Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Asia’s first Smartphone Film Festival was held in Karachi

Pakistan secured 8th position in Asia’s first ever Smartphone Film Festival, which was held yesterday evening here at the Pak American Cultural Centre (PACC) in Karachi. Organized in Pakistan by the iSmart Films, the Festival was the world’s 9th pocket cinema film festival, which featured only those films and movies which were produced by young filmmakers from all over the world using their mobile phone devices only.

A total of 1058 films were submitted from over 110 countries, where in Hassan Zaidi from Lahore, Pakistan got an 8th position for his documentary film titled “Colors of death,” which is about the ‘coloured chickens’ sold after dyeing in the pet market in Lahore.

Among the top five winning films of the Festival were ‘Oven Glove’ from Ireland, ‘CHASM’ and ‘How to rob the house’ from the United States, ‘Sector Zero 4’ from Spain, and ‘Gloomy boy’ from France

Launched in Jun this year, the last date of film submission was December 5, while the entries were judged by a panel of filming experts, including Shahzad Nawaz, Jami Mehmood, Furqan T. Siddiqui, Adil Murad, Yousuf Bashir Qureshi, and others. Awards were conferred to the top 10 films selected. Among the media partners of the Smartphone Film Festival were the Jang Media Group, GEO TV, FM91, FM107 and Tune.pk.

The submitted films were screened at nine different venues, including the Karachi Youth Support Network (KYSN), DotZero, DCTO Academy, Nazeer Hussain University (NHU), the Pak American Cultural Centre (PACC), and the Arena Multimedia, Karachi.

The Smartphone Film Festival was hosted by the iSmart Films in collaboration with seven international festivals from the United States, Spain, New Zealand, France, Macedonia, etc. In the festival, the ‘School of Smartphone Film Production’ was also inaugurated, followed by the launching of a ‘Web TV’. The iSmart Films unveiled its ‘Video Resume Portal’ in the event, including the launching of different portals for videos, news, and online shopping.

The iSmart Films has recently introduced ‘Mobile Journalism’ in Pakistan, an emerging form of filmmaking and new media storytelling where pocket-sized communication devices with network connectivity are used to capture, gather, edit and distribute shots and visuals.

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The Nescafé Basement jam room has been welcoming some very exciting guests the past week! Popular radio and television host Sophiya Anjam visited the jam room a few days back, which was followed by a visit from the charismatic radio host Sumayrah Khan. Both enjoyed their time immensely and clicked some fun images with the young talented musicians. Along with them, many others like bloggers, social media influencers, editors, also visited the jam room – making their experience and interaction ‘the talk of the town.’

Speaking about her experience of visiting the Nescafé Basement Jam Room, Sophiya Anjam stated, “The platform is amazing and it discovers such amazing talent of Pakistan. For me, it was quite a great experience – coming to the jam room, interacting with the artists and getting to know them more on a personal level. The talent is immense and I’m looking forward to Nescafé Basement Season 4.”

The audience has been getting glimpses of the upcoming season of Nescafé Basement through the jam room images that have been circulating on social media. Mentor Xulfi has termed this season his favorite so far as it has the highest number of musicians [46] and has various new instruments incorporated which will surely result in a fresh unique new sound.

Speaking about how the jams are shaping up so far, Xulfi stated, “The jams are the most exciting phase of Nescafé Basement. It’s the time when all the artists, unknown to each other, start making and playing music together and in that period, bond and become friends. And that spirit of friendship is the catalyst in the creation of music that’s closer to the heart. Like all seasons, this one also adds a great feeling to the jam room. The artists reach early; go back late. That’s what a jam should do, make people want to play more music. And that’s what Nescafé Basement keeps aiming to do as well; inspiring the youth to keep music in them alive.”

Release comes as the french star signs major deal with the pan-asian film & music awards academy PAIFMA

The immensely anticipated music video for French pop-star Abbas Hasan’s latest single Sweet Girl is out and delivers on its promise of glamour. From the skyscrapers of Europe to elegant red carpets, the video boasts of some lavish locations. Abbas and his co-star Armeena Rana Khan have been styled by international stylist Prangsta, both looking chic.

Helmed by esteemed Persian video director Amir Taherian, Sweet Girl begins with Armeena Rana Khan seeing Abbas on-screen with another girl (cameo appear-ance by Humaima Malick from a scene of Away’s video). Thus starts a dark journey of obsession and black magic, in which Armeena plays a double-role, both trying to seduce Abbas.

Speaking about the video of Sweet Girl, Abbas says “It was so much fun filming Sweet Girl with Armeena. We’ve known each other well through modeling, and I knew Armeena would be perfect at playing the innocent angel as well as the dark any mysterious vampish beauty.”

In true Abbas style, Sweet Girl is in Urdu-English and starts out with some vocals in French. It has been produced with Rishi Rich’s protégé Naamless, and the highly en-joyable pop song has some hints of Arabic music in it. The official radio partner in Pakistan for this release is FM91. The music video can be viewed here:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ih0iRNxBapk
www.ytpak.com/watch?v=Ih0iRNxBapk

After a major coup in signing a deal with the Pan-Asian Film and Music Awards academy (PAIFMA) and being recognised as one of the top Asian artists in the UK, Abbas Ha-san has had quite a month. He signed as the new face for international fashion brand Mastrioni’s latest campaign and now we get to see Sweet Girl release across the world!

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With three successful seasons behind them and numerous fans worldwide, the expectations from the fourth season of NESCAFÉ Basement are sky high

With the chilly winter fast approaching, the NESCAFÉ Basement jam room is all warmed up and set to start brewing with exceptional music talent that has been handpicked from all across Pakistan.

At the NESCAFÉ Basement jam room as these young aspiring musicians come together to create great music, they will get a chance to learn and inspire each other with their talent. One of the artists states, “I’m absolutely enthralled by the pool of talent we have this time around. After getting to listen to the immaculate skill of musicians like Hasan Farid and Zubair, I feel proud to be part of the team and really looking forward to this season.”

These artists will be mentored by Xulfi who has been an integral part of the show since the beginning and knows what it takes to encourage, teach and guide up-and-coming artists. Some popular artists are also expected to drop by the jam room to show support, give advice and help the talent discover their strengths.

Speaking about what he is expecting from the jam phase, mentor Xulfi states, “I have been looking forward to the jams phase since the auditions started as we have recruited some very unique talent this year. I am excited to start jamming with the talent and looking forward to creating some outstanding tunes”.

The selected films and movies from all over the world will be shown in a 2-day film carnival, which will help Pakistan enter the international filmmaking arena

The Asia’s first smartphone film festival, organized by the iSmart Films, is set to begin on December 19 & 20. Being held this year in Karachi, it will also be the world’s 9th pocket cinema film festival of its kinds, featuring such films, movies and documentaries that are produced by using a pocket-sized mobile phone in place of conventional movie cameras and other filmmaking equipment.

Commenced on June 14, 2015, a total of 1017 films from more than 110 countries, including Pakistan, have been submitted by young filmmakers for the festival, while the last date of submission is December 5, 2015. The jury consists of such leading filming experts as Shahzad Nawaz, Jami Mehmood, Furqan T. Siddiqui, Adil Murad, Yousuf Bashir Qureshi, and others, Along with a market leader in Advertising Brand Logic has also signed MOU for Activation Campaigns.

The iSmart Films has recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Visionary Foundation Pakistan to introduce ‘Mobile Journalism’ in the social development sector, which is an emerging form of filmmaking and new media storytelling where pocket-sized communication devices with network connectivity capture, gather, edit and distribute shots and visuals.

“A new industry is emerging in Pakistan which will create thousands of employment opportunities for the local youth, who can now prove their mettle internationally simply by using their mobile phones,” Abid Beli, Founder iSmart Films, said

The iSmart Films has been already conducting free workshops and training programs in different colleges and universities to teach modern filmmaking and reporting techniques via smartphones. A curriculum is also being designed by international experts to teach mobile journalism in Pakistan. Based in Karachi, Pakistan, the iSmart Films has also acquired the distribution rights of five Smartphone filming tools companies for the Asian region.

The Smartphone Film Festival is being hosted in Pakistan in collaboration with seven international festivals from the United States, Spain, New Zealand, France, Macedonia, etc. In the festival, the ‘School of Smartphone Film Production’ will be also inaugurated, followed by the launching of a ‘Web TV.’ The iSmart Films will also unveil its ‘News Portal,’ including a range of web portals for videos, video resumes, and online shopping.
Contact: abidbeli@gmail.com / 03219204942

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Beaconhouse celebrated its 40th anniversary on October 4, 2015 marking four decades of delivering educational excellence the world over

Beaconhouse believes that productive and meaningful education is every child’s right. In addition to its primary commitment to teaching and learning, it maintains a holistic approach to education by emphasising teacher education as well as curriculum development. Beaconhouse has always remained conscious of its role as a socially aware organisation and has supported the community and contributed generously in times of national crisis.

Beaconhouse will hold an educational and cultural festival on the 28th of November in Karachi. The event will be graced by some of the most recognised names in Pakistan and from around the globe

The 40th anniversary of Beaconhouse was celebrated amidst great fanfare at the Head Office as well as at schools in all the regions. The Beaconhouse Head Office was adorned with beautiful decorations and special handmade cards from the students congratulating Beaconhouse on its 40th birthday and thanking its Chairperson Mrs Nasreen Mahmud Kasuri for her significant contributions to the field of education.

Mrs Kasuri as well as Directors from the regional offices gave inspirational messages on the occasion and promised to take Beaconhouse to even greater heights in its mission of providing quality education of international standards. There was also a cake-cutting ceremony in the presence of all the Beaconhouse employees followed by a wonderful musical programme by Beaconhouse students. The day ended with refreshments and an amazing lantern display which was appreciated by all.

South Asian rock band Mizmaar, currently riding high on the success of their comeback single Jee Loonga, recently organized a singing competition for their fans who aspire to be musicians. The #BeMizmaar competition, which was held on the band’s official Facebook page, opened to a great response from Mizmaar’s virtual followers. Entries, in the form of covers of Jee Loonga, were sent from all over the world, making it a tough competition for finalists. Since it was a close call between the final two entries, one of them being an instrumental, the band had to call it a tie and award two winners, Abdul Ahad Shahzad and Ali Raza.Mizmaar and winner Abdul Ahad Shahzad [2]
Both winners received exclusive Mizmaar merchandise and their entries were uploaded on the official Mizmaar social media pages, for everyone to see, hear and leave their comments.
One of the winners, namely Abdul Ahad Shahzad, who used a simple combination of an acoustic guitar and vocals in his cover, won a chance to visit Mizmaar’spersonal studio for a one-on-one interaction and some live jamming. The video of that session can be seen heremizmaar logo

Overjoyed by the experience, Abdul commented on Facebook “Thank you so very much for such a great and wonderful time Mizmaar (Mashhad, Kashan Admani and Alfred Dmello). You people are amazing. I will never ever forget the great evening at Dream Station Productions. Thank you so very much for your hospitality. Mizmaar and the crew rocks! It feels amazing when such great feedback comes from such a great band of Pakistan. All the best for your album!”
Jee Loonga by Mizmaar
Abdul Ahad Shahzad’s winning acoustic cover of Jee Loonga can be heard here:
Ali Raza’s winning instrumental cover of Jee Loonga can be heard here:

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Alfred a youth drummer of Karachi who has also performed internationally has a lot to say about his love for drumming and a bit about himself

Music plays a vital role in soothing the mixed feelings churning up in any soul. May it be the sweet flow of an organ or the bass of a guitar, the melody of a flute or the beat of a drum. It’s passion for music that keeps the rhythm alive. When we talk about music and when it is beat then Drummers are the only person who can drive the crowd crazy. No rock band can survive without a drummer and neither any orchestra.

Alfred D’mello –Alf a 29 year old is a name in the world of passionate drummers who clearly make the bands rock with the magic of their sticks.

When and why did u start playing?
I stared playing when I was 9, got influenced by the live band that would perform at our community weddings/parties back in those days, I was deeply fascinated by the drums/drummers.

Your first event as a professional drummer?
It was with Mizmaar at BVS s school in 2004.

Is your family into music?
They do like music, but no one played any instrument

Which famous musician do you admire and why?
I admire a lot of international musicians the list can go on, Chris Colman, Greg Bissonette, Simon Phillips, Dave Weckl, Marcus miller, victor Wooten, Producer Quincy Jones just to name a few.. I admire them because they are masters of they trade, and watching them play really inspires me a lot.

Where did you learn playing instruments?
I’m self taught, and of course youtube helped a lot too.. But I’m from the time when I had to hear songs and drum solo on repeat to understand what the drummer is playing. Today kids getting into music are very lucky, they can watch all these drum instructional videos n learn stuff.

Is it only drums that you play or some other as well?
I play a bit of guitar and bass guitar too, I love playing the bass.

Which famous musician have u learned from (if any) or the name of your teacher?
Like I said youtube helped me to learn some theory later but.. No teacher as such.

Describe your first instrument?
My first instrument is the drums and it is and extension to my feelings

What are your fondest musical memories?
Well theere are many memories.. But I feel the best memories are yet to happen.


Were you influenced by old records and tapes which ones?
Yes definitely I’m influenced by a lot of old classic music like Zeppelin, Ddeep Purple, Beatles etc..

Is music your first love or your first love inspired your u to become a musician?
Yes music is my first love.. Nothing or no one comes close to it.. 🙂

Do you nervous before a performance or a competition?
I’ve never been part of any competition, but yeah sometimes I do get nervous before a gig I think most Musician’s do, but once I sit behind the kit, it’s all gone.

What advice would you give to beginners?
Practice is the key to reach your goals keep working in the right direction, dream big but don’t expect any results if you do get a big break take that as a bonus

How often and for how long do u practice?
A few years back I used to practice all the time, minimum 5 hours in a stretch. But now I’m more busy with projects, direction, production, teaching so I have a very organized practice routine very focused one or two hours of practice.

Do you teach music?
Yes I do, been teaching for almost 10 years now.

Your awards n achievements?
I don’t believe in awards, the biggest award for me is when a senior/better musician or producer/artist says good things about my musicality. Earning their respect feels like getting an award.

How do you balance your music and other obligations – mate children – job
I’m very bad at balancing that, so I keep a notification track/reminder of what commitments I have in order to keep a balance between both the music side and my family and friends.

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