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Gandhara Film Festival starts off for 3 days at NAPA on October 20th 2023

The National Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA) will be hosting this year’s GIFFX NAPA in collaboration with the Gandhara Independent Film Festival (GIFF) from October 20 to October 22.

NAPA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Junaid Zuberi announced this in a press conference. The festival will feature a number of feature-length and short films that have already been approved for screening by the Sindh Board of Film Censors. Two members of the censor board were also present at the press conference.

Zuberi spoke about NAPA’s vision behind this collaboration, saying that this was an effort to revive the culture of film festivals in the city. This would be the second time NAPA has collaborated with the GIFF.

The NAPA CEO also pointed out that the festival would bring films from across the globe and from credible film festivals around the world. He said it would also celebrate the Pakistani cinema and its artists. Classic Pakistani film Aaina is also scheduled for screening during the festival as a special feature of the event.

The festival would also feature a conversation with leading film star of yesteryears Mumtaz. Senior artiste and film historian Raju Jamil would hold the session with Mumtaz.

A major highlight of the GIFFX NAPA will be the premiere of ‘Songs of the Sufi’, a musical documentary on the history and culture of Qawwali in South Asia. The film is produced by UK-based filmmaker Kamran Anwar and directed by Shahrukh Waheed.

A question and answer session with the team and a Qawwali session with Najmuddin-Saifuddin Qawwal would follow the premiere. Waheed and the Qawwals were also present at the press conference. Seasoned artiste Beo Zafar would hold a session focusing on ‘12 Hours’, a film directed by her filmmaker son Emre Ahmed Mirza.

A film released this year, Madari, would also be shown at the festival. It is co-produced by NAPA alumnus Ali Rizvi and features NAPA alumni Paras Masroor, Ibad Alam Sher, Hammad Siddiqui, and Ahmer Hussain in the cast.

Gandhara Independent Film Festival (GIFF) in its 2nd collaboration with National Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA) is all set to bring the best of independent cinema from around the globe to Karachi from 20th – 22nd October, 2023. The festival includes:

  1. 28 independent short films. These films had earlier been screened at world’s most credible global film festivals.
  2. 1977 Pakistani classic Aaina featuring Shabnam and Nadeem in lead and directed by Nazrul Islam
  3. 2023 Pakistani feature film Madaari, written, produced and directed by Seraj ul Salikin, co-produced by NAPA alum Ali Rizvi with NAPA alumni including Paras Masroor, Ibad Alam Sher, Hammad Siddiq, Ahmer Hussain in the cast
  4. Conversation with leading yesteryear film star Mumtaz
  5. Premiere of Songs of the Sufi a musical documentary on the history and culture of Qawwali in South Asia produced by Kamran Anwar and directed by Shahrukh Waheed
  6. Live Qawwali session with Najmuddin, Saifuddin Qawwal
  7. Panel Discussions and Workshops

Festival Schedule can be view/download schedule:

All films have been approved by the Film Censor Board.

Tickets Information

Single Day Ticket: Rs 1,000

Festival Ticket: Rs 2,000

To buy tickets online, visit: – Tickets are also available at NAPA

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