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New Zealand Film Sweeps Karafilm Awards

New Zealand Film Sweeps Karafilm Awards

The Karachi International Film Festival 2002 also known as 2nd KaraFilm Festival concluded on Sunday with an impressive awards ceremony in which a New Zealand film "A Small Life" walked away with 8 awards.

Out of the more than 75 films in competition at the 2nd KaraFilm Festival, director Michael Heath's haunting and moving musical, "A Small Life" bagged the awards for Best Short Feature, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Cinematography, Best Editing and Best Music.

According to the jury whose vote was unanimous, the film was "perfect."

The film's director, Michael Heath, who had flown in from New Zealand for the entire festival, seemed to be overcome by emotions at the critical acclaim heaped on his film.

"A Small Life" tells the tale of a mother coming to terms with the impending death of her young son, primarily through music, and stars the famous New Zealand singer and poet Mahinarangi Tocker.

The jurors for the Short Feature and Feature Films category included Mr. Hameed Haroon, (APNS President and Chief Executive Dawn Group), Ms. Sahira Kazmi, (director), Mr. Aslam Rashidi (publisher of film weekly Nigar), Mr. Aftab Manghi (film producer and distributor) and Mr. Talat Aslam (journalist and film critic).

Other members of the jury included artist Ms. Durriya Kazi, publisher Mr. Ajmal Kamal, actress Ms. Sania Saeed, painter Ms. Sheherbano Hussain, filmmaker Mr. Saqib Malik, advertising executive Ms. Mujahida Hasan, and journalist Ms. Tehmina Ahmed.

Among other films that bagged awards were the Irani film "A Girl Called Tondar" which won both the Best Feature Film award and the Best Supporting Actor award. The jury cited the film as a representative of the new Khatami-led Iran. The Russian short film "Tomorrow Is Birthday" and the German animated short film "Something Always Happens" won the awards for Best Shorts. An Indian documentary which explored the lives of slum dwellers in Mumbai won the Best Documentary award, while another Indian documentary "The Play Is On" on street theatre performers in Kashmir won a special recognition award from the jury.

A Pakistani short feature film by veteran actor Faisal Rehman and first time writer and director Bilal Minto, "World Ka Centre", won the Special Jurors' Selection award for its realistic portrayal of lower middle class life in Lahore. The film, set on September 11, 2001 revolves around a day in the life of a group of young men accompanying their friend who is about to leave for the US.

The KaraFilm Festival also honoured three veteran Pakistani filmmakers with Lifetime Achievement awards. The honorees included famous actress Roohi Bano, veteran music composer Lal Mohammad and the late acclaimed actor Latif Kapadia who received a posthumous award.

A total of over 80 films of all types - documentaries, features and shorts - from countries as diverse as USA, Canada, Germany, Iran, Bangladesh, Japan, Sri Lanka, Russia, New Zealand, India and Pakistan were shown during the festival. Thousands of people attended the 8-day festival, including filmmakers Jawed Sheikh, Syed Noor, Samina Peerzada, Sania Saeed, Marina Khan, Asim Reza, Mohammed Ahmed, Shoaib Mansoor and Faisal Rehman. In addition the festival has also had the participation of filmmakers and film critics from Russia, Japan and New Zealand.

The KaraFilm Festival is the only competitive international film festival in Pakistan and is organized by the KaraFilm Society, a non-profit entity. The 2nd KaraFilm Festival's major sponsors included Khadim Ali Shah Bukhari (KASB) and Daily Dawn, while PIA, Avari Hotels, WorldTel, Platinum Bank and Pak Apex Leasing were co-sponsors. The Festival also received invaluable support from the Russian Consulate and the French and Japanese Cultural Centres.

List of Awards

(Note: The KaraFilm Award is named the Ciepie - an aluminium and bronze sea shell signifying the modern city on the sea that is Karachi)

Lifetime Achievement Awards: Roohi Bano (Acting), Lal Mohammad (Music), Latif Kapadia (Acting)-Posthumous

Best Screenplay: Michael Heath for "A Small Life"

(Special Mentions: Petra Biondina Volpe for "Crevettes"; Faisal Rehman and Bilal Minto for "World Ka Centre"

2. Best Cinematography: Stephen Latty for "A Small Life"

3. Best Editing: David Downes for "A Small Life"

(Special Mention: Kirsten Kieninger for "Crevettes" and "Sisters")

4. Best Musical Score: David Downes for "A Small Life" (Special Mention: Elektroblitz Mitte for "Freewheeling")

5. Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role: Parsa Piroozfar for "A Girl Named Tondar" (Special Mention: Sergei Garmesh for "The Lover")

6. Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role: Dorothea Boettcher for "Crevettes" (Special Mention: Katya Gorina for "Sisters")

7. Best Male Actor in a Leading Role: Kelly-Leader Tropman for "A Small Life"

(Special Mentions: Oleg Yankovsky for "The Lover" and Shakeel for "Aakhri Tasveer")

8. Best Female Actor in a Leading Role: Mahinarangi Tocker for "A Small Life" (Special Mentions: Marga Legal for "Crevettes"; Rubina Ashraf for "Aakhri Tasveer"; Oksana Akinshina for "Sisters"

9. Best Short Film (Live Action): "Tomorrow Is Birthday" (Special Mention: "Out of Synch")

10. Best Short Film (Animation): "Something Always Happens" (Special Mention: "Clown")

11. Best Documentary: "Jari Mari: Of Cloth and Other Stories"

12. Special Recognition for Documentary: "The Play Is On"

13. Best Short Feature Film: "A Small Life" (Special Mentions: "Crevettes", "World Ka Centre")

14. Best Feature Film: "A Girl Named Tondar" (Special Mentions: "The Lover"; "Aakhri Tasveer"; "Sisters"

15. Special Jurors' Selection: "World Ka Centre"

16. Best Director: Michael Heath for "A Small Life"

(Special Mentions: Petra Biondina Volpe for "Crevettes"; Hamid Reza Ahshtianipour for "A Girl Named Tondar")

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