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1978

A film by Hamza Bangash
Pakistan
17 min. 2020
73rd Locarno International Film Festival
Pardi Di Domani

DIRECTOR
Hamza Bangash

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS
Abid Aziz Merchant
Rashid Maqsood Hamidi

PRODUCERS
Carol Noronha

PRODUCTION COMPANIES
CityLights Media
Sanat Initiative
Manfield Films

Hamza Bangash’s exhilarating, stylized evocation of period and rock subculture can be read as a throwback to the dream of a more secular Pakistan that was fast vanishing in 1978. A color palette saturated with maverick maroons and cosmopolitan greens, and a mood board shuttling between comedy and gravitas, punctuate the affection between the siblings, and make Lenny, played with middle finger gusto by Muhammad Zeeshan, stand out & stand up.

-Spotlight on South Asia, IFFLA 2022

SYNOPSIS

In the post Zulfikar Bhutto regime of 1970s Pakistan, two Christian half-brothers find their artistic sensibilities and minority status under threat: Lenny, a rockstar, has panache galore, which makes female fans swoon, and his younger brother, Thomas, reveres him as if he were Mick Jagger. When Lenny lands a major State-sanctioned gig as a singer, he must decide to either sell out or take the nation to church.

PRESS

> In this powerful, stylistically cool film about a Christian rockstar who survives through Islamic fervor in 70’s Pakistan, dir. Bangash depicts the religious conflict in Pakistan and universal bond between brothers in an impressive way, reinforced by the scorchingly hot last sequence of the rockstar’s decision and the song on its end credit which makes its aftertaste so abundant and exuberant.
Tettyo Saito, MUBI

>Fuck, yeah! Rock and roll Lenny!
Enrico Vannucci, Kinoscope ‘Top Five Shorts of 2020’

>With attention to detail, especially when it comes to artistic direction/production design (the filmmaker even built a nightclub), and a photograph full of psychedelic tones with a taste for neon, “1978 ” never forgets its political and reflective side. In the midst of an aesthetic and narrative construction that proves to be as captivating and charismatic as the “bad boy” protagonist
Jorge Pereira Rosa, C7nema

> Featuring great production design and pitch-perfect 70s Pakistani music, it’s a fitting portrait of one man’s refusal to move with the times.
Redmond Bacon, Director’s Notes

> Even though it is set five decades ago, politically, the short film deeply resonates with contemporary times, like a beacon
Sukhpreet Kahlon, Cinestaan

SCREENINGS & AWARDS

“For it’s courage, irreverence and originality, the jury awards a Special Mention to 1978”
– Asian Window / Corti in Cortile Film Festival 2021

73rd Locarno International Film Festival – Pardi Di Domani 2020 | Switzerland
Canadian Film Festival 2021 | Canada
Tabor Film Festival 2021 | Czech Republic
London Indian Film Festival 2021 | United Kingdom
Palm Springs International Shortfest 2021 | USA
International Film Festival of South Asia [IFFSA] 2021 | Canada
San Giò Verona Video Festival 2021 | Italy
Jecheon Int’l Music & Film Festival 2021 | South Korea
Cheongju International Short Film Festival 2021 | South Korea
FILMORAMAX Film Festival 2021 | France
Tasveer South Asian Film Festival 2021 | USA
The New Black Film Collective – SA Heritage Festival 2021 | United Kingdom
Corti in Cortile Film Festival 2021 | Italy – Special Mention
Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival 2021 | Canada
Locarno Shorts Week 2022 | Switzerland
Transforming Narratives Mela & Symposium 2022 | Bangladesh, United Kingdom
Cineville Annual Film Festival 2022 | India
Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) 2022 | USA