A film festival organised at Islamic University gives a platform to young Kashmiri film makers to showcase their films. A Kashmir Life Pulse report.
Twenty three documentary films directed by young filmmakers were screened at the ‘Verite’ film festival organised at Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST) on 20th April. The film festival was organized by Parallel Post, the first e-magazine of the state.
A wide array of films were screened which included films by national as well as local filmmakers. The films dealt with a variety of subjects like conflict, victims, dying heritage of the valley and social affairs.
“Life on Wheels” a short documentary film by a group of students from MERC, Kashmir University won the first prize.
The film depicts stories of two bus conductors and compares their attitudes towards the same work. While one conductor is a young juvenile, the other is in early twenties. The film was made as part of the yearly film production workshop held at the department. The students currently in their third semester of study at MERC were overjoyed at the award.
“We worked very hard while making this documentary. We are thankful to the whole team of Media Education Research Centre (MERC) who helped us in making this picture. The film is about the life of bus conductors and the hardships they face in life”, said the students. The students were guided on the film by Akmal Hanaan, producer at Educational Multimedia Research Centre (EMMRC), Kashmir University.
The second prize was won by “Pankh” by Nishant Rana, a Mumbai based filmmaker. The third prize was shared by M. Irfan Dar’s “Eidiyaan”, Ather Mohiudin “Lost” and Malik Sajad’s “Hopscotch.”
‘Hopscotch’ received very warm audience applause. The animated film portrays the story of divided Kashmir in just two minutes.
The film festival attracted media students and film lovers, and saw their active participation. Many film sessions were followed by discussions. “We organised this film festival with an aim to give a platform to young film makers to showcase their films and let people see and debate what they have come up with,” said Haris Amin Zargar, a student of MERC, Kashmir University and one of the organizers of the festival.
Haris runs the Parallel Post e-magazine and the website along with other media students from MERC, KU, Islamic university, Women’s college and Baramulla College. Anees, a co-organizer of the event hoped that the festival will encourage more people to come forward and experiment with film making. “Films are an important medium of expression and the story of Kashmir needs to be told through this medium also,” he added.
A budding film maker, Naureen Farooq said that making films was her way of serving the society. “My first documentary is about orphans. I think society has a great role towards orphans as they are part of our inseparable part. I want to show the people that orphans too have wishes, hopes and needs like us,” she said.
Another film maker, Lebul Nissa, a human rights lawyer screened her film ‘In limbo, Kashmiris Half-widows’ in the film festival. “When I first time asked my friends in India and abroad about the word Half-widow, they were surprised and said is this really new word.
That is why I chose ‘Half- widow’ as the title of the film. I want to show the people throughout globe that in Kashmir we have the people suffering with this pain from several years”.
Zareef Ahmad Zareef noted Kashmiri poet was all praise for the film festival and the young film makers. “The way they presented the various aspects of Kashmir is admirable. God has gifted Kashmir with the best talent. The day will definitely come when we will produce the better film makers to show the true story of our Land,” he said.
The Vice Chancellor of Islamic University, Dr A R Trag in his welcome speech hailed the talent of youth. “I have seen such student organized film festivals at universities in Mumbai and Kolkata. I am proud to see the Kashmiri boys also taking such initiatives,” he said.