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Three-day Nueplex Film Festival kicks off in Karachi

The 3-day festival is showcasing 18 films of upcoming filmmakers who hope to “create cinematic magic despite limited experience and resources”

Web Desk
Red carpet for the Nueplex Film Festival. — Instagram/@nueplexfilmfestival
Red carpet for the Nueplex Film Festival. — Instagram/@nueplexfilmfestival

KARACHI: In a bid to showcase young talent and indie filmmakers, the Nueplex Film Festival opened on Friday at the Nueplex cinemas in Karachi.

The three-day film festival is showcasing 18 films of upcoming filmmakers, which according to the organisers, hopes to “create cinematic magic despite limited experience and resources”.

On the first day of the festival, nine films — Discarded, Circus, Cardiac Arrest, Barzakh, Shikray Ka Gudda, Reverie, Ticket to Paradise, Haibat and Sentinal Jet — were showcased. With the other nine films set to be showcased today.

Sharmeen Ali, the director of Reverie — a surreal contemporary film that deals with grief — views the festival as a great opportunity to meet talented filmmakers and directors of her age.

"I'm happy that I can be a part of it [festival]. That they considered our film as a really good one and for it to be nominated and shortlisted in this is an honour, it’s a first, and it’s an amazing experience, so far,” Sharmeen told when asked about her expectations from the festival.

On the opportunity to get her film adjudicated by industry leaders such as writer Bee Gul, actor Humayun Saeed, director Siraj ul Haq, writer Zanjabeel Asim Shah and director Nadeem Baig, Sharmeen said that it was an honour to know that “such icons” would be watching her film.

Talking about the movies showcased on the first day, director Siraj ul Haq noted that a wide genre of films were shown to them. However, for him, the biggest highlight of the day was seeing science fiction, or sci-fi, films by Pakistani directors.

“The biggest thing I saw was the science fiction genre because it is mostly made in the western world. They showed two science fiction films and were very different. This is a new advancement among our filmmakers that we go worldwide and do something in this genre and some of our stories can go there because it has a very big market,” Haq told

Taha Chaudhry, who portrayed the antagonist in the sci-fi movie Sentinel Jet, highlighted a lack of resources when it came to doing the film and the structure of shooting the genre which is not seen in Pakistan.

“For me, as an actor, the limitations were when we had to go for makeup which wasn't authentic like that. I mean when we saw it on the big screen, it did look a bit odd at times. But with the resources that they had, the direction team and all of them, they did a good job even with the green screen and with all the explosions and everything,” Taha told He added that he opted for the film because of the role he was getting and being a fan of neo-noir films and futurism.

For a film, perhaps, the biggest part is the story it is trying to portray and how it is written. And the festival management has the best screenplay award up for grabs.

Bee Gul, who is also a member of the jury, when asked about the script writing seen on the films showcased on day one, noted that it was the “weakest part”.

“Concepts are there they don’t know how to portray them through the scripts. The visuals are fine technically they are not bad but still weak with scripts,” said Gul about the films showcased on day one.

The nine other films of the festival will be showcased today and on day three there will be an award distribution ceremony.

Apart from the best screenplay award, the jury will pick the best director, best film, best actress, best actor, best editing, best cinematography, best sound design and best production design.