American Film Showcase 2023 Returns to Pakistan


KARACHI In its tenth year now, the American Film Showcase (AFS) 2023 Pakistan commenced on Thursday, March 16, 2023, in Karachi. The event was hosted by Greenwich University, which started with the opening remarks by the honorable Public Affairs officer from U.S Consulate Karachi Mr. Lee McManis. In his address to the audience Mr.Leesaid “Through the medium of film, filmmakers can raise awareness of social issues, call attention to the struggles of everyday people, challenge assumptions, and highlight critical new ways of thinking. We firmly believe that filmmakers have a critical role to play in inspiring new visions for Pakistan’s future and we are excited to see what that future holds”.

This year the implementing partner for AFS Pakistan is the Women Through Film/ Loug Trust.

Five American documentary films were screened over the two days of the American Film Showcase, which were highly applauded by the spectators, comprising students and the general public. The film slate for the first day consisted of Picture a Scientist (2020), which focuses on sexual harassment and gender inequality against women, which are no less prevalent in science than they are in pop culture or corporate America; Fake Famous(2021), which is based on the true story of an unreal social experiment that reveals what is really happening behind-the-scenes of influencer fame; and The Misfits (2021), which portrays a talented group of outcasts that call themselves “The Misfits”,  looking to reverse the saying ‘No good deed goes unpunished’.

The film screenings were followed by a panel discussion which included AFS U.S. envoy Ms. Laura Renee Nix, Actor and Filmmaker Mr. Mohib Mirza, Film Producer Fizza Ali Meerza, Filmmaker Anam Abbas, and Film Critic and Dawn Icon Kamran Jawaidas the moderator. The panel discussion deep-dived into a SWOT analysis on Pakistan in the international film industry.

On  March 17th, the day started with AFS 2023 Documentary Storytelling Workshop for female students of different universities in Karachi, which was led by AFS Envoy Ms. Laura Nix. This workshop trained participants about crucial story elements and how to discover and enhance them during the development, production and post-production stages of the film. It focused on developing strong character arcs, construction of a compelling narrative, the importance of visual storytelling and the creation of dramatic tension. In the second half, the participants were grouped together to present their perspectives on a story that they thought would make an excellent documentary, with the help of the elements they learned through the workshop. This workshop gave the participants an understanding of how to evaluate an idea for a potential documentary.

Simultaneously, the film screenings continued. The second day film slate included Lily Topples the World (2021) which follows 20-year-old Lily Hevesh – the world’s greatest domino toppler and the only woman in her field – in a coming-of-age story of artistry, passion, and unlikely triumph and Street Gang: How We Got To Sesame Street (2021), which takes viewers inside the minds and hearts of the Sesame Street creators, artists, writers, and educators who, together established one of the most influential programs in television history.

The event concluded with the closing remarks of from CAO Vince Murphy who said, “  __________________.