NEW YORK, Dec. 2 (APP): The stage is set for the first-ever Pakistan Film Festival at which top-rated Pakistani movies will be screened over the weekend at Asia Society, New York.
A lot of hard work has gone into finalizing the Dec. 3-4 festival, organized by the Pakistan Mission to the United Nations.
“The festival is part of the continuing effort by the Pakistan Mission’s engagement to promote cultural diplomacy and to project the country’s soft power,” Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi said.
It will kick off with a red carpet reception Friday night at the United Nations where Ambassadors and permanent representatives accredited to the UN have been invited, as well as members of the Pakistani diaspora, media and film buffs.
UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson will be the chief at the reception to which the President of the UN General Assembly Peter Thomson has also been invited.
A number of celebrities from the film industry will also attend the festival as well as directors and producers of some of the movies being featured. These include Mahira Khan, Mawra Hocane, Nabeel Qureshi, Saba Qamar, Wajahat Rauf, Yasir Hussain, Sheheryar Munawar, Asim Raza, Tooba Siddiqui, Adeel Hussain, Sanam Saeed, Jerjees Seja (JJ), Producer, Afia Serena Nathaniel and Mehreen Jabbar.
The films to be screened include two brand new ones, which will premiere in New York, “Dobara Pher Say” and “Lahore Say Agay”. Others will include Actor in law, Pakistan’s Oscar nomination, Mahe Meer, Oscar award winner Sharmeen Obaid’s animated film, 3 Bahadur, Dukhtar, Dance Kahani and Ho Mann Jahan.
Tickets for the shows went fast and officials said there are no seat left for Ms. Jabbar’s film ‘Dobara Pher Say’.
Ambassador Lodhi said, “Young film makers in Pakistan are producing an incredibly diverse and entertaining array of movies which are contributing to the cultural renaissance underway in the country which is also reflected in the profusion of creative voices found today in Pakistan’s art, music, literature and the media.”
Since assuming charge as Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to UN, Ambassador Lodhi has undertaken several cultural projects and organized a series of events to promote Pakistan’s soft image and highlight its modern and vibrant culture but also its ancient civilizational roots.
The Pakistan Mission, under her leadership, organized a “Sufi Night” at the UN General Assembly hall to mark Pakistan Day earlier this year featuring Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.
She also organized an Exhibition of Contemporary Art from Pakistan at the UN, which showcased some of the best works of art to demonstrate how Pakistan is becoming a powerhouse of creativity. She was also instrumental in bringing the Lahore Literary Festival to the Asia Society in New York.
“We are bringing some of Pakistan’s movies to New York so that diplomats from 193 countries at the UN also have an opportunity to see what the country’s entertainment industry is producing,” she added.
Pakistan is a candidate for a seat on the Human Rights Council and its reception at the UN is also aimed at promoting its candidature.