ZeroMM Youth Film Festival Southaisa, in its first year, screened 43 best short films out of 1800 submissions submitted by filmmakers from seven different Southasian countries including Nepal, India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Srilanka, Iran and Pakistan. ZeroMM Youth Film Festival Southasia was successfully conducted in three different renowned universities of Pakistan i.e. Kinnaird College (KC) for Women, University of Management and Technology (UMT), Lahore and National Textile University (NTU), Faisalabad.The festival was attended by more than 2500 people including students, teachers and filmmakers.
ZeroMM aims to act as a launchpad for emerging filmmakers in Southasia by providing an audience to create dialogue through cinema. It envisions to nurture an international community of youth filmmakers, activate audience for Southasian identity and inspire a new generation of filmmakers.
The festival program consisted of 3 shows and each show was of 1 hour 30 minutes duration followed by a Q/A session. Along with Zeromm films, films made on gender experiences by the young students of the mentioned three universities were also showcased during the festivals. These films were made by students during the 5-days filmmaking workshops, conducted under ZeroMM. Certificates were also distributed among the students during the festival for their encouragement.
Pakistani filmmakers, whose films were being screened, at the ZeroMM festival were also invited for the screening. Mehroz Amin, a young Pakistani filmmaker, whose film was screened at the festival quoted, “Our culture is enriched with talented actors and filmmakers. ZeroMM festival has provided a platform to them to show their talent and culture through the medium of filmmaking and I’m happy that this film festival is making a difference in the society.”
The students from other universities were also present at the festival to watch their short films. The response of students and faculties was very overwhelming. Dr. Rukshana David, principal Kinnaird College for Women, also quoted that, “Filmmaking is such a powerful medium through which people can share their experiences therefore; I congratulate ZeroMM team for this wonderful festival.”
Dr. Mughees-ud-Din Dean School of Media and Communication Studies, UMT said, “ZeroMM Youth Film Festival will encourage our students to make short films in future so that they can flourish and mark their names in the field of filmmaking.”
The Dean of Visual Arts Department, NTU, Mr. Zafar Javed quoted while giving his feedback that “Such film festivals should be organized at all universities so that students can learn to voice their opinions and experiences through short films.”
One of the students, Aqsa Mujeeb, while giving her feedback shared that, “These festivals are a great source of learning and celebrating stories of people. ZeroMM festival is indeed a celebration of culture and people.”
Another student, Zahra Sultan, quoted that, “We are so happy to see our films in ZeroMM festival and we are glad that we got this opportunity to showcase our talent and stories through filmmaking medium.”
One of the teachers, Ms. Saira Manzoor, also shared her feedback and said “We are thrilled to see such an amazing content and this festival should be organized every year at our campuses.”
ZeroMM Youth Film Festival was indeed a great success and this year it will be travelling to other international countries and universities including “California Institute of Technology”, where these films will be screened to a greater audience.