With Pakistan seeing growth and success coming its way in an exponential speed, there are many initiatives being taken to ensure that the youth of this country are equally kept stimulated to lead them to their full potential. One such initiative aimed to ensure that Pakistan’s budding mediascape is given a much-needed boost came in the form of the National Amateur Short Film Festival 2021, which saw its culmination the past week.
Initiated on 9th November 2020, NASFF 2021 came as a brainchild of current DG ISPR, Major-General Babar Iftikhar, who saw it as a grand opportunity for the youth to engage in the mediasphere and create projects that showcase Pakistan to the world. The master theme, “Reimagining Pakistan: Aligning Perceptions with Reality” was complemented by sub-themes such as Colours of Pakistan, the Indus Identity, Pakistan: A Cultural Melting Pot, Empowerment through SMEs and Philanthropy in Pakistan. The youth were given a chance to openly select whichever theme they desired and create their short films.
This representation was then further diversified, and the youth were given a chance to select from the options of either going with the semi-professional route and use their DSLRs or other equipment, or even utilise their mobile devices.
The transparent process was also helped via celebrity brand ambassadors, who were hand-picked by the ISPR for their achievements in the world of entertainment. The big names, who encouraged the youth to participate in this brilliant initiative included Shaan Shahid, Humayun Saeed, Mahira Khan, Bilal Abbas, Iqra Aziz, Mashal Khan, Ayub Khosa, Wahaj Ali, Farhan Saeed, and Zara Noor Abbas, amongst others. The ambassadors were seen working throughout their collaboration and were constantly encouraging students from more than 72 universities via webinars and seminars.
The initiative, which highlights the ISPR’s ever-continuing aim to showcase the hidden and raw talent of Pakistan, bore fruit when there were more than 1100 entries that made their way to the jury from all over the country, from all walks of life and from people of all religions and ethnicities.
The jury, which comprised of names from the media industry and the relevant fields in academia, included, Ms Shireen Pasha (ex HoD, NCA), Syed Noor (Film Director), Saba Hameed (Actor) and Talha Ali Khan (ex NCA) amongst others, who went through the gargantuan task of sifting through all the entries, in order to select the best amongst the best.
By doing so, the jurors were able to pick out the top 15, who today, stand as the first batch of students from the NASFF 2021 initiative to attend the prestigious New York Film Academy in Gold Coast, Australia, where they will be studying filmmaking and screenwriting.
The 15 winners were celebrated in a farewell that took place in the last week of February, which was attended not only by the celebrity ambassadors connected to the initiative such as Shaan Shahid, Wahaj Ali, Iqra Aziz Col Qasim (Alpha Bravo Charlie) and Ayub Khosa, amongst many others, but also by DG ISPR, and the Minister of Information and Broadcasting of Pakistan, Fawad Chaudhry, who were there to support and celebrate such an important festival.
At the event, the Minister of Information and Broadcasting of Pakistan, Fawad Chaudhry, spoke about the need of such festivals continuing and encouraged more youth to participate. The minister also announced that Pakistan will soon have its first ever media university opening as well.
At the culmination of his speech, the Minister of Information and Broadcasting of Pakistan, Fawad Chaudhry, also announced the official theme for National Amateur Short Film Festival 2022 as ‘Ocean to Mountains.’
Ensuring that Pakistan’s media industry has an even brighter future, such initiatives only prove that there is enormoustalent, which can come forward if provided the opportunity. We at Diva wish nothing but the best for such projects to keep taking place and provide the country with much-needed budding fresh talent.
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