Pakistan won its first SAARC Film Award on Sunday night for the documentary “Saving Face” that chronicles the work of a British plastic surgeon who rebuilds the faces of women disfigured by acid attacks. Another Pakistani movie nominated for the Awards was Mehreen Jabbar’s directed Raam Chand Pakistani, which bagged Silver Medal in the Best Feature Film category.
The Awards for the Best Documentary of the year, and Silver Medal for Best Feature Film in SAARC region was received on behalf of Pakistan by H.E Seema Ilahi Balloch, the High Commissioner of Pakistan.
Another honour for Pakistan was the awards for Best Actor which went to Manzar Sehbai, and Rashid Farooqi for their roles in Bol and Ram Chand Pakistani respectively.
Pakistan had nominated two feature films and one documentary for the awards. The films in feature category included Shoaib Mansoor’s Bol and Mehreen Jabbar’s Raam Chand Pakistani and Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy’s Saving Face in documentary category.
The Best Feature Film Trophy was given to Sri Lanka’s Akasa Kusum, directed by Prasanna Vithanage, for its poetic evocation of a golden age of cinema, seen through the memories of love and loss of an ageing actress. Mr Asoka Serasinghe, Chairman, National Film Corporation, accepted the award on behalf of the Director.
The SAARC Film Festival concluded yesterday with some of the best films in the region being acknowledged and awarded. The SAARC Film Festival was held for the second year this time, at the National Film Corporation Cinema Hall, organized by the SAARC Cultural Centre in Sri Lanka.
This year brought in nominations from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Maldives and Sri Lanka. Documentary and Feature films were screened daily from the 16th – 20th to the general public, and well known film directors from Singapore, Iran and Russia who were adjudicators at the Regional Film Awards. This year competition was held for two categories, namely, Feature and Documentary films.
The Award Ceremony was held under the patronage of Minister of Public Administration and Home Affairs Sri Lanka W. D. J Seneviratne. The Chief Guest Honourable W. D. J Seneviratne, congratulated the SAARC Cultural Centre in organizing the Film Festival and reiterated his support for such events. He also congratulated Pakistan for receiving the awards and appreciated the cinematic excellence displayed by the Pakistani presentations.
Directors of some of the nominated films from Bangladesh, India, and the Maldives were also present at this festival which also included a workshop on “Film Vs Digital – The Impending Extinction of the celluloid cinema, and the challenges ahead”, with panelists, Dr Nihalsingha, Mr Chandran Rutnam, and Mr Vimukthi Jayasundara and Key Note Speaker – Mr Phillip Cheah from Singapore.
The Film Festival is an annual event, encouraging the arts, and bringing nations together.
Results of 2012 SAARC Film Awards
Best Documentary Film
“Saving Face” – Pakistan – Directed by Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy
Runner up Documentary
“The Great School Teacher” – Sri Lanka – Directed by Mayri Wanaguru
Best Feature Film
“Akasa Kusum” – Sri Lanka – Directed by Prasanna Vithanage
Best Feature Film ( Silver)
“Ram Chand Pakistani” – Pakistan – Directed by Mehreen Jabbar
Best Feature Film ( Bronze)
“Byari” – India- Directed by K.P. Suveeran
Manzar Sehbai/Pakistan –“Bol”
Rashid Farooqi/Pakistan –“Ram Chand Pakistani”
Malini Fonseka/Sri Lanka/”Akasa Kusum”