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    Wednesday, 23 January 2013

    60 Second Film Festival results to be announced this month

    The 60 Second Film Festival (60SFF), which was launched in October 2012, has now entered the final stage of the competition — public voting has been closed and entries have been handed over to the judges for final deliberation.
    The festival was created as a platform by Morango Films for showcasing 60-second short films covering themes of social issues and development, entertainment, national and international issues, public service messages, and so on. The purpose was to encourage upcoming artists and producers from Pakistan and at the same time, create positive learning experiences.

    “There are a lot of competitions that focus on commercial or glamorous video-making,” says Omair Haider, the festival’s director of communications. “We, however, wanted the participants to put their thinking caps on. 

    Independent film-making is all about picking the small stories or happenings that are going on around us which affect us, but we’re too busy to do anything to correct them.” He hopes this platform will highlight these issues and present them to a bigger audience.

    The line-up of prizes for the winners of this competition include a Mac Book Pro, DSLR, iPad, internship opportunities at Duck, Morango Films and ARY Musik. The best of all is a scholarship on offer to cover a professional degree in film-making.

    The festival organisers have announced that they are past the voting stage and the judging panel is now evaluating the entries. Joining the team are renowned names from the industry including Amena Khan, Amin Matalqa, Mehreen Jabbar and Sohail Javed.

    Amena Khan is an established commercial film director joining the 60SFF judges’ panel. A veteran of varying film genres, formats and treatment styles, she has been involved in the media campaigns of leading corporate brands and music stars; both within Pakistan and abroad. She is currently heading one of the leading production houses in Pakistan, DreamTeamFilms.

    Jordanian film-maker, Amin Matalqa has also joined the judges’ team for 60SFF. He has directed 17 short-films till date. His first feature film, Captain Abu Raed, won the World Cinema Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival in 2008 and was Jordan’s first entry to the Oscars. His second film, The United is Walt Disney Studios’ first ever Arabic film and is due to release in early 2013. Amin is currently completing post-production on his third film, Strangely In Love, an American comedy based on Dostoevsky’s White Nights.

    Renowned director-producer Mehreen Jabbar is also on board as a judge for the festival; she is a 16-year veteran of the industry. She started off her career from TV films and drama serials under the banner of TasVeer Productions. Almost all her work has received critical acclaim. Currently working as a freelancer, her work includes award winning productions such as Daughters of the Late Colonel, Beauty Parlor, Laal Baig (Cockroach), Harjai (Betrayal) and Doraha (Crossroads). Her first feature length film Ramchand Pakistani was the recipient of the Fipresci Prize from the International Federation of Film Critics along with several others awards at film festivals around the world.

    Sohail Javed is a well-known director-producer of music videos and TV commercials and takes the final spot on the judging panel. He is a veteran of over 400 music videos and a 100 commercials; he has several awards under his belt including Best Music Video Director at the Lux Style Awards 2007 and 2008.

    Public voting was closed on December 20, with almost 5,000 votes cast. The festival organisers have explained that voting will be counted along the judges’ decision and the result will be based on a combination of both scores.
    “It is important even as an independent film-maker, for you to promote your film so you generate an audience. Independent films probably don’t have the same grandeur as commercial films, but the internet is an excellent medium for film-makers to market their film and have their talent recognised” says Abrar Hassan, the festival’s director.

    The results will be announced at the end of January, giving the judges enough time to evaluate the film for various aspects — ensuring the most deserving one is declared the winner.

    Published in The Express Tribune, January 23rd, 2013. 

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