SOC Films unveils its exceptional lineup of artists selected for the first cycle of the International Neela Asmaan artist residency program. This unique initiative, founded by Academy Award and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, provides emerging and established artists from Pakistan and around the world with an immersive and inspiring environment in the picturesque Shigar Valley of Gilgit-Baltistan.
After a rigorous selection process, SOC Films is proud to present the four talented individuals who will embark on a transformative journey of exploration as part of the Neela Asmaan residency program:
- Amber Eswani: Amber, a Chicago-based Pakistani American filmmaker, photographer, and creative arts administrator, brings a wealth of experience from working for major networks and creating impactful content that combines Eastern and Western cultures. At Neela Asmaan, Amber will develop a web series, blending storytelling and cultural influences.
- Ayesha Husain: Ayesha, an accomplished educationist with a background in English literature and educational leadership, is currently making waves with her debut novel ‘What more could she possibly want?’. She will be seeking inspiration in the captivating landscape of Shigar as she works on her second novel.
- Javaria Waseem: Javaria, a Pakistani artist skilled in writing, photography, and filmmaking, expresses her culture, identity, and creative voice through different art forms. Her residency at Neela Asmaan will allow her to continue crafting her new film and exploring her artistic vision.
- Sania Maskatiya: Sania, a multi-award-winning fashion designer acclaimed for her impeccable design sense, is venturing into a new medium of expression. With a background in fashion, she will delve into the realm of painting, experimenting with canvas as her creative outlet.
These four individuals were selected from a highly competitive pool of applicants, and their diverse artistic practices include filmmaking, writing, painting, and scriptwriting. Their works encompass many themes, including personal narratives, social issues, cultural heritage, and innovative artistic techniques. All artists will complete a residency period of two weeks, with the first residency starting on the 12th of June and the second beginning in July 2023.
“We’re absolutely thrilled to have these extraordinary artists be part of the Neela Asmaan residency program’s inaugural cycle,” said Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy. “Their diverse perspectives and artistic talents will undoubtedly make this experience dynamic and enriching for everyone involved. We can’t wait to witness the awe-inspiring journeys and incredible artworks that will emerge from this residency.”
The Neela Asmaan residency program is designed to nurture creativity and provide artists with mentorship, studio spaces, and a supportive environment to explore their artistic visions. With the guidance of established mentors, each artist will have the opportunity to receive feedback and hone their skills after their residency period.