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    Saturday, 9 June 2012

    Pak-India Peace Film Fundraising Pitch

    Here is the fundraising video-pitch for my new Pakistani feature film project to be released in cinemas all over Pakistan.

    My Story
    My name is Ali Kapadia – a Pakistani filmmaker from San Francisco. Stories have fascinated me growing up in Pakistan. I watched a ton of movies and imagined how I would make my own when I grew up but never quite figured how to and it turned in to a lost passion. I joined a computer school just like every other Pakistani boy I knew. It was really later in life that I realized I was just, born to be a storyteller. It kept chasing me. Over time, I have taught myself from scratch and ended up working on several award winning films.

    I had treated filmmaking as a side hobby for years and even managed to work with big Pakistani directors in my spare time. I finished my computer education, won the annual national Interactive Multimedia championship twice along the way (ACM – GIKI) – once for making a versus fighting game engine (it’s like Street Fighter)  – and got offered a job in a Silicon Valley based technology firm. I was eventually transferred to their headquarters in San Francisco USA, but over the last 7 years, the fire of filmmaking has slowly consumed my heart entirely. It is what wakes me up in the morning now, it is what I think about all day, all night, scenes, characters, shots, sequences, all written down and timed to the millisecond. I have made several short films by now, every vacation over the last several years has been a short-film project (links below). Now, I am embarking on the biggest dream of my life, to direct and make my first full length feature film.. to become a full time Pakistani feature film director.

    (Pic below – Me as an assistant director on a full scale production)

    As of April 25th 2012, I’ve given up my life in San Francisco to move back to Pakistan, to make this film. As I write this, I am on my flight back to Pakistan. I’ve given up my job, my apartment, sold all my belongings and am leaving everything else behind to focus and gather every resource possible to make this film. I’ve organized an excellent film team in Pakistan of artists that I admire. They are good! My friends are supporting me in every way they can and have rounded up $25k to get me started … yeah they’re great! But unfortunately, feature films are expensive and I need at least an additional $75k to be able to complete and release this film. That is why, I have come to you.

    My Previous Work
    The first film I ever made – Evolution Man – A stop motion animation music video made with legos for a Pakistani band.
    It was ranked at no.6 in 2005 on the best Pakistani videos countdown of all time countdown by Indus Music TV (now MTV Pakistan)

    Visualization of a poem – Tum Yeh Kehtay Ho – Faiz Ahmed Faiz is one of the most popular poets of the South Asian region, a voice against oppression and inequality. This was a visualize of one of my favorite poems of Faiz Ahmed Faiz poem.
    Behind the scenes: http://goo.gl/luPd6

    What Pakistan Needs Now – An animated short I made for a film competition held by TEDxKarachi on the subject of “What Pakistan Needs Now”. It won the competition.

    Voices From Pakistan – In 2010 Authorities in Pakistan banned Facebook over religious issues which began a new debate on the Muslim world’s reaction. This documentary brought to light the voices of a diverse set of Pakistanis on this debate.

    Seerat – Seerat is a series of short documentaries taking an up close and personal look at the different types of Pakistanis, their values and beliefs on how they look at life and what keeps them going.

    You can find more of my work and look up my other activities on my website:alikapadiafilms.com/. Here’s my fan page: facebook.com/alikapadiafilms.

    The Film’s Background
    Pakistan is a country surrounded by complex issues and I am passionate about addressing them. One of these issues is Pakistan’s relationship with India.

    Ever since the independence of Pakistan and India in 1947, they have repeatedly been at war with each other and there seems to be no end to it. The two countries have fought 4 wars with hundreds of thousands of casualties and refugees. Even when both countries have half their population living on less than $2/day, they spend more on their military than education, poverty relief and social services combined. The strife is fueled by political interests that benefit from such conflict and the conflict has no place in today’s world.

     At the center of the conflict lies Kashmir, a disputed territory between Pakistan and India. A mystical, beautiful place situated in the Himalayan highlands between Pakistan and India. Our film takes place in the mountains of Kashmir between the border of Pakistan and India, the epicenter of the conflict. Yes, my team and I will be traveling in the midst of this troubled yet incredibly beautiful region and shooting the film there. We want this film to cut in to the heart of this issue.

    The Plot
    Log line:

    A Pakistani and an Indian, 2 soldiers trapped together, discover more than their differences, that conquers their animosity and leads them to question their pre-conceived biases, moving towards profound self awareness, and thus an illuminated love for humanity, that ultimately transcends all distances.


    2008 – Once again at the very brink of an all out war, Pakistan and India, the enemy neighbors are in a deadlock over the massive mumbai attacks that have swept the two countries in a renewed wave of intense conflict and blame game and threats of a full fledge war.

    Kashmir, Pak-India Border: Thrown into the midst of a raging thunderstorm, an Indian Major Ashok and a Pakistani foot soldier Qasim lose their way in the vast Himalayan mountains. The enemies come face to face and  a tough fight ensues, the Indian major gets captured.

    Stranded inside a cave, waiting for the storm to subside, the 2 enemies slowly begin to learn about each other, to trust, each sharing their life’s journey, their joys and sorrows – all that has shaped their lives. The 2 unlikely friends help each other grow and find their true paths.

    When the storm eventually clears Qasim  has to make the ultimate decision .. will he turn Ashok in and gain professional merits for once.. or set him free and lose face in front of his fellow soldiers yet again….

    The universe has brought these 2 lost souls together so that each can understand and grow beyond. It is the hand of destiny at work, the intense sandstorm, and this moment in time.

    The Purpose
    The film has a simple, yet powerful message. All of us are humans. The tags and titles that define us are purely man made. To argue and kill over such is pointless.

    This movie is about bringing peace to the Indian Subcontinent which is home to 1.4 billion people. It is about our common humanity that gets lost in the vagaries of politics, ethnicities and war. By supporting this movie, you will help spread the message of peace and humanity to a region.

    Pakistan has a small struggling film industry, for various reasons. Films are about character developments, life challenges and role models. Intellectual poverty is a real problem in Pakistan and a vibrant film industry promotes personality education. Your support on this film will be a fresh step towards bringing encouragement and activity in the Pakistani cinema’s revival.

    Current Status
    We are now seeking funding for the film. It has been currently funded through friends and family to a tune of $35k. An additional $200k needs to be raised. If you’re interested in investing, or would like to help us fundraise, please contactus here. We will get back to you with further details on the shareholding and profit sharing structure, or the commissions structure.

    We are currently in discussions with distributors in Pakistan and India to show this movie in theaters in both countries. We are currently in discussions with some major actors in Pakistan and India.

    You can play your part in helping us make this film by liking this page below and sharing it with your friends.

    Thank you!

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