Islamabad (Adnan Hameed): Film enthusiasts in Islamabad and Rawalpindi indulged in the magic of European cinema at the Third European Film Festival (EUFF) 2024, which commenced on May 15th at the Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA).

The festival, showcasing over 20 films from European Union Member States, spans diverse genres including comedy, thrillers, documentaries, and fiction, offering audiences a rich cinematic experience.

Following its successful launch in Islamabad, the festival will travel to three more cities across Pakistan: Peshawar, Quetta, and Gujrat, from May 16th to May 29th, 2024. Each film selected for the festival was curated to cater to an audience with a global appetite for compelling storytelling.

Dr. Riina Kionka, Ambassador of the Delegation of the European Union to Pakistan, highlighted the festival’s significance in promoting cultural exchange and addressing important social topics through cinema. She stated, “Good cinema plays an important social and political role, contributing to a pluralistic society based on respect, equality, and democratic decision-making.”

The festival kicked off in Islamabad with screenings of three feature-length and five short films from Europe, complemented by two Pakistani short films and experimental works from Europe as installations. The event also featured a dynamic panel discussion titled “Viewing The World Through Films: The Importance Of Gaining A Global Perspective,” moderated by Omar Khalid Butt and featuring renowned playwright Bee Gul, actor Sarwat Gilani, and rising star Ali Junejo.

Sarwat Gilani emphasized the importance of film festivals in showcasing cultural narratives to a global audience, praising European cinema for its portrayal of the stark realities of the world. She expressed her admiration for European films such as “The Prophet” and “Irreversible,” envisioning Pakistani actors in European roles and vice versa.

The festival will continue its journey across Pakistan, offering audiences in each city engaging panel discussions with prominent figures from the Pakistani film and television industry, including filmmakers, writers, and actors. Additionally, masterclasses titled “Decoding European Cinema” by filmmaker, writer, and actor Ali Junejo will provide participants with insights into world cinema and enhance their professional capacity.

Interactive audiovisual installations and a variety of food stalls add to the festival’s allure, promising a memorable cultural experience for attendees.

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