sick parents, a widowed sister with children, is trying to make ends meet. But the tensions at home are affecting his office work and his boss is quite upset with him, until he comes to realise his problems and decides to go easy on him.
Rev. Charles also said that he wanted his films to instil hope in people. He wants people to gain inspiration and encouragement from the films. “I like motivating audiences to reflect on themselves and bring a positive change in their lives. It gives me joy when my viewers look on the bright side of life, even if there may be great suffering along the way. People approach me and say that my movies make them think and help them to be compassionate,” he said.
Since he is the writer, director and producer of both his films, one had to ask if he has received any training in filmmaking. He said although he does not have formal training, he has, however, ventured in print and electronic media for some years. “Hence, I believe in on-the-job training and in teamwork,” he said.
He also added that he strongly felt that he receives divine assistance in his work.
Published in Dawn, September 17th, 2023