CPEC Cultural Caravan Festival kicks off at PNCA

Founder Editor Tazeen Akhtar..
Islamabad – CPEC Cultural Caravan Festival kicked off Sunday 25 feb 2018 at the Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) amidst thrilling tunes of dhole, the local music drum, fashion show, photo exhibition, screening of documentaries and cultural performance. The Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing and the Minister of State for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Marriyam Aurangzeb were the chief guests on the opening ceremony.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chinese ambassador Yao Jing said the success of CPEC depends on the interaction and collaboration of people from both the countries. The cultural collaboration would enhance the ties between the people to people contact for lasting bilateral economic and political bond between China and Pakistan.  
 The Minister of state Marriyam Aurangzeb said the CPEC is not about the performance of the present regime but it is the future of next generation. The successful implementation of the CPEC would bring prosperity to the nation while it would also lead to regional integrity.
The regional cultural performances depicting folk heritage of Pakistan marked the opening ceremony of the CPEC Cultural Caravan that is being held at PNCA Islamabad. The guests were being greeted by the dancers who sang and danced at the beat of the ‘dhol’ and created a festive ambiance to the ceremony.
The grand art exhibition was also inaugurated that showcased the paintings, drawings and art work produced by artists of CPEC cultural caravan. Besides, a series of books and research reports was also part of the Caravan to document, preserve and promote the cultural and artistic expressions of the diverse communities around the Silk Route and CPEC, which are under publication.
A documentary was also screened at the ceremony that showcased the work of the professional photographers and artists of Pakistan and China that they captured during the CPEC Cultural Caravan journey.
CPEC Youth contest entries, documentaries and photo montage by filmmakers were also screened each dedicated to one of the city on the CPEC route, showing historical background, culture, history, tourist attractions and monuments.
Panel discussions and cultural stalls showcasing regional culture were organized. The stalls of traditional food and cuisine from Pakistan and China were also established within the premises of PNCA.
Regional handicrafts included embroidered dresses, ceramics, wall hangings, vases, handicrafts carpets were displayed. Chinese and Pakistani songs were presented by Chinese and Pakistani singers.
 Under focus Group Discussions TV, theatre and films, various senior artists of all the genres were present at the group discussions.
 Veteran actor Mustafa Qureshi while discussing on the challenges faced by film industry said that its high time that we should name of our film industry which is often called as Lollywood.  Another thing he recommended after the 18th Amendment,  a film that has to be cleared in all provinces from sensor board. He proposed that a film cleared from one city should be cleared in all other cities.
 Usman Peerzada renowned actor, producer, director said that film censor board should not allow irrelevant guests while the film is being censored.
 Syed Noor renowned producer and director of film industry said there should be policy in which the people who understand the technicalities of cinema should come into the censor board.  The people should come literature and film background so that they could understand the film. He said that the cinema owners should give equal screen time to Pakistani movies as compared to Indian and English movies. But this should not be done that for a new Indian movies five shows are held and one screen is being spared for a Pakistani film. He also demanded the revival of NAFDEC National Film Development Corporation.
Hameed Sheikh renowned actor said that we want financial support for our films, we get no logistic support from the government. There should be one window operation for NOC, visas etc so that we can get clearance for our films.
Mumtaz Hussain said that there should be way that we could save our films. There is no archives for film industry. Even film posters should be preserved as it is also an art. We should be given free access to historic monuments. Our students should also be taught about our own local artists, directors and producers.
Rehan Sheikh renowned actor and director said that there should be a law to safeguard our own local films. Government should implement the law. In Canada and in Britain, the government support the film industry. Corporate brands should support our film industry. They have pumped in huge money in film industry and the actors are demanding exuberant amounts from the producers.
Firdous Jamal stressed that we should dump our individual benefit in favour of our film industry as survival of individual producers in this cut throat competition is bleak. We should showcase our cultural soul in our cinema and for this reason we’ll have to unite and formulate a policy so that we all move in one direction for a bigger and better future of our industry. More cultural avenues should be explored.
It was also demanded that our films should be dubbed in Chinese and Arabic language to be released in China and Saudi Arabia. As well as our regional language movies should get subsidy. The cinema should be made accessible to everyone, the tickets should be less expensive, so that everyone can entertain themselves.