A Balochi short film has bagged a prestigious award in Bahrain, making it the first-ever Balochi film to win an international award.
Jaawar, The Situation, won the first position in the Nasser Bin Hamad Youth Creativity Award in Manama on Monday.
Nasser Bin Hamad Youth Creativity Award was launched in Bahrain by Prince Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa in 2011 as an initiative to promote creativity among the Bahraini youth in various fields. After the strong turnout in the first year, entries were allowed from all GCC countries in 2012.
Jaawar is directed by Ahsan Shah, a Lyari-based independent film and documentary maker, and is produced by Nosach Films.
The film depicts the story of a paranoid and schizophrenic man from Lyari who always hears gun shots and blasts, and has locked his ageing father — who has lost a leg in the Jat Pat Market blast — in a room for his safety. When he goes out to bring food for his father, he sees men being killed and fires being shot everywhere around him.
“Jaawar is the story of the people of Lyari who have been psychologically devastated by the deadly gang war. The fighting has shaped their lives in a way that they now can’t get out of it even if they want to,” Ahsan Shah told Balochistan Times.
Lyari, the oldest town in Karachi, has for decades seen bloody infighting among gangsters and their regular duels with security forces. Hundreds of civilians have been killed in crossfire.
“We dedicate this award to the people of Lyari who have tremendously suffered and bravely survived in harsh and bloody times,” Jameel Kareem, a Bahrain-based member of Nosach Films told BT. He received the award on behalf of Nosach Films.
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“Jaawar’s success in an international contest has given Balochi cinema a new lease of life and a new ray of hope that we can compete and carry the day. It will have a deep impact on the art of filmmaking in Balochi in the near future,” said Jamal Baloch, a film actor and the Vice President of the Baloch Youth Committee of the Baloch Club, Bahrain.