PIFF 2018: Genre and Script take center stage on Day 2

The Pakistan International Film Festival (PIFF) 2018, finale is well into its third day now and has got Karachi under its spell these days, the relevant circles, at least. Like the previous updates on its daily activities, here is your daily dose of update, this from the second day of the event, which was yesterday.

Like day one, the second day also had two panel discussions planned, along with a couple of movie appearances, and a dinner to mark the end of the day.

The first panel discussion took place between names like, Vinay Pathak, Nandita Das, S. S. Rajamouli, and Shobu Yarlaggada from India, along with, Adnan Sarwar, and Sana Tauseef from Pakistan. The discussion was moderated by Hashim Raza.

While Adnan Sarwar of Shah and Motorcycle Girl, and Shobu Yarlaggada of Baahubali, were of opinion that genre doesn’t matter but the story and the way you tell tell it does, Adnan also stressed on the point that while India is a big market and could afford bigger monetary risks, Pakistan needed to tell stories under the three crore budget as currently that model suited its small market.

Nandita Das, however, took a little different route, and highlighted the fact that the mega Hollywood and Bollywood movies with zero story and content are actually what have been destroying our ability to tell stories. She also opined that “good films not necessarily have big budgets,” and that even with a bigger market, Bollywood only has a success rate of 5-6%.

Carrying the thought, Sana Tauseef of animated film, Tick Tock, said, “we don’t have the acceptability of varying genres in Pakistan. I made an animated film, but since people are tuned to the much superior Hollywood animation standards, it left us with limited support in the industry.” She also stressed on the “need for promotion of local content.”

S. S. Rajamouli of Bahubali added to the discussion saying, that “trying to ape Hollywood and Bollywood is actually destroying us.”

Apart from the serious discussion, Indian actor Vinay Pathak on a lighter note said, ” I am here, open to casting couch, will work only for Niharis too, even though I am a vegetarian.”

The second Panel discussion took place on the topic, “From script to screenplay and beyond,” and the panelists included people like Kamran Javed, Amin Farooqi, Tahir Moosa and the husband-wife duo of Zeenat Lakhani and Saket Chaudhry, known for their film Hindi Medium.

Discussing the topic, the Hindi Medium couple was of the opinion that script matters the most, and needs to be perfected, where at times you even need to cut some scenes. They said it is important because film is a premium experience, which television is not, and must be respected as such.

Talking about Saba Qamar, the couple said, they had cast Saba because they had seen her work in tv serial Maat, and loved it, “we needed a gutsy, strong actress who would stand opposite Irrfan and own it off and on the camera,” it was further revealed by them.

Apart from the panel discussion, there was a festival premiere of Alyy Khan and Samina Peerzada starer; and Saila Kairat directed film, Valley, along with the gala screening of another film, named, Bheege Alfaaz, featuring Geentanjali and Zain Khan, and directed by Onir.

The day-two of the event concluded with a dinner hosted by Sultana Siddiqui of Hum Network, at Karachi’s Beach Luxury Hotel, attended by who’s who of here, there, and everywhere, including some of our big names like, Mahira Khan, Ali Zafar, Saja Ali, and even Bilawal Bhutto.

That’s it from Day-two folks, stay tuned for more coverage of the event.

With On-field reporting by: Momin Ali Munshi

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Live in Karachi. A Charted Accountant to be, hopefully. A writer today, a writer always. Email: aayanmughal@gmail.com

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