FocusPK: Step Forward For The Entertainment Industry of Pakistan

The two day FocusPk 2017 conference was held last week at the new EDC campus of the Iqra University, Karachi. The conference had five interactive discussion sessions with two sessions occurring at the same time.

Commenced last year by famous actor Atiqa Odho, the second edition of FocusPkF included speakers from all across Pakistan. According to Atiqa Odho According to Atiqa Odho, this film conference is the platform where entertainment meets business, and where suggestion towards the improvement of the industry can be brought into light.

The sessions were attended by audience consisting of entertainment industry professional, students and media. Amongst speakers were renown names of industry that include Arshad Mehmood, Usman Peerzada, Hameed Sheikh, Ayesha Omar, Atiqa Odho, Misbah Ishaq, Shehzad Roy, Adeel Husain, Zhalay Sarhadi, Ahsan Kahan, Mushtaq Chappra and many more.

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The conference started out with a breakfast gala where the industry icons, famous journalist, writer and President GeoTV Imran Aslam and celebrated artist and performer Bushra Ansari were honored the Icon of Industry Awards. The breakfast session marked the performance of the children from The Citizen Foundation Schools singing the National Anthem and rounding it off with the ever popular Dil Dil Pakistan.

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The first session Music – Then and Now featured a panel of speakers: Arshad Mehmood, Asif Noorani, Rachel Viccaji and Suhail Javed and Sohail Hashmi as the moderator. They talked about how Pakistani music industry has flourished over the years, where it was and where they see it now.

The second session Lipton: Chotu Case Study on Corporate and Social Sector joining hands was all about how the Corporate world should join hands with the social sector in the betterment of the 20 to 25 million children of Pakistan who are out of school and in dire need for help. Namra Khan, representing Lipton Pakistan announced their newly formed partnership with TCF to build 110 schools across Pakistan.
The third session Talent Management – Rights of Artist moderated by Yasra Rizvi started by outlining the role played by ACT: working on a standardized contract on behalf of actors and producers, code of conduct for actors and producers timings, pay structure, ensuring payments. Actor Adeel Hussain was of the view “The main thing is trust building. So, if complaints arise, they are channelled authentically.”

The fourth session Licensing and Censorship – The way forward was moderated by Atiqa Odho who picked up the hot potato of the censor’s cut of Shoaib Mansoor’s film, Verna. Vice Chairman of Punjab Censor Board Usman Pirzada said in the occasion, “We have certain ethics in our censor board. When we censor a picture and if there is a difference in opinion, it goes to the film court where through a voting system they decide. On Verna, we don’t understand why the media thought the movie needed to be banned.”

The last session Film Making 101 – From Script to Screen was condicted by Television and theatre actor Rashid Sami. Mohsin Yaseen of Cinepax advised directors to make a film that would appeal to the masses. He also emphasized the need of digital monetization of their content. Asim Abbasi, the director of Cake said, “Development process is highly important in film making as I myself spent three months on rehearsals with my actors. You have to find people who understand your story.”

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The second day of FocusPk hosted the Film Market where eight selected short films from students across Pakistan were screened. The concluding session of conference honoured actor/director Samina Peerzada and director/producer Shoaib Mansoor for their lifetime work in the industry.

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