NASFF 2021: The game-changer for aspiring Pakistani filmmakers

Pakistan is brimming with opportunities for talented and promising individuals who are eager to leave a positive impact on the world. Our land is with rich cultural values, heritage, traditions and a beautiful history of the subcontinent that is waiting to be told truthfully to the world. But all these inspiring and motivational stories get buried under the socio-political disruption that we’re often caught in. The successful platform of National Amateur Short Film Festival (NASFF) was conceived in November 2020 with the sole objective to invest in providing opportunities for ingenious and endowed youth of Pakistan and scout talent that can be nurtured further. As a joint initiative of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MOI&B) and ISPR, NASFF was a short film competition held across Pakistan last year that proved to be a game changer. NASFF 2021: A Real Success Story The competition gave a platform to students of Film and TV production, and Mass Media Communication to build their professional careers. Thousands of aspiring filmmakers participated with quality short films to represent picturesque and diverse colours of the country at a global scale. With a singular aim to create and project a progressive image of Pakistan worldwide, the students put their best efforts. They submitted films based on six different themes, ranging from life, history, people, agriculture and entrepreneurship in the country. To be able to foster the talent of capable students, the organisers i.e. ISPR, engaged some of the top names of Pakistan’s film and drama industry. The stars were onboard as the initiative’s brand ambassadors but their association was not restricted to promoting NASFF but actually to interact with the participants. Celebrity Engagement Despite COVID restrictions, Shaan Shahid, Humayun Saeed, Mahira Khan, Wahaj Ali, Bilal Abbas Khan, Iqra Aziz, Farhan Saeed, Zara Noor Abbas, Mashaal Khan and Colonel Qasim Shah (Gulsher of Alpha Bravo Charlie) amongst others held webinars with university students from all across the country. These sessions were designed to mentor young boys and girls, answer the questions rising in their minds, and help them to understand how they can use media, especially social media, to not just their advantage but also to communicate the true and positive image of Pakistan on global scale. Over 1,100 short films were received from 72 universities across Pakistan. A jury of renowned experts in filmmaking like veterans Saba Hameed, Syed Noor, Shireen Pasha and Talha Ali Khan shortlisted the submissions. 15 participants were selected as winners who got a golden ticket to study at the New York Film Academy, Australia (NYFA) for a year-long course in filmmaking and screenwriting. A notable mention for the American multinational data and software company AFINITI which has a wing in Pakistan as they sponsored the winners. Indeed, the NASFF is a fantastic initiative for the progress of the film industry in the country, but it has the potential to change the media landscape altogether. NASFF added credibility to the word ‘festival’, and proved that diversity and resilience are some of the most unrecognized qualities of our youth. Participate in Bringing the Change Now that the NASFF 2022 has kick started, it is a great prospect for potential sponsors to join the cause that will serve the country, the youth as well as the brands. By investing in the high achievers shortlisted by the festival, sponsors can embrace the upcoming wave of change, which guarantees portraying a positive image of Pakistan globally. The participants are selected at the national level, so any sponsor will have the first right to employ the talent and make it a part of their audio-visual team on return from the NYFA, Australia. Win-win Situation for All NASFF guarantees good brand exposure for its sponsors. Hence, the brand logo will be placed alongside NASFF logo, on all equipment being presented to the participants. All marketing campaigns of the film fest will carry sponsor’s logo. More than that, MOI&B will acknowledge the sponsors for the event in media and special seats will be reserved in all NASFF events including the grand finale. In case you weren’t able to reach the finale in the first edition, fret not! NASFF 2022 is accepting submissions from students from all across the country now. Selected high achievers will get the chance of a lifetime to study at the NYFA, Australia and then be amongst the next generation of filmmakers, who will shape the future of our film industry. Ahmed Abid is a marketing consultant and a freelance writer. All information and facts provided are the sole responsibility of the writer. Email: [email protected]

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