24 February 2017 – Islamabad, Pakistan: The four-day filmmaking training session of the Izhar by Film Fellowship regarding the social and political rights of women was successfully concluded in Islamabad with 60 applicants hailing from all over Pakistan. In an attempt to establish filmmaking as a medium for storytelling and to evoke the spirit of responsible citizenship, the 60 participants produced and submitted 12 films on the four focus areas as group projects under the mentorship of seasoned filmmakers and trainers.

Among the mentors, Amena Khan (music and video director), Sohail Javed (commercial video director), Maira Zamir (UN Women), Faria Salman (UN Women), Sohail Azad (film producer), Ali Ijaz (filmmaker), Dilawar Khan (lawyer), Tahir Imran (digital media journalist) and Sidra Humayun (human rights activist) joined us to enlighten the trainees about the importance of social and political rights of women and expression via 60-second films through engaging activity sessions. The first day focused on the capacity-building of the trainees by inculcating awareness regarding the rights of women in Pakistan, along with concept development. On the second day, trainees learnt about story development techniques and shot their films, while the third day of training enabled trainees to get hands-on experience in filmmaking and editing. On the fourth and final day, 12 short films were screened at the Izhar by Film Fellowship before the jury members who provided constructive feedback on the cinematography, story development and impact of the message being conveyed.

Abrar Ul Hassan, Founder of Morango Films, expressing his views said, “It was a productive four-day training session with aspiring filmmakers, not only did we leverage the importance of storytelling but also discovered the talent young filmmakers brought to the table. The experience establishes this Fellowship as unprecedented and one of its kind in Pakistan.”

Faria Salman, Head of Communications for UN Women Pakistan praised the trainees for their energy over the recent days and passion to speak out and take a stand on women’s social and political rights. “Filmmakers have the power to shine light on people and challenges that so many of us know too little – or nothing – about. To experience another woman’s life for 60-seconds documentary can be a revelatory experience, if crafted and narrated well,” she said

Following the Izhar by Film Fellowship training session, the next stage ensues the submission of 60 individual films by trainees, from where the top 10 films will be selected for a national screening and the shortlisted filmmakers will be recognized as the first batch of fellows. The top three fellows shall also awarded scholarship grants.

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