An initiative led by Karachi Film Society (KFS), the Pakistan International Film Festival (PIFF) recently took place in Karachi with an aim to promote Pakistani cinema and Pakistani filmmakers by screening local films amidst a diverse international audience. While it showcased numerous local and international films – shorts, documentaries and features – it also paved the way for cross border cultural exchange by inviting artists from India.
Those who came from across the border to lend support to this initiative included acclaimed actor-director Nandita Das, filmmakers Vishal Bhardwaj, Harsh Narayan, S. S. Rajamouli, Saket Chaudhry, actor Vinay Pathak of Bheja Fry fame and many others.
PIFF 2018 managed to initiate constructive dialogue on cross border collaborations, taking Pakistani cinema forward and using films as a powerful tool of change. Starting off with a digital film workshop, followed by a seminar on women in films, PIFF 2018 comprised panel discussions (aside from film screenings) featuring artists from both Pakistan and India. Those who took active part in the festival from this side of the border included Asim Raza, Ali Zafar, Sajal Aly, Adnan Sarwar, Rashid Khwaja, Atiqa Odho, among others.
Movies that premiered in Pakistan as part of the event include the recently released Cake featuring Adnan Malik, Sanam Saeed and Aamina Sheikh, The Valley that features Alyy Khan, the Saba Qamar and Ahsan Khan starrer Moomal Rano and Mehreen Jabbar’s Lala Begum that also won an award for Best Feature at the closing ceremony.