Young filmmakers to be given awards for portraying soft image of Pakistan


ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that scholarships will be given to young filmmakers to portray the real soft image of the country.
The prime minister said this while addressing the National Amateur Short Film Festival (NASFF) awards ceremony, organised by the Ministry of Information and Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), on Saturday.
Imran Khan said that the world does not acknowledge copied material and “we should promote our own cultural values and new ideas.” The prime minister urged the youngsters to promote Pakistanism as they have huge opportunities in the film industry.
Talking about the religious tourism potential, Imran Khan said the world in the new millenium has acknowledged Pakistan’s effort of the Kartarpur Corridor. “The past government did not pay attention to tourism for historical sites [….] Tourism in Pakistan has a lot of potential and we are taking focused steps to promote tourism in the country,” he said. He further said Pakistan has 12 climatic zones which mean it can produce everything and can export to the whole world.
The premier said: “During the war on terror Pakistanis were termed as extremists. To counter this, they were asked to promote a soft image of Pakistan.” He said the countrymen thought that if they wore Western clothes and spoke English, it would project a soft image of Pakistan. “During this time I was termed as Taliban Khan.”
Speaking English and wearing Western clothes does not project a soft image, it only speaks of an inferiority complex, he said, adding: “A soft image is projected through self-reliance […] so first respect yourself and the world will respect you in turn.”
“I have seen the inception of Pakistan’s film industry [….] we started copying Indian films” after some years, he said regretfully.
“The person who is afraid of failure will never become a good player,” he said. Khan said when he would take Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan with him when he would go abroad, the singers in the US would love his music, and not that of the Pakistani pop singers – as they only imitated the West. He added that Pakistan’s television industry in the past used to produce quality content that was liked in India as well.
Meanwhile, also speaking at the event, Federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry said the media plays a crucial role in disseminating the state’s narrative.
The information minister said the state is not able to fully convey the events of the wars that Pakistan had fought over the years. “We are establishing a media technology university [….] and will open film schools in Karachi.”
“We will start the path to Naya Pakistan under the prime minister’s leadership,” he said, adding that short films would create awareness among the people.
Meanwhile, Director-General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar said on Saturday that it is time for Pakistan to improve its perception on the global stage following a long and testing war on terror.
“Today, when we have almost won the war against terror, it is time that we [strive to] improve Pakistan’s perception [in the world],” the DG said. He made these remarks while addressing the National Amateur Short Film Festival (NASFF) awards ceremony on Saturday.
“We need to align this perception with Pakistan’s reality, which is extremely beautiful and magnificent,” the DG remarked. “Today’s festival is a part of such efforts,” he added.
The DG observed that perception is considered a reality in today’s world, and added that every country strives to build its perception. “Pakistan faced a prolonged and testing war for two decades,” he said. “The enemy, besides its efforts to cause us harm through the war, has been attempting to dent the country’s stature and image before the world.”
“Pakistan is a fortunate country that has youth making up more than 60 percent of its population. Why shouldn’t we task the youth, whom we are proud of, with the responsibility of showing the real Pakistan [to the world], alongside enabling them to test their mettle.”
Maj Gen Babar also noted that capable and hardworking young filmmakers produced theme-based short films on various subjects, which will enable building Pakistan’s positive image before the world in a highly effective way.
He said Allah has blessed Pakistan with every blessing there is, and by making films via the National Amateur Film Festival, a positive image of the country can be projected. He hoped youngsters through the platform would produce short films and help renew Pakistan’s image in the international community. “Prime Minister Imran Khan has boosted the spirits of the youth by participating in today’s event,” he added.
The DG ISPR said the film festival is a platform provided to young filmmakers, documentary producers, and directors to produce quality content. “Thanks to the festival, Pakistani culture, and the true identity of Pakistan will now be highlighted across the world,” he said. – TLTP