ISLAMABAD: A large number of people turned up to watch more than 40 short films screened on the first day of the Asia Peace Film Festival on Monday along with four panel discussions and the inauguration of an exhibition of photographs on the theme of peace.
The Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA), with support of the Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage, organised the festival to support the common vision of Asia on the situation of human rights and other challenges being faced by the 60 per cent of the total global population.
PNCA Director General Syed Jamal Shah said that cinema, both narrative and documentary, was probably the most accessible and effective vehicle for promoting social change in the world because it could address important social and cultural issues.
He said it had the unique ability to reach mass audiences that no other form of communication or art can match and is equipped with powerful tools to engage people into a collective that, informs, transforms and shapes the public mind.
“Being a collaborative art form, cinema employs acting, music, choreography, writing, photography geography and architecture to create dramatic visual effects, synthetic dreams, counterfeit emotions and preconceived spontaneity to tell stories. It moves people emotionally and intellectually and appeals all categories of intelligence. Cinema has proven itself to be the best vehicle for the preservation of the cultural narratives of the land and for highlighting people’s aspirations, dreams, struggles and achievements,” he said.
While speaking on the ‘Meet the Press’, most of the international delegates said that almost all the countries in the Asian continent had similar problems. Cinema could bring the Asian societies closer and together to fight the challenges being faced by the most populace continent, they said.
Over a dozen delegates spoke of their aspirations for the peace and acceptance of differences to live together in a harmonised manner. Those who spoke on the occasion included Komeil Soheili, Kim Jooyoung, Nikkin Loke Sau Mui, Liguer Tu, Min Min Hein, Hassnain Imran Hani, Boopathy Wickramage, Merve Cirisoglu Cotur, Fatemeh Hassanzadeh, Kamboziya Partovi, Nasrin Moradi, Hamid Reza Soheili, Mariya Saeed, Sahraa Karimi, Syed Jala Rohani, Anne Hellen Geroe Demy and Amir Masoud Soheili.
Sahra Karimi, one of the distinguished filmmakers from Afghanistan, said that politics had its own drawbacks and it did not show the real face of the society. “Art has the capacity to reflect the problems and educate the people about the solutions we need for our societies. The documentary makers shall be the social activists so that they could sow the seeds of change through their films,” she said.
Malaysian filmmaker Abdul Wahab said the APFF was an important moment in the Asian timeline, and it would define a new narrative in the context of Pakistan and peace. He said that films and literature were needed to create a better understanding of the challenges faced by the people.