Islamabad: The first ever Pakistan edition of the Asia Peace Film Festival (APFF) will take place during 18-20 September at the Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA). As many as 130 soft films, documentaries and animations of about 18 hours from more than 35 countries would be shown in three days.

Marriyum Aurangzeb, the Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage, was the chief guest of the launching ceremony of the festival organised by the PNCA on Wednesday.

Speaking on the occasion, Marriyum Aurangzeb said no one else could understand the importance of peace more than us who have been fighting a war against terrorism for decades. We suffered a lot both economically and socially. Now we are fighting against all odds and the challenges confronting from the extremism and for the sake of our generations next. The restoration of national identity and dignity is a must for us.

She said the first ever national film and broadcasting policy would be announced next month that would bring several new and concrete initiatives to promote film production and screening in Pakistan.

The PNCA Director General Syed Jamal Shah said cinema is a very medium for both narrative and documentary being the most accessible and effective vehicle for promoting social change in the world. It addresses some very important social and cultural issues besides proving entertainment at the same time.

He said the APFF would pave a path for the global communication for peace, originating from Pakistan to help develop a harmonised narrative for the region.

Indonesian filmmakers and member of APFF selection committee Setyorini Sophia highlighted the role that intellectuals, film makers and activists have to play for promoting the message of peace. “We have a diverse team with different cultures who are here for the first time in Pakistan for the festival. Let’s see Asia through the ideas of these film makers” she added.

Representative from UNIC Mr. Vitorio Camarotta in his remarks said: “promoting peace has been one of the core values of UN since its inception”. He also highlighted and acknowledged the role of Pakistan in promotion of message of peace in Asia and around the globe.

The moderator of the event, Dr. Nadeem Omar Tarar reiterated the vision of the APFF to promote self-representation of Asia by Asians, in order to create cultural capital necessary for the strengthening of economic ties being cultivated by Asian development projects.

The launch ceremony concluded with a group photo of APFF staff & volunteers with the Minister of Information, Broadcasting & Cultural Heritage Marriyum Aurangzeb.

Amjad Bhatti, the chief executive of the festival, said the selected films of APFF-Pakistan Edition would be screened first at the Festival on 18-19-20 September 2017 in Islamabad; second on the other festivals hosted in partner countries, third in the 30 Universities of Pakistan’s four provinces including Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir and fourth in several press clubs in Pakistan. The finalists of APFF-Pakistan Edition would be decorated with National Awards from the Government of Pakistan.