PESHAWAR: Rights activists, youth bodies and civil society organisations have welcomed launch of online mentorship programme for young filmmakers of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The programme titled ‘Frame by Frame’ was recently launched under the auspices of ‘Patakha Pictures’ headed by two-time Academy Award winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy.
The objective of the programme is to empower and support a new generation of storytellers and encourage youth to create short documentary films shedding light on burning issues.
Mala Kumari, an active social activist and a resident of Kurram tribal district, told Dawn that the initiative would help tribal youth to bring out their latent talent and highlight issues being faced by women in the area. She added that there was great potential in tribal youth, both girls and boys, to take advantage of the programme.
20 candidates from KP will be trained to produce short documentaries
Jamima Afridi, a freelance journalist and activist from Khyber district, said that Ms Chinoy’s initiative would prove a milestone in enabling young girls and boys from tribal districts to address local issues through visual media. She said that being part of a patriarchal society, tribal women lived under the show of so-called social taboos and stereotypes.
Gul Lakhta Wazir, a rights activist from North Waziristan, said that the programme would benefit Khyber Pakhtunkhwa youth because young women if given opportunity and resources would be able to pinpoint local issues with a different angle through visual media.
Zeenat Khan, another rights activist and an award winning journalist, believed that Patakha Pictures’ recent initiative would bring about a significant change in priorities of youth to do something different and unique for building a just society.
She said that the online programme for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa youth should be welcomed and lauded as it would play a pivotal role in highlighting issues through the sharp lenses of talented youth.
Razia Mehsud, the first female journalist and human rights activist from South Wazristan, told this scribe that she ran South Region Organisation (SRO) for highlighting different issues of tribal women. Regarding the online initiative, she said that it would be a great breakthrough for the region because young tribal youth would get an access to exhibit their talent through digital media.
Shafeeq Gigyani, chief of Peshawar Study Circles, termed the initiative a worthy project that would provide an insight to KP youth to use digital media for highlighting issues and problems surrounding their society.
The initiative will benefit youth, especially from tribal districts, with age bracket of 18 to 29. Ten each potential aspirants from settled and tribal districts would be offered the platform to showcase their talent. The online mentorship programme would train and equip youth with material and skills to help them create their documentary films in resonance with the wider audience.
The initiative will put together 10 young filmmakers from tribal districts with 10 candidates from settled areas to create short documentaries. Patakha Pictures will bring one international and one Pakistani mentor on board to foster their storytelling skills.
The programme will formally begin in November 2023 with online workshops at least twice a month. The workshops will combine sessions with international and Pakistani mentors and occasional in-person check-ins with the teams.
Mentorship sessions will include, but not be limited to, storytelling, developing narratives, character development, direction, sound designing and editing, followed by a celebratory closing event in Karachi to officially launch the completed films in October 2024.
Published in Dawn, October 18th, 2023