Last week of March was abuzz for Karachiites with the four-day joyful happenings of Pakistan International Film Festival (PIFF). The festival that ran from March 20 to April 1, featured prominent film makers from different countries including India, Italy, Germany, Nepal and US to name a few. There were film screenings in different categories ranging from documentaries, short films and feature films. Submitted from 93 countries, a total of 210 films were selected to be screened at the festival. The festival was declared open at a press conference organised by Karachi Film Society, parent body of PIFF.

Apart from the screenings, the festival comprised panel discussions on subjects like ‘Film Diplomacy & Cross Border Collaboration’, ‘Innovation on Screen: Digital Dimensions’, ‘Genre Busters’, ‘From Script to Screen and Beyond’, ‘Films for Change: Socially Motivated content in South Asian Film Industry’ and ‘The Future of Music and Lyrics: How important is music in the subcontinental cinema’. The participant lineup was diverse and included prominent local and foreign speakers; Sultana Siddiqui, Asim Raza, Anjum Rajabali (celebrated Indian script/screenplay writer), Nandita Das (Indian actor/director/ producer), Harsh Narayan (Indian filmmaker), Sajal Aly, Adnan Sarwar, Sana Tauseef, Atiqa Odho, S. Rajamouli (director of Baahubali), Vinay Pathak (acclaimed Indian actor), Kamran Jawaid, Amin Farooqui, Tahir Moosa, Zeenat Lakhani and Saket Chawdhari (writer and director of Hindi Medium), Haseena Moin, Jami, Subhash Kapoor (prominent Indian producer, screenplay writer and director), Vishal Bhardwaj (Indian filmmaker), Hareem Farooq, Rekha Bhardwaj (Indian playback singer), and others.

There was a total of eight movie premieres - Cake, The Valley, Lala Begum, Moomal Rano, Zaraab, The Song of Scorpions, Kuch Bheege Alfaaz and The Wishing Tree (featuring Shabana Azmi), while Zaraab is the first Balochi language film to be premiered in Pakistan. Apart from the premieres, screenings of short films, documentaries and feature films were also organised at various institutes throughout the city.

The four-day event was supported by the Cultural Department of Sindh Government and Ministry of Information of the Federal Government of Pakistan.