13 June | 2024

Lahore, Pakistan

‘South Asian nations must connect, interact and network beyond national, cultural frontiers’

Nepali author and campaigner Kanak Mani Dixit says SouthAsia Trust brings three-day Film SouthAsia Festival of Documentaries in Pakistan

Nepali author, journalist, activist and SouthAsia Trust founder chairperson Kanak Mani Dixit has urged South Asian nations, including Pakistan and India, to connect, interact and network beyond national and cultural frontiers.

“We are always trying to bring ‘estrange’ nations in South Asia together to share what they can, as we have a mission to promote cultural exchange in our region that is divided by geopolitics,” he said in a candid talk with Jarida Daily in Lahore.

“We always want to promote a mission of developing a new concept of South Asian unity through meetings, symposia, exhibitions and festivals,” Kanak Dixit said, and shared details about SouthAsia Trust that organizes the Film SouthAsia Festival of Documentaries.

“We at the Film SouthAsia Festival can understand the vibrant role of cultures in the development of societies,” he said. “Our mission is to support, honor and connect artists and cultural practitioners in South Asian region, especially where cultural expression is under pressure,” he said.

“We are here in Pakistan with interesting documentaries and films with us,” Pawas Manandhar, program manager of the SouthAsia Trust, told Jarida Daily, as the three-day Travelling Film South Asia Festival kick started at Olomopolo in Lahore. “I believe that South Asia can be a ‘region of prosperity’ if connectivity restored,” he said.

“We all want to see more interactions between South Asian countries. At least, people from across borders can connect with each-other through family-to-family visits or social media platforms,” he suggested. “We must remember that we have no other option but to choose a peaceful path based on coexistence and friendship,” he said.

Curated by Farjad Nabi and the Olomopolo Media, the organizers announced screening of award-winning films from different South Asian countries, including Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Nepal, during three-day festival. Also, the organizers arranged an exhibition before screening of the films.

A few thought-provoking panel discussions i.e. film as a medium for gender activism with Kanwal Khoosat, Sana Jafri, Leena Ghani and Nighat Said Khan; bringing South Asia closer with Kanak Dixit and Pawas Manandhar; how to navigate as a young filmmaker with Farjad Nabi and a group of young filmmakers also arranged on the day first.

Curated by Farjad Nabi and Olomopolo Media, organizers announce screening of award-winning films from Pakistan, India, Nepal, and other South Asian countries

Talking to Jarida Daily, university student Muhammad Saqib Rabbani called the festival a wonderful opportunity to experience documentaries and films, besides networking with artists, creative people, thinkers and likeminded people. “I am really enjoying a festival with pure South Asian flavor,” he said, as he joined the colorful event along with his university fellows.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Travelling Film SouthAsia Festival has been visiting Pakistan in the past under banner of the Matteela Film Festival. Five selected films, including This Stained Dawn, Sita Ke Badalte Roop, Eid Mubarak, Barzakh, and Before You Were My Mother, were screened on day first.

On the other hand, the further films include Moon On The Man, Gaine, Iqraar-Naama, The Heartbroken Lover, Shikaaf Bar Noor, B For Nao, Udeekan, Rest In Paper, The Secret Life, India Matrimony, The City That Spoke To Me, Decoding Gender, Longing, and Gurkha Girl. On September 26, The Learning Hub College will also arranged the film festival in Gujranwala.