How would one feel to be nominated at Country’s second largest film festival for an award ?
The appreciation is beyond any speech!
It’s just the beginning to my road to awe!
130 shorts made their way to the official selection out of 750! And then only a dozen out of 130, made it to the nominations!!!!
where to begin, how to express the excitement experienced at the festival , was the question going round and round in my head as soon as I returned from the gala!
Nah – Perhaps, even wayyy before than that – when I had just stepped into lums on Friday noon to register my team as a Team leader.
Wohoo! it was 5th Annual International Lums Film Festival and I couldn’t believe I was actually there, living the proud moment surrounded by my friends and famous Directors. Syed Noor? Nah! I was more over whelmed by Mian Adnan Ahmed’s presence. A role model director of short film HEAL with the most humble personality!
Excitement excitement and more excitement led me to stay at my relative’s place near Lums. My residence was wayyy far away from the premises of the event, so naturally, I had to shift my existence to another home for the weekend, till the event ended.
It was fun.
No, actually — it was horror at first.
I begged my mother to stay with me , because problems and more problems worried me there– who would dress me up ? Han ?– more importantly, who would wake me up in the morning, in the first place ? lol … I could conquer the world on my own but I–JUST–CAN’T–CUT–AN–APPLE–WITHOUT–MY–MOTHER!!!
So naturally I was sick to my stomach. I could sleep all day and miss the event ? and my relative — a mother of two rascal kids — wouldn’t even notice that I were actually missing the point of being there. Because she is just as the same sleeping beauty as me.
But to my dismay , my mother didn’t stay there with me . and I m actually thankful to her for that — she gave me the chance to grow up on my own! And the excitement was just so pure that I , soon overcame the separation from my friend and lost myself in the wonderland.
What did I do to make God so pleased with me, lately ? I asked myself for the hundredth time standing there, in the Queue for registration. It was the first day of the festival and only Team leaders were invited to attend the opening ceremony — and later the premiere of shirmeen Obaid’s ” Children of Taliban”.
I must admit, I was terrified at the ‘alone-attend-the-ceremony-‘ thing. So nervous that I even forgot to bring my camera with me to capture my first moments! There were dozens and dozens of boys , not staring at me , but not even talking. Yes– It was bloody annoying. I expected people to act mature and socialize. Talk about their films and plan collaborations.
Were they truly mature filmmakers?? They acted like boys act in 5th grade. You know when girls don’t talk to boys and boys give them equal i-hate-you-opposite-sex, stares.
This was the thing going on. Plus there were no girls. Naturlly, I was the odd girl – out!
So like a proud odd girl, I marched myself there , found myself a spot in the Queue and soon my team was registered.
What A ceremony it was! Simple yet I felt like I was in Filmy Heaven — attending a premiere of my first Movie!!! — wow & Yes – I have my own imagination which led me to the festival … so moral is, Imagine a lot.
Unfortunately, I missed the premiere of Children of Taliban — my toes hurt and my back ached — I couldn’t stay there alone anymore. The main events were yet to come and I needed a good night’s sleep before that.
So after a good night, there came the GOOD MORNING of my fabulous life!!!
I will go in the chronological order here. The screenings of the officially selected films started at 10 am . I skipped it and went at 3 in the noon to attend the workshop, with a team Mate who is also a good friend and assistant producer of our short film ‘ The Unpainted’.
Shaan was expected for the workshop, but the last minute cancellation brought SARMAD KHOOSAT instead. I don’t care what they say about him, but I witnessed the screening of one hell of a creative shortfilm ‘Tamasha Ghar’ by the speaker. and I must say, A great experience it was and very informational.
Then the moment came for the biggest attraction of the evening!!!
PREMIERE OF HEAL . A short film by Mian Adnan Ahmed, that has bagged dozens of awards and screenings at international film festivals.
Yes Yes, I walked A proper Red Carpet with Paparazzi flashing cameras. It was organized to give us all filmmakers a special VIP treatment , A very impressive night!
The screening Hall for HEAL.
after 30 minutes of pure quality work, Mian Adnan Ahmed said few words about his work and the inspiration behind the film. He wanted to make a supernatural close to reality. Unfortunately it was only 30 mins film , and the audience craved for more , but I believe the director did it justice with short duration. Some ideas on screen are better when not stretched for the sake of having a feature film.
That was its beauty. A master piece it was HEAL.
Mr. Syed Noor – Pakistani Film Director/Producer/ Jury Member at Festival , said few words of appreciation after the Premiere of HEAL
Syed Yorguc Tipu Sharif , Pakistani TV Actor and also a member of The Jury.
THIRD DAY began and before the screening of our short film , another highly anticipated workshop was to take place.
SYed Noor and Reema Khan – Pakistan’s famous Film actress and now Director as well as Producer. Thankfully, they didn’t cancel their workshop like Mr. Super Star Shaan .
Both them shared their experiences and mainly talked about their struggles. The only sound advice was ‘Follow Your Heart’. That’s it.
Although one little surprise was very entertaining.. A bit of wrestling between the two speakers on the subject of ‘ART Movies in Pakistan’.
The workshop lasted for an hour and a half – sheer minutes of amusement is what I would call it.
As soon as the workshop ended – Boys lot of the participants rushed outside to take photographs with Reema , she is way pretty when you see her face to face , so I could understand why they showed excitement. For the rest of us – we mainly ran towards rest rooms.
The screening continued after that session and there came the turn for our short film. ‘Let’s pretend we don’t know whose film it is’, I whispered in my friend’s ear and she nodded her head in affirmative. The truth is, we were way too scared to see the reaction of our audience. It’s not like our work was anything inferior. It was simply because moments earlier We had been laughing over someone else’s film. And you know they say, what goes around comes around! So anything could happen.
The film started – we pushed ourselves lower- way way lower on our seats. The film reached its climax and BOOM!!! there I heard a murmur from behind my seat row.
‘WOAA!!!’ gasped a participant (technically speaking an enemy in the competition) with awe in his manner.
My friend (also the Producer of Unpainted) heard it too. ‘What are they saying?’ I asked her to confirm in case my ears were ringing. ‘Did he just…?’
‘Yeah , he did! He said WOAA’
‘WOAA as in wow wow ?’
“Yeah , i believe it is that wow.”
“What do you mean that wow? Are they mocking it or praising it?’ I whispered again, my head turned slightly towards my right. ‘If they are not praising – lets just stay lower.’
‘No- I think they are praising — see– they did it again’
And yes they did it again. They were actually in awe of our film. Phew! I proudly sat up and began to enjoy the moment.
‘ Let’s tell them it’s our film’ 😀 I announced ultimately!
It gives me great pleasure to write here – when our short film Unpainted ended – we were honored with a round of applause that none of us had expected. A small group on my left clapped first and then the rest followed. It was just a beginning for a wonderful evening ahead.
Moments later I received a call on my cell. The organizers wanted to make sure I was there, attending the festival and asked me to invite my family at the awards tonight.
This could mean only one thing. We were going to win something or a nomination was a definite thing.
Yup! Nomination it was and not in just one category but Two. Best short film and Best screenplay.
Wow. None of us expected that too.
I rushed to make calls but nobody could come at such a short notice. I informed my teachers , they were thrilled as hell and so as our families.
Tan TANA!! Drum roll please!! we were officially there to embrace our glory !!!
AWARDS ceremony where every participant was a winner.
Many celebrities were also a part of the night. Ahsan Khan, Bilal Lashari, Seemi raheel, Mian Adnan Ahmed , Tipu Shareef , Meera and Meekal !
What an event it was! such energy and enthusiastic charm that even Oscars didn’t compare to the proud moments we were offered there to experience. IT MEANT ALOT. ALOT TO THE AMATUER FILMMAKERS who had gathered there from different parts of the country and world to bring about a change , a change we all expect and wait for in Pakistan’s film industry.
Sitting there , cheering the moment, I came to realize how wonderful Allah is who bestow upon us such happy moments, moments that make us understand our own abilities, our skills and aims in life. Skills that are a part of our dreams which sometimes we abandon under different pressures and circumstances.
As soon as I realised it, I knew why I was there I knew, why after such a down-luck time I was given a chance to revive my goals and prospects for future.
Film making is what I want to do. Film making it is – along with other crazy things I do – that speaks to me with all its beauty. No matter for how long no matter when and how. Its just a part of my dreams – dreams that can make a difference in the world if pursued wisely.
And I vowed I will return to the festival next year again , Insha Allah!
And this man’s work gave me more inspiration and reasons to believe in film making. If my film could get nominated this time- and it was only my first attempt as a director/writer- why can’t I win more nominations and awards in future?? HELL YES!! I kan, and Insha Allah I will.
The night continued and we took crazy pictures with a number of celebrities. I will not upload those pictures here due to privacy. But you can imagine the excitement already, Isnt it ?
It was my road to awe that has just began. The turn and speed breakers are yet to come. Let’s see where I park my limousine of dreams and when I catch the plane for my Imagination’s fulfillment!