Achievements, Festivals, Interviews

Pakistan Express | August 26th, 2019


It is an exciting year for Pakistani cinema! After attending the Locarno Filmmakers Academy in August, Writer-Director Hamza Bangash has been selected to join the Asian Film Academy as part of the Busan International Film Festival in October 2019.

The Asian Film Academy (AFA) is a program hosted by Busan International Film Festival, Busan Film Commission and GKL Foundation to foster young Asian talents and build their networks throughout Asia. Over the past 14 years, 338 alumni from 32 countries have been standing out in filmmaking field all over the Asia and in the prestigious festivals throughout the world.

In previous year, world-renowned directors of our contemporaries, such as Béla Tarr, Jia Zhangke, Hou Hsiao-hsien, Lee Chang-dong, Kore-eda Hirokazu and Lou Ye took on the role of AFA Dean shared their great film experiences with AFA fellows.

The promising fellows from all over Asia will participate in various AFA programs, including short film production, workshops, and special lectures. The two short films completed by the fellows will be officially presented at the 24th Busan International Film Festival. While participating in the programs, the fellows will rediscover themselves and share their passion towards films which goes far beyond the differences in their experiences and cultural backgrounds.

Following his experience at Locarno Filmmakers Academy, we sat down with Bangash to ask him how he feels about the news:

PE: Congratulations on the Asian Filmmakers Academy selection. This seems to be a very good year for you! How was your experience at Locarno Filmmakers Academy? What are your expectations for AFA?

HB: Locarno was incredible! It’s funny both for both AFA and Locarno, this is the second time I’ve applied for both programs. I think perseverance, and resilience are really key to working in Independent cinema in Pakistan. Second time lucky for both!

I learned so much in Locarno. Meeting and speaking with both my fellow filmmakers, as well as the masterclasses that we got to attend with incredible filmmakers like Bong Joon-Ho – who I am a huge fan of, and a really inspirational human being- as well as the legendary John Waters- was a tremendous privilege. I have a few shoots lined up, and I’m looking forward to implementing the lessons I learned for Locarno through them. I never went to film school – I come from a theatre background- so this felt like a two-week crash course on cinema.

For AFA, I am really excited about experiencing the differences in perspective towards cinema and filmmaking. I’ve had the privilege to learn a good amount about the European approach towards cinema through my participation at Locarno for the last two years, but this is my first time in Busan. I love Korean films, and I am eager to see the process behind the films- and hopefully bring a bit of that towards my own artistic practice. It’s a great year for learning for me, and I look forward to being a stronger filmmaker through these incredible experiences.

PE: We are happy for your, all the best for AFA!


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