LAHORE – Vasakh film festival, featuring best national and South Asian documentaries, started at FC College University on Monday.

On the opening day of the three-day event organised by the Department of Mass Communication, FCC, eighteen international documentaries were screened in two sessions interspersed with panel discussions by academicians to dilate on the themes and techniques of the documentaries shown. The first session screened the best South Asian documentaries.

FCC Vice-Rector of Dr James Tabbe was the chief guest on the occasion. While addressing the event, he said video was a phenomenal medium that could be used as a tool to better culture, remove hatreds and nourish values.

Dr Waseem Anawar, Dean of Humanities FCC said that the 3-day of Vasakh festival would be full of learning and jubilation. He said that the Oscar came to Pakistan through documentaries and “Who knows the next Oscar may come through one of the FC graduates in future”.

Regarding the event, Head of Department Dr Saleem Abbas said Vasakh was aimed at promoting culture by bringing together glimpses of issue and culture from other societies. It makes the audience aware of many social issues in our own society and the world.

Muhammad Nasir, Director Interactive Resource Centre, appreciated the forty entries from ten different countries. He thanked the department of Mass Communication and the organizing committees which have been transforming the idea of documentary film festival into a reality for the fifth consecutive year now.

Sharing the objectives of the event, he said that Vasakh was a platform which was producing good documentary makers from all around the world every year. “It is a great exposure for students,” he said.

The first documentary screened was Iranian-based feature titled “Reflection”. It showed that despite several taboos in the country, music and other forms of art continue to flourish well. The documentary shown next was “Measuring” which was followed by a German video “Silence” based on propaganda tactics. Two animated movies shown next were “Wish” and “The dream in the dream”. “Dilemma” depicted effects of mothers’ stress on foetuses even before the birth. “Why” was an Indian documentary questioning the reasons of being angry. “Kerosene”, “Two women and a camera”, “Floating Homes”, “Seven Gori in Pakistan”, “Dengue or Danger”, “How green was our valley” were also showcased before the screening of final documentary “Drug Addicts”. The session ended with a panel discussion and the team of panellists included Dr. Waseem, Fawad Baig, Sehrish Mushtak and Zahid Chauhdary, senior producer and ex-professor FC. The teams of students who are visiting from other national universities expressed their excitement on being given the platform to showcase their talent and explore the various avenues in the field of documentary making.