A fascinating new British-Pakistani venture begins this spring, which aims to give young filmmakers the chance to strengthen the work of civil society groups in Pakistan.This month the film adaptation of the celebrated book ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’ will hit screens in the UK. The book’s Pakistani author, Mohsin Hamid, will hope the film will be as popular as the book, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2007.
Critics view Hamid’s tale of a Princeton educated Pakistani boy as an important piece of post 9/11 fiction. If the film visually matches the quality of the book’s writing, it will make a powerful piece of cinema.
In a similar spirit and with an appreciation of the impact of visual art, a British-Pakistani organization, Pakistan Calling, is hoping to provide space to inspire the next generation of young film makers.
Pakistan Calling is a joint venture between the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA), The City of London University and The Samosa, an online magazine that targets a British and Pakistani audience.
According to the RSA the project’s aim is to ‘use film to increase awareness and support for Pakistani civil society organisations and activists working to tackle the country’s pressing social problems’.
‘The films will be used to generate a different, more positive discourse and raise awareness of those tackling tough social problems in Pakistan and how the British Pakistani community, and wider social and economic networks, can support this work.’
The UK has roughly 1.2 million inhabitants with a Pakistani heritage and strong existing networks that are active in the promotion of civil society groups working in Pakistan. By giving young people the space and support to make films, Pakistan Calling will hope to empower existing projects and highlight these to people in Britain and Pakistan.
From Spring 2013 people will be invited to submit a film of no longer than 10 minutes in English, Urdu or any regional Pakistani language. Click here for more details.
by Jack Goodman