The National Academy of Performing Arts is hosting this year’s GIFFXNAPA in collaboration with the Gandhara Independent Film Festival on 20-22 October, it was announced by NAPA’s CEO Junaid Zuberi in a press conference held at NAPA.
The festival will feature several feature-length and short films that have already been approved for screening by the Sindh Board of Film Censors. Two members of the Censor Board were also present at the press conference.
Speaking at the event, Mr Zuberi focused on NAPA’s vision behind this collaboration and said this was an effort to revive the culture of film festivals in the city. This would be the second time that NAPA has collaborated with the GIFF.
He also pointed out that the festival would bring films from across the globe and from the most credible film festivals worldwide. He said it would also celebrate the Pakistani cinema and its artists.
Pakistani classic film Aaina is also scheduled for screening in the festival as a special feature of the event. The festival would also feature a conversation with the leading film star of yesteryear Mumtaz. Senior artiste and film historian Raju Jamil will hold the session with Mumtaz.
A major highlight of the GIFFXNAPA is the premiere of “Songs of the Sufi,” a musical documentary on the history and culture of Qawwali in South Asia. The film is produced by UK-based filmmaker Kamran Anwar and directed by Shahrukh Waheed. A Q&A with the team and a Qawwali session with Najmuddin-Saifuddin Qawwal would follow the premiere. Shahrukh Waheed and the Qawwals were also present at the press conference.
Seasoned artiste Beo Zafar would also hold a session on “12 Hours,” a film directed by her filmmaker son Emre Ahmed Mirza.
A film released this year, Madari, will also be shown at the festival. This film is co-produced by NAPA alumnus Ali Rizvi and features NAPA alumni Paras Masroor, Ibad Alam Sher, Hammad Siddiqui, and Ahmer Hussain in the cast.
It was also announced that the festival would feature a special screening of “Mai Bakhtawar,” a film produced by the Department of Culture, Government of Sindh, and directed by Shahnawaz Bhatti.
The CEO also pointed out that several panel discussions and workshops would also be held during the festival.
NAPA’s Manager for Community Engagement Kulsoom Aftab, who is also spearheading this festival at NAPA, also addressed the press conference and gave a background of the collaborator along with details of the GIFFXNAPA 2024’s highlights.