Published On: Mon, May 16th, 2016

Lyari filmmakers grab first prize at international creativity awards in Bahrain


KARACHI: Young filmmakers from the neighbourhood of Lyari made it big on the international stage when they bagged the first position in the category of short films at the International Youth Creativity Award in Bahrain.

The short film Jaawar — meaning ‘ongoing situation’ in the Balochi language — won first prize at the awards sanctioned by Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the member of Bahraini royal family and president of the Bahrain Olympic Committee.

The runners up include contestants from Egypt and Mexico.

The actors of short film Jaawar. —Picture courtesy Ahsan Shah

Jaawar depicts the story of a man who is traumatised by the violence and bloodshed in Lyari.

The writer and director of the short-film, Ahsan Shah, said he had not imagined that their film will make it this big on the international arena. “But now that it has, it’s an ecstatic moment for us and the whole of Lyari.”

“Generally Lyari doesn’t get much coverage and when it does, it’s mostly not for good reasons,” he said, referring to his troubled neighbourhood.


“Mostly we screen our films in different areas and auditoriums across Lyari,” said Shah.


Behind the scenes of short film Jaawar. —Picture courtesy Ahsan Shah

This was the first time that we had sent a film to any international competition, he added.

Shah said many local film-making groups participated in the making ofJawar.

When asked about his life in Lyari, Shah said “it’s as uncertain as the weather or situation of Karachi — totally unpredictable”.

Behind the scenes of short film Jaawar. —Picture courtesy Ahsan Shah

The situation has become much better now but still there are places where you can’t roam around with a camera and film freely. “In some parts the gang war is still active while in other places the paramilitary personnel abuse us and don’t let us film,” he explained.

Shah, who is doing his intermediate in commerce, said the team doesn’t have advance equipment and is mostly short on funds, but this didn’t stop them from trying hard and dreaming big.

“We solemnly believe if the story is good it gets heard, despite the shortcomings in filming,” he asserted, adding that “this is how we won the international award in Bahrain”.


News Source DAWN

About the Author

Syed Ammar Alavi

- is Lahore (Pakistan) based journalist & writer with 25-year experience in print, wire and broadcast forms of journalism. His major fields of interest are politics, film,tv,sports, climate change and technology

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