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.[pull_quote_right]“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[/pull_quote_right]
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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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.
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 here
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:
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.”