The KaraFilmFestival has become the premier international film festival in Pakistan. And I am delighted to be one of the volunteers at the sixth episode of the event!
The freezing opening night at Mohatta Palace on the 7th must’ve seen a few useless speeches at the start of the show including some jokes by Omer Shariff. I personally decided to make my appearance fashionably late [after a nice dinner at Roasters and some couching at a friend’s!] since I didn’t want to be caught dead walking the red carpet! ;) Needless to say, I was wearing my usual 4 or-so year old jeans, an old t-shirt and my ‘uniform Nike winter jacket’ that various friends have gotten sick of and which M made me change with my new leather one. As unlucky as I could manage to get- the bag with my ‘uniform Nike jacket’ got stolen that night but as luck would have it, I saved my leather one!
Must mention: hats and clothes off to Meera for sporting a freakin’ sleeveless on a night when people were passing out due to the chill factor! The grapevine says that our very own Lolly-Saima was to escort and accompany Mahesh Bhatt [a regular at Kara] on the red carpet but due to a last minute emergency she declined and/or couldn’t make it. Meera was called and voila- the nice person that she is, she couldn’t say no… ;)
The Mekaal Hasan Band performed a nicely played but a rather predictable set-list on the night to formally launch the Film Fest from the next day onwards.
With a crazy work schedule and deadlines that need to be met before death meets me due to work pressure, it’s amazing that I am even being able to manage ‘Kara-ing’ post-work! I salute myself and methinks that this is the perfect time to reveal my new year resolution: say no to corporate whoreness! Amen [x100000] :) My heart reaches out to Khizzy who has a different story to tell…
At the Kara HeadQuarters- there are a bunch of crazy, young, mad, exciting folks- coming together and selling tickets, becoming ‘security’, checking bags, marketing mugs, daring girls to walk across to the petrol pump and getting ‘khulla‘ [change] for 1000 bucks [a minute after the boy is refused the change, a girl gets it! fuck gender discrimination!], eating biryani and sharing spoons, walking up and running down, and just a lot of mad crazy moments in the love of Karachi, culture and movies.
Irony was sitting on the floor and watching a movie. Then standing at the back of the auditorium as ‘part’ of the Kara Team and applauding at the sold-out show of Khosla Ka Ghosla on Day 3 of the Fest. Getting gooseflesh when the writer and the producer were given a standing ovation and falling in love with each and every person in the auditorium at that point.
Other than Khosla Ka Ghosla I have so-far managed to watch a few shorts that include- Chaan Aein Maani (Moon And Meal); Hobout; Open Doors; Intimos (Intimates); and From Dust – a documentary by the very friendly Dhruv Dhawan.
Tough luck for not being able to be a part of the audience because as much as I would love to watch all the Shorts, Prime Time and Gala Screenings- I won’t be able to. Just like tonight’s screening of Road To Guantanamo was a house-‘too’-full! The auditorium got filled beyond capacity and movie lovers kept pouring in and begging to be allowed to watch the screening of the feature film even while standing or sitting on the floor! The love shown for the movie tonight was way beyond words. And that applause was ‘enlightened fucking moderation’!
On this chilly night in Karachi… by having the very young Khan Sahib entertain us by singing Faiz Sahib was possibly the only perfect way to end the day with a thousand smiles… :)