A POET IN THE CINEMA
If cinema reflects the collective consciousness of society, if "every movie is a cultural artefact. . . and as such reflects the values, fears and myths of the culture that produces it," then we can hardly assume Pakistan’s renewed interest in home-grown movies can help revive the faltering film industry.
For, despite all our efforts to save the cinema, not much has changed on the ground, particularly for aspiring filmmakers. There are no film-friendly policies in place, no government backing. There are no film commissions, no guilds for actors, directors or screenwriters. Incentives for venture capitalists? Tax rebates? Zero. Zilch. Nada. Nil.
Worse still, there are no film schools.
The will is there, the talent is there, but there is a disconnect between our mind and body.
Ours is not the only society where cinema has been weighed, measured and found wanting.
The history of world cinema is full of ardent filmmakers who—whether working in ‘isolation’ or in a company of whimsical executives—made films that permeated borders, crossed continents. There is something akin to poetry. And to quote Pablo Neruda:
“On our earth, before writing was invented, before the printing press was invented, poetry flourished. That is why we know that poetry is like bread; it should be shared by all, by scholars and by peasants, by all our vast, incredible, extraordinary family of humanity.”
Poetry becomes bread. Filmmakers become poets:
Woody Allen in Hollywood, Gregory Colbert in Canada, Roy Anderson in Sweden, Krzysztof Kieślowski in Poland, Giuseppe Tornatore in Italy, Robert Bresson in France, Andrei Tarkovsky in Russia, Abbas Kiarostami in Iran, Satyajit Ray in India, Lee Chang-dong in South Korea and Yasujirō Ozu in Japan.
This is the very spirit that Karachi Film School believes in, and this is the very spirit that the school tries to invoke in its students.
So Welcome aboard!