Pakistan’s first-ever ‘Izhar by Film Fellowship’ (IBFF) programme – an initiative of Morango Films, with support from UN Women (the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women) – will commence its four-day filmmaking course in Islamabad from February 16.
Earlier this year in its first round, the IBFF received 200 applications following which 60 aspiring filmmakers aged 18 and older interested in raising their voice to create awareness regarding social issues and promoting the spirit of responsible citizenship through visual media were selected from across Pakistan.
The first IBFF programme on ‘social and political rights of women’ focuses on four areas: harassment-free workplaces/educational institutes, women’s access to safe public spaces, internet safety for women, and women’s political rights.
In using filmmaking as a tool to positively impact redressals of gender inequality, renowned music video and commercial film directors Amena Khan and Sohail Javed will be joining the IBFF and providing rigorous training and mentorship sessions to all trainees on the ‘how to’ of using film to narrate social issues towards shaping public opinion.
Speaking of the partnership, UN Women Pakistan Country Representative Jamshed Kazi said, “What we see on-screen reflects the off-screen realities of women’s lives all too well, whilst media images continue to form a strong impact on our perceptions. With a new generation of aspiring filmmakers benefiting from the first-ever Izhar by Film Fellowship programme, we look forward to seeing a move beyond tired stereotypes that constrain women’s access to and participation in social and political activities, a move that simultaneously inspires public action against gender inequalities.”
According to Morango Films Founder Abrar Ul, “The Izhar by Film Fellowship is more than just a fellowship programme. The youth will be using filmmaking as an agent of change regarding the social and political rights of women. The message will spread not just in Pakistan but beyond its boundaries.”
At the end of the fellowship, the best 10 films will be selected and the filmmakers will be declared the first batch of fellows of the IBFF programme. They will ultimately be contesting to take the top 3 positions and scholarship grants. The best films will be screened at a national-level event in Islamabad next month.
This collaboration between UN Women and Morango Films falls under the UN Women’s project on “Women’s Peace, Security, Rights and Voice: safe public spaces, community outreach and empowerment, and political awareness and advocacy” with the support of the government of Australia.
APP. Filmmaking course in collaboration with UN Women to commence from Feb 16. Pakistan Today, February 15, 2017.