The ARY Film Festival ended with a star-studded night, hosted by Faysal Qureshi and the beautiful Madiha Imam. The event was attended by a lot of celebrities and personalities of the film industry. The event had performances by Sheema Kirmani, Sanam Marvi and Hamza Qawwal with a hilarious comedy act by the ever-so funny Danish Ali. The three day festival screened a total of 33 films from filmmakers all over the world. The Festival had special screening of internationally acclaimed films such as Maheen Zia’s ‘Lyari Notes’, ‘Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velazquez Story’ contributed by the American Film Showcase and Anjum Shehzad’s ‘Mah e Mir’. Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy’s ‘ Song of Lahore’ also premiered at the three day event.
Award for Best Story Feature Film was given to ‘Choora Ek Pratha’ and Best Short Film (Silver Category) to ‘Amrita & I’, both were screened in collaboration with Delhi International Film Festival. Seraj us Salikin won the award for Best Short Documentary for his film ‘Masters of the Sky’; whereas award for Best Director Short Documentary went to Ali Ijaz for ‘Pangolins in Peril’. ‘In Search of America’ won the award for Best Short Film (Gold Category); Syed Fazal Hussain won the award of Best Actor (Short Film) for ‘Dil Tau Bacha Hai’. Best Documentary Feature award was given to ‘K2 & The Invisible Footmen’ and Maheen Zia’s ‘Lyari Notes’ won the Red Category Excellence in Documentary Feature. Purple Category Excellence in Documentary Feature was given to Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy for her film ‘Song of Lahore’. Anjum Shehzad’s ‘Mah e Mir’ won the award for Best Film – Feature.
The President of ARY Digital Network, Salman Iqbal said through this platform they wanted to “provide a break to new and creative filmmakers from Pakistan and around the world to come showcase their talent and get known for their efforts”. And the festival does provide a platform to showcase the talent not only for Pakistani but international filmmakers. Independent cinema is something that lacks exposure in our industry and we need to these kinds of festivals to promote the filmmakers that need this encouragement to come forward with their films. This is one way to expand the film industry even further. The aim of ARY Film Festival is to provide a vital platform for the youth and filmmaking enthusiast to come together and celebrate their passion for the art form, creating an opportunity to set-up a forum where renowned names from the film and media industry will be able share their knowledge with the participants.