First Pakistani film festival in UK

Glasgow will play host to the UK’s first Pakistani film, media and arts festival next month which will attempt to bring cutting edge films and art exhibitions under one roof.

Titled Pehlee Dharkan (first heartbeat), the film festival intends to inform audiences and the wider community on what film-making in Pakistan really has to offer.

Organizers say it will allow them to savor the experience of a socially-engaged documentary/art-film sector, as well as the entertaining and cultish world of commercial cinema in Pakistan. It will take place from 13th to 25th September.

The artistic director, Alina Mirza, says: “I think this is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the film and indeed creative industries in Pakistan. There is a wealth of talent waiting to be discovered and showcased and we feel that this is a great way to achieve this.

“Pakistan has such a rich and living cultural heritage and being able to share this with the world is fantastic. The arts, as they relate to both Pakistan and the Pakistani diaspora, have crucial political relevance and this theme will be a major strand of the festival.”

The festival will screen contemporary films from the budding independent cinema movement; have a retrospective of classic Pakistani films; show short films and documentaries on political, environmental and health issues in Pakistan; and broadcast some films made by British Asians.

Mirza added: “We believe that this is just the start and look forward to more events such as this in the future. This is a curated festival, however I am also keen for filmmakers to contact us regarding their work.”

Pehlee Durkan is also planning to facilitate a process for Pakistani and Scottish filmmakers to contact one another and work together through workshops, training and perhaps co-productions.

The Pakistani film industry is sometimes also referred to as ‘Lollywood’, as much of it is based in the Punjabi city of Lahore.

The festival will also feature two exhibitions at the Tramway Theater:

  • Billboards Art of Lollywood’ – showcasing the hand-painted film posters (oil on canvas) which are such an intrinsic part of the film industry in Pakistan.
  • Art on Wheels’ – a photography exhibition by Peter Grant of lavishly decorated trucks.

The ten-day event is being organized by Heer Productions, a film and cross-arts form company based in Glasgow, that works towards raising the profile of South Asian films, arts and artists in Scotland and the UK.

The company is also actively involved in engaging young people from ethnic minority communities and providing them with opportunities in film and the creative industries.

Media contact: Sam Mohammed 0870 458 9574
[email protected]
The festival website

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