Thursday, January 18, 2018

The selected films and movies from all over the world will be shown in a 2-day film carnival, which will help Pakistan enter the international filmmaking arena

The Asia’s first smartphone film festival, organized by the iSmart Films, is set to begin on December 19 & 20. Being held this year in Karachi, it will also be the world’s 9th pocket cinema film festival of its kinds, featuring such films, movies and documentaries that are produced by using a pocket-sized mobile phone in place of conventional movie cameras and other filmmaking equipment.

Commenced on June 14, 2015, a total of 1017 films from more than 110 countries, including Pakistan, have been submitted by young filmmakers for the festival, while the last date of submission is December 5, 2015. The jury consists of such leading filming experts as Shahzad Nawaz, Jami Mehmood, Furqan T. Siddiqui, Adil Murad, Yousuf Bashir Qureshi, and others, Along with a market leader in Advertising Brand Logic has also signed MOU for Activation Campaigns.

The iSmart Films has recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Visionary Foundation Pakistan to introduce ‘Mobile Journalism’ in the social development sector, which is an emerging form of filmmaking and new media storytelling where pocket-sized communication devices with network connectivity capture, gather, edit and distribute shots and visuals.

“A new industry is emerging in Pakistan which will create thousands of employment opportunities for the local youth, who can now prove their mettle internationally simply by using their mobile phones,” Abid Beli, Founder iSmart Films, said

The iSmart Films has been already conducting free workshops and training programs in different colleges and universities to teach modern filmmaking and reporting techniques via smartphones. A curriculum is also being designed by international experts to teach mobile journalism in Pakistan. Based in Karachi, Pakistan, the iSmart Films has also acquired the distribution rights of five Smartphone filming tools companies for the Asian region.

The Smartphone Film Festival is being hosted in Pakistan in collaboration with seven international festivals from the United States, Spain, New Zealand, France, Macedonia, etc. In the festival, the ‘School of Smartphone Film Production’ will be also inaugurated, followed by the launching of a ‘Web TV.’ The iSmart Films will also unveil its ‘News Portal,’ including a range of web portals for videos, video resumes, and online shopping.
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Beaconhouse celebrated its 40th anniversary on October 4, 2015 marking four decades of delivering educational excellence the world over

Beaconhouse believes that productive and meaningful education is every child’s right. In addition to its primary commitment to teaching and learning, it maintains a holistic approach to education by emphasising teacher education as well as curriculum development. Beaconhouse has always remained conscious of its role as a socially aware organisation and has supported the community and contributed generously in times of national crisis.

Beaconhouse will hold an educational and cultural festival on the 28th of November in Karachi. The event will be graced by some of the most recognised names in Pakistan and from around the globe

The 40th anniversary of Beaconhouse was celebrated amidst great fanfare at the Head Office as well as at schools in all the regions. The Beaconhouse Head Office was adorned with beautiful decorations and special handmade cards from the students congratulating Beaconhouse on its 40th birthday and thanking its Chairperson Mrs Nasreen Mahmud Kasuri for her significant contributions to the field of education.

Mrs Kasuri as well as Directors from the regional offices gave inspirational messages on the occasion and promised to take Beaconhouse to even greater heights in its mission of providing quality education of international standards. There was also a cake-cutting ceremony in the presence of all the Beaconhouse employees followed by a wonderful musical programme by Beaconhouse students. The day ended with refreshments and an amazing lantern display which was appreciated by all.

South Asian rock band Mizmaar, currently riding high on the success of their comeback single Jee Loonga, recently organized a singing competition for their fans who aspire to be musicians. The #BeMizmaar competition, which was held on the band’s official Facebook page, opened to a great response from Mizmaar’s virtual followers. Entries, in the form of covers of Jee Loonga, were sent from all over the world, making it a tough competition for finalists. Since it was a close call between the final two entries, one of them being an instrumental, the band had to call it a tie and award two winners, Abdul Ahad Shahzad and Ali Raza.Mizmaar and winner Abdul Ahad Shahzad [2]
Both winners received exclusive Mizmaar merchandise and their entries were uploaded on the official Mizmaar social media pages, for everyone to see, hear and leave their comments.
One of the winners, namely Abdul Ahad Shahzad, who used a simple combination of an acoustic guitar and vocals in his cover, won a chance to visit Mizmaar’spersonal studio for a one-on-one interaction and some live jamming. The video of that session can be seen heremizmaar logo

Overjoyed by the experience, Abdul commented on Facebook “Thank you so very much for such a great and wonderful time Mizmaar (Mashhad, Kashan Admani and Alfred Dmello). You people are amazing. I will never ever forget the great evening at Dream Station Productions. Thank you so very much for your hospitality. Mizmaar and the crew rocks! It feels amazing when such great feedback comes from such a great band of Pakistan. All the best for your album!”
Jee Loonga by Mizmaar
Abdul Ahad Shahzad’s winning acoustic cover of Jee Loonga can be heard here:
Ali Raza’s winning instrumental cover of Jee Loonga can be heard here:

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Jahanzeb Qayum Khan, Vice President and General Manager, Pepsi-Cola International, Pakistan & Afghanistan and Mr. Irafn Mustafa Chairman KFC Pakistan (Franchisee of Gray Mackenzie Restaurants International Limited) signed an exclusive agreement for supply of carbonated and non-carbonated beverages to KFC in Pakistan. The ceremony was attended by senior leadership teams from both organizations as well as media representatives.

DSC_4094 Pepsi-Cola Pakistan is the leading beverage company in Pakistan. Pepsi-Cola offers a wide range of refreshing beveragesincluding Pepsi, Mountain Dew, 7-UP, Mirinda, Sting, Slice and Aquafina. The company enjoys a leading position in the liquid refreshment category and also has a very strong complementing snack business with brands like Lays, Kurkure and Cheetos in Pakistan.
KFC opened its door in Pakistan in the summer of 1997 in Karachi and has now expanded to a total of 59 outlets nationwide. Ever since its inception, KFC has been a household favorite amongst the masses and is known best for its fried chicken and Zinger burger.

DSC_4104 “Pepsi and KFC have a long standing partnership of over 15 years in Pakistan” quoted Romana Aziz Khan the Director Key Accounts and Capability for Pepsi-Cola Pakistan. According to Ms. Khan,“As the leading beverage company in Pakistan, Pepsi is proud to renew its long standing relationship with KFC which is one of the top international fast food chains in Pakistan – together we aim to continue providingour consumers with the perfect combo – a chilled Pepsi beverage with every KFC meal.”
According to, Raza Pirbhai, Chief Operating Officer, KFC Pakistan,“We are pleased to extend our partnership with Pepsi. KFC and Pepsi go back a long way.Both brands live in the hearts of consumers across the world. KFC &Pepsi together is a perfect combination for a happy occasion.”

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Alfred a youth drummer of Karachi who has also performed internationally has a lot to say about his love for drumming and a bit about himself

Music plays a vital role in soothing the mixed feelings churning up in any soul. May it be the sweet flow of an organ or the bass of a guitar, the melody of a flute or the beat of a drum. It’s passion for music that keeps the rhythm alive. When we talk about music and when it is beat then Drummers are the only person who can drive the crowd crazy. No rock band can survive without a drummer and neither any orchestra.

Alfred D’mello –Alf a 29 year old is a name in the world of passionate drummers who clearly make the bands rock with the magic of their sticks.

When and why did u start playing?
I stared playing when I was 9, got influenced by the live band that would perform at our community weddings/parties back in those days, I was deeply fascinated by the drums/drummers.

Your first event as a professional drummer?
It was with Mizmaar at BVS s school in 2004.

Is your family into music?
They do like music, but no one played any instrument

Which famous musician do you admire and why?
I admire a lot of international musicians the list can go on, Chris Colman, Greg Bissonette, Simon Phillips, Dave Weckl, Marcus miller, victor Wooten, Producer Quincy Jones just to name a few.. I admire them because they are masters of they trade, and watching them play really inspires me a lot.

Where did you learn playing instruments?
I’m self taught, and of course youtube helped a lot too.. But I’m from the time when I had to hear songs and drum solo on repeat to understand what the drummer is playing. Today kids getting into music are very lucky, they can watch all these drum instructional videos n learn stuff.

Is it only drums that you play or some other as well?
I play a bit of guitar and bass guitar too, I love playing the bass.

Which famous musician have u learned from (if any) or the name of your teacher?
Like I said youtube helped me to learn some theory later but.. No teacher as such.

Describe your first instrument?
My first instrument is the drums and it is and extension to my feelings

What are your fondest musical memories?
Well theere are many memories.. But I feel the best memories are yet to happen.

Were you influenced by old records and tapes which ones?
Yes definitely I’m influenced by a lot of old classic music like Zeppelin, Ddeep Purple, Beatles etc..

Is music your first love or your first love inspired your u to become a musician?
Yes music is my first love.. Nothing or no one comes close to it.. 🙂

Do you nervous before a performance or a competition?
I’ve never been part of any competition, but yeah sometimes I do get nervous before a gig I think most Musician’s do, but once I sit behind the kit, it’s all gone.

What advice would you give to beginners?
Practice is the key to reach your goals keep working in the right direction, dream big but don’t expect any results if you do get a big break take that as a bonus

How often and for how long do u practice?
A few years back I used to practice all the time, minimum 5 hours in a stretch. But now I’m more busy with projects, direction, production, teaching so I have a very organized practice routine very focused one or two hours of practice.

Do you teach music?
Yes I do, been teaching for almost 10 years now.

Your awards n achievements?
I don’t believe in awards, the biggest award for me is when a senior/better musician or producer/artist says good things about my musicality. Earning their respect feels like getting an award.

How do you balance your music and other obligations – mate children – job
I’m very bad at balancing that, so I keep a notification track/reminder of what commitments I have in order to keep a balance between both the music side and my family and friends.

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A room should start a conversation before people actually start exchanging words

[Lahore, 27th March 2015]: The Lounge, an interiors, furniture and home accessories brand managed by Nyla Amjad Asghar launched on Thursday 26th March, 2015 at Lahore’s biggest shopping mall, Fortress Square. Nyla derives inspiration from her clients’ needs; creating minimalistic, sophisticated and balanced designs to craft an environment of calm and tranquility.

The Lounge collections include hand-made contemporary furniture ranging from custom made tables, sofas and consoles to ottomans and much more. The products encompass a wide range of not only furniture but also accessories including embroidered & digital printed cushions, leather trays, lamps, candle stands, placemats and wooden decor. Nyla’s bespoke polish finishes and bold colored fabrics set each piece apart and reflects her unique style.

“The Lounge opened its store at Fortress Square to cater to the mass market. The idea is to give them an opportunity to experience modern living with affordable solutions,” says Creative Director of The Lounge, Nyla Amjad Asghar. Adding further, Nyla said “We feel that there was a huge demand for gift stores in Lahore and hence decided to create a perfect stop for any customer when it came to buying gifts for their loved ones be it for birthdays, house warming, anniversary or wedding presents.”

G.M. of Fortress Square Shopping Mall, Col. Aman Ullah Khan Niazi while speaking at the launch of The Lounge highlighted, “The Lounge is a great new addition to our extensive brand portfolio of over 100 retail brands. We aim to provide an all-encompassing shopping and entertainment experience to our shoppers and Nyla’s bespoke furniture pieces & accessories are definitely going to be popular with mall visitors.”

The Lounge is located at Shop No. 17, Lower Ground Floor, Fortress Square Shopping Mall, Lahore.

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Fat girls representing themselves as confident, smart and resourceful is key. If we wait for print and electronic media to do this for us we are going to be waiting a very long time so why not do it ourself

Being fat doesn’t mean I can’t look fabulous was something I told myself after realizing the fact that my Chubby features still make me look “ideally beautiful”. The idea of being beautified wearing brands, from our so called elite Pakistani society is purely fake and just the snobbish part of these brainless creams of the crop. When we especially talk about clothing brands and big brands, the question that pops up my mind is “What’s in these branded stores are made for big beauties?” Marketing outfits on skinny girls is a regular routine and the product on stores for these prestigious brands are for the similar physique as advertised on.

If we look at the prevailing society, we will find and increasing rate of “Fat Women” but let me get it her that “Fat is not Ugly”. As the song by Macy Gray, “There is beauty in the world. Always beauty in the world. So much beauty in the world.” We (considering myself as an essential part of this society) are part of that “Beauty”. We come in all shapes and sizes. And yes we are beautiful. The point we can be so accepting that beauty come in all shapes and sizes as well as in the natural world, in animals, plants, trees and shrubs. But oh, how difficult it is for us to accept that our bodies – women bodies comes in all shapes and sizes and are beautiful.

I know this is so hard. I know this is such a challenge in such a society where being “FAT” is a brutal crime. But we can stop comparing ourselves to other women. Can we stop fantasizing that their lives are better, happier than ours because their thighs are thinner or abs are flatter? Let’s put a focus where they belong for each one of us – on creating a life worth living, and in that life we are strong, healthy and creative and wonderful women. We take as good care of ourselves as we do to others in our live and because of that we are beautiful.

Now coming to our Pakistani extreme price labeled brands one tagline that I keep hearing almost all the time is “Sorry Madam your size is not available” so in other words I would rather say that these so called high profiled brands think that bulk is not beautiful. So again the question arises “Why should I purchase your brand as in your store has nothing in store for me”.

Going through one of the blogs I read about a 35 year old big beauty who is an associate director and editor of an increasingly popular online movement that celebrates fashion for larger women – without a tent dressing or body camouflaging cardigan in sight. The author with blog names like “Fat Girls like nice clothes too”, “Manolo for big girls”, “Curves to Kill”, and “Thicker than your average girls”, seek to send and empowering message to their plus-sized sisters.

“We’re here, We’re Fat, We look just Fabulous – and you too can”

“FAT” is a loaded word, often wielded as a weapon but I hope to lessen its power to wound. Learning to use the word ‘fat’ as a basic description, stripping it of its negative baggage, was a huge part of my self acceptance process. Some women never get comfortable with it and I understand that for some, its been  used as a weapon for long anything positive to be salvaged. But I love the word fat precisely because my candid and positive use of if often shocks people … it means everyone who hears the word “Fat” from me is having to take a moment to think about what I mean by it, and to resisit the knee-jerk assumption, that I must mean something bad. With my writing I just want to body a positive message for women I feel are not represented as beautiful and desirable in mainstream media. Growing up I dint have may famous examples of positive fat ladies representation. I mean there was “Roseanne” I loved her not because she was beautiful but I loved her because she was smart, tough and didn’t take a crap from anyone.

Famous designers Angela Zampell and Kane & Zee” notice the inequity in the market place to expand their popular clothing line to as stylish women from XXS – XXXL

I think the key is not to forget that larger girls still have a shape and it isn’t square. When designers like Zampell, Kane and Dee can work tremendously in helping other women realize their beauty potential, but it has not been without risk. It is, after all, the internet, and with that the inevitable rain of anonymous hostility from people offended than a larger woman would dare to find herself attractive. The people who get angriest about fat girls looking good and feeling hot are the people who are the most strongly invested in the idea that a person has to be skinny in order to be healthy, happy and loved.

At the end of the day, it’s just your outer shell – there’s a whole personality underneath that’s just waiting to shine: And even if you don’t realize how beautiful you are, someone else out there who thinks you are the most beautiful person in the world. Even if it’s a stranger looking at you through a screen.

You'll do anything you can to survive, but then comes living with it.

K&M Features and Aster Productions hosted a Press Conference at Faletti’s Hotel, Lahore to announce details of their upcoming feature film DRIVEN. DRIVEN is a Michael Hudson film which is produced by Kamran Faiq and Naveed Mehmood. The film is being shot entirely within a vintage Mercedes W126 S-Class 1978. The cast includes Kamran Faiq, Amna Ilyas, Javed Sheikh, Adnan Shah Tipu, Rehan Sheikh, Omair Rana, Najia Baig and Wahab Shah.

DRIVEN is a co-production between Pakistan, Poland, UK and Russia. The project team includes Director from UK, Cinematographer from Poland, Sound Design Technician from Russia and the lead cast and crew from Pakistan. Kamran Faiq and Michael Hudson are prolific industry professionals who have worked internationally and won numerous film awards and recognition.

“It is a fantastic experience being able to work with Michael (Hudson) and such a talented international cast and crew on home ground” said DRIVEN’s female lead and acclaimed film actress Amna Ilyas at the press conference. Adding further, Amna said “Being a part of this unique collaborative experience is immensely rewarding and I hope that DRIVEN marks the start of many more good things to come for the Pakistani Film Industry.”

Kamran Faiq, the youngest film professional from Pakistan to attend the Venice Film Markets as a producer while speaking at the press conference said, “The unique thing about this film is its narrative. When I was approached by Michael to participate in this project as an actor and a producer, what struck me most about the film was the way it was written. It indulges the audience with the action on-screen. Working on this film with Amna (Ilyas), Javed (Sheikh) Sahib, (Adnan Shah) Tipu and Rehan (Sheikh) was an exceptional experience.”

DRIVEN’s award winning British film Director Michael Hudson, while speaking about his upcoming film said: “Pakistan is currently experiencing a rebirth in cinema as it begins to tell it’s stories and find it’s voice.”

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A poem in light of the gruesome and insensitive attack on the school in Peshawar.

They tell me its okay and everything is alright
When all i see is blood and all i feel is fright
I hear them loud and clear saying it will change
But the chaos and pain are now beyond the range
If there was hope, some flicker of light or spark
Then know that for now, for today, it has gone dark
And darkness is not black, it is now red
Because my poor souls, my littles, they have all bled
May be the hope will come back tomorrow or some day
And in between broken-ness, there will be a shine and a ray
But know that, know that in your heart as a mark
That its lost today and it is dark
And tonight when i sleep, there will be no dreams
There will be suffocation as i hear the screams
And i hope you hear them too, yes YOU!
I hope you know what they are going thru
How could you look them in the eye and end that light?!
You cruel person! They were so little, didn’t even have a chance to fight



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25-year old woman was stoned to death by her Father and Brothers outside a high court in Lahore, for marrying the man she fell...