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.”

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Submission Closed – Happy New Year

scAfter an exciting 2013, we at 60SIFF has start our new year with fresh content produced by our young filmmakers, almost from 28 different countries, everyone of them has its own way of filming and narrating any story, our office is full of unheard voices, on various issues, jokes and fictitious stories.

Now we want you all to sit and relax for few days, it will take some time for us to start the proces of voitng and then jury, sharpen your strategy to get more votes, share it with lots and lots of people, and also do pray for yourself, who know anyone from this year could have become an international start filmmaker, and inspire more people around the globe.

The ENd

Electoral Violence Plagues Our Home

In the 1960’s Richard Nixon, reflecting on race riots in America, tried to define the difference between riots and other types of violent conflict. “Riots are spontaneous. Wars require advance planning,” he said. However, Pakistan is faced with concerted and well coordinated violence from different militant groups for the last decade. Also, the electoral violence is nothing new for Pakistanis but this time around political leaders and election offices of some selective political parties are being targeted.

It appears to be a well-thought-out strategy of the militants based in tribal region of Pakistan to target only leaders and political gatherings of the progressive and liberal political parties. If we go by the number of attacks carried out by the militants in different parts of the country and against different political parties, it pans out as thirteen incidents of electoral violence claimed 23 lives while 54 others received critical injuries in the last week only. The Free and Fair Election Network, a non-government organisation that monitors elections in Pakistan, says that ten incidents of political violence left 24 people dead and 28 injured during this week, compared with the preceding week’s 170 killed and 42 injured in 20 incidents.

So, there is a long list of electoral violence in the country that is worrisome for not only Pakistanis but also the international organizations. In the electoral violence, political leaders of different political parties are killed while election offices of the parties are blown up in different areas including Karachi. Militant groups have directly threatened leaders of the political parties, saying election rallies and offices of the parties would be targeted. Taliban and their associates are generally deemed anti-democracy but the question arises that if they are against democracy and elections in Pakistan, then why they are targeting only a few specific political parties.

There appears to be something fishy behind the well-coordinated electoral violence. A few Taliban apologists also say that the political parties are being targeted for they have been pursuing war against terror during their reign on behest of the United States. As hundreds of the militants were killed in the war; therefore they (terrorists) are now taking avenge from these parties. Having gone through the pattern of electoral violence, one thing can be assumed with quite certainty that the militants are endeavoring to establish their agenda by posing them a key stakeholder.

If the violence continues with the same intensity, there is strong likelihood that a few parties may announce election boycott. Also, the turnout at the polling stations would be meager, leaving a huge question mark at credibility of the elections. If cogent efforts are not made to curb the electoral violence, the militants and their accomplices can also disrupt polling stations, especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, on the Election Day.

The gravity of the electoral violence has also forced the Amnesty International to urge Pakistani authorities to ensure security for political leaders and election rallies being held in different parts of the country. The authorities must ensure adequate protection for those at risk of attack and in particular protect the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association and the right to life, the Amnesty International said in an open letter to Pakistani authorities. The elections slated for May 11 are going to make a history in Pakistan as it would be the first transition from one civilian government to another; therefore efforts should be made to make it peaceful and serene.

Electoral violence must stop

Electoral Violence must stopPakistan’s political and electoral history is rife with conflicts and violence. Therefore, utmost efforts are needed to hold fair and free elections slated for May 11. In fact, it is test of not only Pakistani society but all other relevant institutions to provide level playing field to all political players and ensure safety of their respective electorates. Each political party in the country has its own political agenda to woo the people for votes but all of them must unite united against incidents of violence and bloodshed to ensure smooth electoral process.

Elections provide means to people to channel their energies through competitions in a constructive way and choose their representatives. The elected representatives are finally trusted with responsibility of ensuring social justice and peace. Subsequently, the institutions are strengthened to guarantee peace and security to the people. However, since elections are intrinsically designed to gain power, therefore, the possibility of violence and conflict during or before the elections cannot be ruled out.

Pakistan is faced with militancy and terrorism. Hence, the likelihood of  electoral violence and election-related conflicts is higher here than in most of the world. According to some studies, Election Day claims fewer victims than the period three months before Election Day or the period three months after. This may be due to the presence of observers and the attention, both national and international, focused on the election at that time. The electoral violence before the Election Day has claimed dozens of lives while election offices and political gatherings of different parties are being attacked.

The Election Commission of Pakistan and law enforcing agencies should start preparations to shun violence on the Election Day. The electoral violence can be avoided easily if consistent efforts are made to deter the militants and insurgents. In addition, electoral violence is not always caused by the insurgents and militants, rather, an opposition political party or workers of a specific party can also trigger violence for their political gains. So, the Election Commission and other related institutions should keep all these points in mind while charting out a final and holistic strategy to deal with the violence and suppression.

The political parties participating in the election must abide by the code of conduct prepared and announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan. The polling stations staff should also be trained and educated well about the electoral violence and how to report the incidents to the relevant authorities. The prime responsibility to highlight incidents of electoral violence lies with the media and fortunately, it is doing well on this account. Social media and citizen journalists can also play in effective role in highlighting the anomalies and reporting them to the Election Commission.

The Election Commission should install security cameras at sensitive polling stations to get video footage of electoral violence, if any takes place. By deploying army troops and security forces at sensitive polling stations can also help check the incidents of electoral violence and hold free and fair elections. The Election Commission should declare result of a polling station or even a constituency null and void, if incidents of electoral violence are reported. If Election Commission succeeds in curbing incidents of the electoral violence, it will ultimately help register a record turnout of voters in this historic election.

Don’t complain if you don’t vote

Dont complain if you dont vote in the elections

Do you think yourself fortunate for living in a state where you have the right to vote for the future of your country? Do you realize what this one vote you have stands for? This vote embodies your rights: the right to participate directly in the political process of Pakistan, the right to be heard as a citizen of this State, the right to decide what is best for the country, the right to hold those accountable who did not perform while in power and  the right to hold your elected officials liable for not doing their job. This right, however, is also a responsibility and a duty that you, as a Pakistani, owe your country.

If you do not intend to cast your vote in these elections, not only are you foregoing your constitutional right but more significantly you are denying the responsibility that you have towards the future and fate of Pakistan. By staying back home on the election day and merely criticizing the situation of this country, you aren’t actually helping anyone, not even yourself.

We’ve all heard the arguments against voting: “There is not a single good candidate”, “The elected officials don’t care about the mandate, all they want is money and power”, “A single vote won’t make a world of difference”, “I would not stand all day long in long queues just so that another guy gets his chance to rob Pakistan even more”, “I can’t stand in the sun for that long” et cetera. Ask yourself whether these excuses actually justify not exercising the right to vote.

Do you imagine one has the right to complain about everything wrong that is going on in Pakistan if he/she did not even so much as cast a vote to express who he/she thinks can do good for Pakistan? What is unfortunate still is that there is quite a significant number of people who think this way. They leave the country in the hands of those they do not trust to run it. By not casting their vote, they let wrong people win because whether the non-voters realize it or not, their silence only amplifies the noise of those who are not worthy of being elected into the government. By not voting, they allow the diehards’ votes to be twice as strong.

In that event does a non-voter, no matter how sincere he thinks he is to Pakistan, has no right to complain. He cannot talk about those who are pushing Pakistan to its doom when he did not himself do anything to stop them. He can not possibly criticize the system when he did not himself vote for those who can rectify it. He should not be allowed to whine about the flaws in the government for the next five years because he chose to be silent on the election day. He may argue that one vote could not have made much difference but then again he forgets that there are many others like him who waste their vote.

If you must express yourself out loud, there is no time better than the elections. You can speak your mind in the wake of the elections but it won’t make any difference, those will just be words that would be said, heard and then forgotten. Let your vote be your voice. Speak when it truly matters.

The Winners of “60 Second Film Festival 2012”

IMG_874860 Second Film Festival that was launched back in October 2012, wrapped up on the 31st of January 2013. From submission of films, to public voting, and finally the judges’ decisions, it has been exciting four months of work for the festival team and anxious wait for the participants.

Morango Films launched the festival for showcasing 60-second short-films based on social, developmental, entertainment and public service messages. The festival was intended to be a platform for upcoming artists and film directors from Pakistan, encouraging their talent and creating positive learning experiences. Participant Furqan Shahid said about the festival“I believe that 60 Second Film Festival is a pioneer festival, one of its kind; providing a great opportunity to young minds of Pakistan. Festivals like this promote positive values, enable young generation to inspire great ideas, promote creativity and culture. In short it makes us feel. “It’s not a film industry, it’s an institution where we learn how to influence the minds of people in a positive way. “I personally feel that this festival must be organized every year, challenges should be given, and they will be accepted.”

The submissions were closed to the public in November 2012, whereas the voting was closed in December 2012. Audience could vote by using the ‘Vote Now’ facebook app or SMS the short-code of their selected entry. The short-films were handed over to the judges for deliberations and ranking.IMG_8743

For this purpose, the likes of Amena Khan, Amin Matalqa, Mehreen Jabbar and Sohail Javed were brought on board for final judging. With all four individuals excelling in their own right, the judges were given a month to review films in detail and list their choices of top short-films. “I felt like I went on a journey through Pakistan’s social issues. Great stuff!” Jordanian Filmmaker Amin Matalqa had to say about the submissio

The festival was indeed a great opportunity for all aspiring filmmakers to work on their skills, and seize the chance to make their mark. Not only that, the rewards offered were great motivators – these included a MacBook Pro, DSLR, iPad, scholarships and internship opportunities at duck, Morango Films, and ARY Musik.

Now that the 60 second film festival is out of its inaugural stages, the festival team is hoping that it will be on an even bigger scale next year. The screening of films will be done in major cities in February 2013.

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The team behind the idea of 60SFF included Morango Films, who partnered with Duck, Mishal Pakistan, Agahi Foundation, IdeaSimple, Collective Circle, Impassion Media, Inevento, Scientific Media Solution and Ultra Spectra with ARY Musik as media partners to air the content via satellite.

MorangoFilms over the years has been engaged with dynamic organizations, including media enterprises and development organizations designing communication strategies and solutions for them, for better understanding and creating synergies between different entities. The organization is composed of some highly qualified directors and designers, who specialize in documentaries, music videos, ad films and print features assisting organizations across the globe. It has offices in Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore.

THE 2012 WINNERS

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BEST FILMS

Tolerance by Ali Raza
The Loop by Mahad Ali Sajid
Follow Your Dreams by Shahmir Ahsanullah

JURY AWARDS

Education by Adnan Nawaz
Tolerance by Ali Raza
The Loop by Mahad Ali Sajid

VIEWERS CHOICE AWARDS (BASED ON SMS AND FACEBOOK VOTES)

Tolerance by Ali Raza
The Loop by Mahad Ali Sajid
Broken by Usama Nasir

BEST FILMS BY CATEGORY

Peace
Broken by Usama Nasir
Diya Jalay Rakhna by Taha Kirmani
Bitter Truth by Mahi Khan Khushik
We are not Terrorists by Sanwal Chishti

Tolerance
Resilience of Intolerance by Muhammad Zeeshan
Tolerance by Ali Raza

Counter Terrorism
Collateral Damage by Mohammad Ali

Conflict
Personality Conflicts by Shahzad Rashdi
A Pencil by Zaid bin Javed

Democracy
Think by Adnan Nawaz

Water
Poor Man’s Gold by Dawood Tareen
Thirst by Jawad Zeb/Bilal Farooq/Ajab Mohmand

Environment
Biodiversity by Uzma Firdaus

Poverty & Health
Untitled by Maham Kamran
Poverty by Adnan Nawaz

Education
Architects of the Future by Adeena Shahid
Education by Adnan Nawaz

Gender Disparity
Village Woman’s Life by Rubina Kakar

Health
The Street Baithak by Syed Ismail Jawed

HIV/AIDS
HIV by Zahoor Asmat

Innovation
Follow Your Dreams by Shahmir Ahsanullah

Creative
The Loop by Mahad Ali Sajid

Other
I Fear by Mubeen ul Haq/Sara Mazhar/Farzan Akmal
Quaid Ki Kahani Ek Note Ki Zubani by Sarah Asad

Usama_Nasir-BrokenSarah_Asad-Quaid_ki_kahani_ek_note_ki_zubaniUzma_Firdaus-BiodiversityMubeen_ul_Haq-Sara_Mazhar-Farzan_Akmal-I_Fear