Meet the Jurors for the 5th round of 60 Second Intl. Film Festival

As the 5th round of 60 Second Intl. Film Festival (60SIFF) Screenings are approaching, the preparations are taking a toll in the 60SIFF sphere. While the 60SIFF team is prepping up for the event, on a parallel side, the films submitted by budding filmmakers from across the globe are under the jury evaluation. We have got a diversified panel of jurors who have joined us from their respective fields in this journey of fostering the art of visual storytelling beyond any boundaries. The theme ‘colours of the country’ yielded submissions of more than 1500 films on the categories of culture, education, landmarks, interfaith and local heroes. These films will be judged and critiqued according to below mentioned criteria.

  • Content – what story does the film revolve around?
  • Concept –  what thematic idea is it based on?
  • Execution- how well the idea is executed to create impact of the message?


Here’s an insight into jury member’s profile.

1. Amena Khan, Award winning Music Video and Commercial Director

Amena Khan is an established and widely acclaimed commercial film director who has played an important role in revolutionizing the Pakistan’s media. She has the experience in handling varying film genres, formats and treatment styles over the years with a unique flair.

2. Rakhiya Usman, Producer, Director and Team Member for Girl Rising Project

Rakiya Usman has worked on multiple projects that employ interest in the areas of youth and women empowerment, gender equality, and civil rights.

3. Sohail Javaid, Music Video and TV Commercials Director

Sohail Javed’s name is associated with the direction of music videos and TV commercials. Through his mastery at video direction and production, he is in the process of making a  powerful direction legacy.

4. Tsering Rhitar Sherpa, Filmmaker and Screenwriter

Tsering Rhitar Sherpa is a filmmaker and screenwriter from Nepal whose work has received widespread recognition at various film festivals. His first film, Mukundo: Mask of Desire, was Nepal’s official entry for Oscars.

5. Nishtha Chugh, Award-winning Journalist

Nishtha Chugh is an award-winning development journalist based in the UK. She has worked as a print and broadcast journalist and has reported from five countries. Her work has been published in the Guardian, BBC World Service, Al Jazeera, Forbes and the Independent.

6. Nina Gilden Seavy, Founding Director at SilverDocs

Nina Gilden Seavy, one of the most promising filmmakers in the industry, with her expertise as founding director at SilverDocs has joined us as the jury member.

7. Afia Salam, Prolific Writer and Journalist

Afia Salam has made a mark in not only Pakistan, but also globally through her dexterity as a journalist and a  writer. She has emerged as Pakistan’s first cricket journalist, media development practitioner and a social media activist.

8. Shoaib Iqbal, Director/Founder of The Little Art

Shoaib Iqbal has amassed over 13 years of experience working as a teacher, theatre director and youth performance facilitator. Not to forget, he is the founder of The Little Art and International Children’s Film Festival.

9. Sajjad Gul, Producer and Director

Sajjad Gul has worked in the capacity of a producer, director and a screenwriter and played an important part in the media development activities.

10. Tim Irwin, Artistic Director

Tim Irwin is the artistic director of the Heartland Film Festival, Indiana, USA.


We shall be announcing the results soon, stay tuned to our Facebook and Twitter for more updates.

Founder of Morango Conducts Training on Digital Storytelling at TechCamp held in Karachi

WhatsApp Image 2017-03-11 at 3.50.18 PMA two-day TechCamp was held in Karachi by U.S. Embassy at  Centre for Excellence in Journalism (CEJ) Pakistan with the journalists to find technology solutions for effective community outreach. A wide range of speakers gave hands-on training to the participants on latest tech tools which can be utilized in the today’s sphere of journalism. Not only did it address the technological solutions for traditional journalism, but also covered the aspects of digital journalism and content dissemination.

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Morango’s Founder, Mr. Abrar Ul Hassan gave a session on ‘digital storytelling’ in which he talked about the importance of using digital platforms for storytelling and engaging the youth of the 21st century.


Abrar Ul Hassan stressed on the importance of storytelling by stating that digital storytelling can be an impactful way to stretch-out your message to audiences in a visually interactive manner. Today’s digital storytelling can be said to be as an extension of the old ways of storytelling, however, the difference lies in the way it was narrated – today, it’s more about using images or films.

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With the advent of the technology, everyone can publish blogs, make videos or state their opinions in the digital sphere, but only that content gets the attention of the audience which is relatable and engaging and for that, the art of visual storytelling must be incorporated in every digital endeavor.
During the session, Abrar Ul Hassan urged the youth to become vigilant while using the digital platforms. He said, “Another important aspect of digital content dissemination is the practice of prudence and vigilance because building credibility in the digital world is not run-of-the-mill; you have to build a reputation through the content that you disseminate.”

60 Second Intl. Film Festival’s Annual Islamabad Screening is just around the corner

60 Second Intl. Film Festival (60SIFF) with its 5th annual screening is coming to Islamabad on April 14-15, 2017. This time around the Islamabad screening will be held at Aiwan-e-Quaid in F9 Park – a place dearer to everyone in the city.

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Continuing the legacy of 5 years, 60 Second Intl. Film Festival screenings are held across Pakistan – engaging a large community of filmmakers, storytellers, artists and enthusiasts of all ages and fields. These filmmakers and storytellers have harnessed an art of conveying messages, highlighting issues of social importance and building impactful narratives through the visual medium of filmmaking.

Like every year, 60 Second Intl. Film Festival rolled out its theme-based call for film submissions. This time around, the theme revolved around ‘colours of your country’.  More than 700 films were received from Pakistan and beyond. Currently, team 60SIFF is prepping up for the event and a call for volunteers has been floating on social media.

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Being the most awaited film festival of the year, 60 Second Intl. Film Festival brings a blend of engaging activities, inspirational talks, panel discussions, workshops, film screenings and music festivities. Seems exciting? Keep on reading to delve into the event schedule and more.

So, here’s what we have got for you. The festival will be held on two days – the first day for kid’s film screening, informative sessions and 60 second films screenings while the second day will be dedicated to a panel discussion on the topic of Design and Film along with other talks, some cultural performances and fun competitions.

The award ceremony for the top winners of 60 Second Intl. Film Festival will be held on 14th March, following the screening of films based on the broad category of ‘colours of your country’.

Our event in Islamabad is open to all, so whoever wants to experience an inspirational yet captivating interplay of visually crafted masterpieces should definitely attend this event. Our passes are available at different locations. Moreover, our campus ambassadors can be reached out for event passes. And if you want an easier way of registration, just fill out this form mentioned below and there you go!

Registration form:

An Overview of 60SIFF’s Achievements

The aim of the 60 Second Intl. Film Festival is to build the capacity of youth and general public by creating a learning platform. With time, 60SIFF’s reach has expanded and the quality and quantity of received films has vastly progressed.


The Qatal-o- Ghairat (Aurat se Nafrat Kyun) campaign came into force in collaboration with BBC Urdu. This was a short-term film competition which required participants to submit 60-second films based on the social horror of honor killing.

After a successful competition and submissions of riveting films, the best 15 films were sifted and featured on the official BBC Urdu website and will also be uploaded on the official youtube channel.


In order to make the 60 Second Intl. Film Festival even more accessible, the 60SIFF app was developed.

Besides watching previous film submissions, the 60SIFF app also makes the submission process a lot easier. As all you need to do now is download the app, log in from facebook or twitter and submit the film.


This aim behind this initiative is to build public and policy support for the Pakistani Police. This will be done by engaging police personnel from several training centres in a series of interactive filmmaking workshops. 10-12 filmmakers from major cities of Pakistan will also be engaged to make films on police-oriented themes.

The best films will be screened at a festival in January next year, thereby bringing great recognition to your team and respected institution. Moreover, the winning entry(s) will receive cash prizes.


Colours of your Country

60SIFF strongly believes in sharing stories through visual mediums and for the 5th year (2016-17) the aim is to encourage participants to celebrate the theme of “Colours of your Country” to reinforce values of patriotism, citizenship, and civic responsibility. Here are some of the areas of focus under this theme.

Local Heroes

This category has been created to highlight the unsung heroes around us whose sacrifices, hard work and passion for the community go unnoticed. These may include the local fruit vendor, cobbler, local police officer or anyone else who you seem should be appreciated for their dedication to the society.


Capture your culture in a 60-second film and show the world a glimpse of your surroundings. Let’s revive the folk tales and stories, festivals, foods, music and local traditions.

Local Landmarks

Each city, town, and province has its own special attraction, which the locals sometimes take for granted. This category aims to appreciate the architecture and local sites of attraction that normally are only visited and appreciated by tourists.


Film has the power to connect hearts and depict stories that may build bridges between people of different castes, religions, beliefs and creeds. This particular category encourages films that promote diversity and peace within communities.


Through the category of Education, 60SIFF aims to document success stories of those who have been able to make a name for themselves in the world of academia, this could be a teacher or an institution in your vicinity that has nurtured knowledge.

This is your chance to be heard on an international platform and compete with talented filmmakers from all around the world. The best films will not only be screened at the festival in the capital, but all over the world!

And guess what, submissions are open till 31st January 2017!

Submit your films at



Twitter Chat – #AuratSeNafratKyun

60 Second Intl. Film Festival has partnered with BBC Urdu to bring to you a film competition focused on highlighting honor killing and how it may be tackled through 60-second films. Both ventures have been staunch supporters of women rights and have taken on numerous initiatives to create awareness and address such issues.

This competition is open to all and provides aspiring filmmakers a platform to display their talents while promoting a meaningful message. It provides a chance to gain recognition by the British Broadcasting Corporation Network. The issues concerned include honor killing, gender-based violence and all forms of discriminations against women in Pakistan. These social ills prevalent in the society have become stigmas mostly avoided when it comes to a productive discussion. They are spoken about on various forums, debated on and questioned in closed rooms, seminars, and meetings. However, rarely do these discussions result in an outcome which reaches those seriously affected by these circumstances or productive solutions.

An element of this campaign was to initiate a debate on a public forum regarding these issues that would involve people from all phases of life and backgrounds, whether affected by the atrocities or not. This was a twitter chat around the hashtag #AuratSeNafratKyun, with the objective to initiate a conversation on the rights of women in a cultural context. This discussion was intended to not only state these issues but also finding a solution. Moreover, the chat intended to address how the tool of filmmaking and media can address these issues and assist in creating awareness.

The Twitter chat took place on Wednesday, 2nd November 2016, 6pm – 7pm PST. A panel of six experts was invited to participate in this chat. Their backgrounds varied from journalists to legal experts, talk show hosts and even comedians. The experts engaged included

  • Mehr Tarar; Columnist, Executive Editor at Daily Times
  • Aisha Sarwar; Columnist for @etribune and Blogger for @dawn
  • Bina Shah; Writer & New York Times Columnist
  • Shehzad Ghias; Lawyer, Stand-Up Comedian, Theatre Director, Person
  • Saba Eitizaz; Award-winning BBC Journalist
  • Fasi Zaka; Television Host, Satirist, Political Columnist, Radio Talk Show Host, Music Critic, Academic.

The chat engaged over 700 individuals and reached out to 19 million people, who became a part of the collective conversation and helped the hashtag #AuratSeNafratKyun trend. The Twitter chat was a roaring success as it involved numerous influencers and brought in a substantial input. These views were expressed on a public forum which was visible and accessible to all and had the ability to transform negative mindsets through an invigorating debate. Such was the case when various Twitter users reacted with dismissive comments, our team of experts was able to cater to such views by shedding light on the reasons why such debate is necessary.

The overall impact of the chat was outstanding and achieved its purpose of creating a national debate and inviting creative minds to develop awareness through the interactive and entertaining means of media and film.

Twitter Chat – #FilmForPeace

With the recent uproar of debate, scrutiny and dialogue regarding the Indo – Pak relations, all forms of media representatives have set a magnifying glass on every move on both sides of the border. Pakistan and India has had a history that none can deny, it has become accustomed in the people of both nations to either have a strong opinion or none at all, as it is a recurring element the youth of every generation since partition has grown to learn. If not explicitly told, we have grown up with the implied perception that hate has been the foundation for separation. However, where there has been extreme negativity there is the other extreme on the spectrum, on both sides of the borders. This positivity has been seen in the views of the youth of both nations. The youth no longer believes what they have been told.

Pakistan and India have come in contact for military conflict four times in the past 7 decades of its independence. The fears of history repeating itself today are at a new high, despite the efforts to ease the tensions. Both the Indian and Pakistani populations have a mixed aura of responses and reactions to the current political and diplomatic relations, but what is common in all is that EVERYONE has an opinion. With the up rise of digital media, many more have the accessibility to voice their thoughts, and whether it is welcomed or not by others is a whole new story.

Both nations share similar cultures and the fondness of film, music and dramatics. The recent exchange of artists and crossover appreciation of work born in both countries has not only brought the people together but allowed the common man to question every negative thought held subconsciously. The importance of this similarity is more than it ever was now in this day and age. The ability to capture an opinion, translate it on a medium and deliver a message to anyone has become a simple task.

Having this view in mind, the 60SIFF team put their heads together to create a productive discussion on the impact that filmmaking has always had and still can in defining and building upon a relationship amongst the neighboring states, and what better platform than the twitter-sphere. With a group of experts the team set out to initiate a positive dialogue between the youth of Pakistan and India on how the art of visual storytelling can be used to promote peace and harmony. The Twitter chat began at 8:00 p.m. PST/8:30 p.m. IST with the esteemed experts including  Asra Nomani (@AsraNomani) Former Wall Street Reporter, Vaishanavi Sundar (@vaishax), Writer and Filmmaker from India, Beena Sarwar (@beenasarwar) Journalist and Documentarian and Haya Fatima (@hayafatimaiqbal), Academy Award winning Producer from Pakistan.

These experts answered questions regarding how exactly the medium of film can be utilized for the purpose of disseminating peace messages between the audiences of the nations. The hashtag #FilmForPeace reached out to a vast audience all around the world enabling a healthy debate on creative ideas and platforms that may be helpful in the process. The debate was welcomed beginning with appreciation of neighboring artists that had recently been sent back to their homes and films that had harbored a peaceful relationship.

However, towards the end of the chat many took up the opportunity to voice their criticisms in this regard. The focal point for negativity was the conflicts of the nations, mainly disputed territories. This only gave an opening for the experts and peace lovers to counter the backlash with positivity and well thought responses in 140 characters pointing towards a conflict resolution approach.

Nevertheless, the chat left a footprint that Saturday night, and raised a question mark in the mind of many. The objective was to encourage the overflow of truthful reactions regarding the situation and with the help of filmmaking and to translate these reactions in a peaceful and productive manner. 60SIFF has been a staunch believer in the notion of making art, not war, and continues doing so.

Admittedly there’s still a lot of work to do, more than just talk, it’s time for actions. 60SIFF provides the platform that will assist and encourage harboring the Indo-Pak relations while building the talent of the youth. The 2016/17 cycle’s theme boasts the participants to capture the ‘colors of their country’, and there couldn’t be a better time than now to do so.

So let’s encourage this generation’s revolutional movement for harmony with a weapon that is non-nuclear: Filmmaking.