Express Tribune | Oct 3rd, 2018 | Read full article here
“Nida Khan starrer short film, Dia, directed by film-maker Hamza Bangash is all set to premiere in London at the prestigious platform of BAFTA-qualifying London Short Film Festival (LSFF)
The film, based on a true story, revolves around the notion of mental illness which is still considered a taboo in today’s society.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Bangash said, “I’m really thrilled at the UK premiere and am hoping to attend.” He further added, “Dia had it’s world premiere at the Locarno Film Festival, where my feature film project Flame, was selected for the open doors producer’s lab as well. I had the opportunity to attend, and it was incredible!”
It's OFFICIAL 🎉🚀🚀. #DiaTheFilm will be having it's UK Premiere at the BAFTA-qualifing London Short Film Festival 😍😍😍 We are over the moon, and cannot believe that our film has been selected to represent Pakistan at this incredible platform.
Please stay tuned to our page for updates on screening timings/ ticket availability. See you in London!!
Were thrilled to announce that #DiatheFilm will be playing in International Competition at RIGA IFF / Riga International Film Festival in Latvia! Mina Husain, our producer, will be travelling with our film to represent Pakistan, and will also be pitching our latest short film project 😍🚀🔥🔥🔥
*For screening details and to purchase tickets, please follow the link below:
Asian Movie Pulse | Sept 27th, 2018 | Read full article here
“Having its World Premiere in Locarno, “Dia” is one of the most impressive shorts to come out of Pakistan during the latest years.
Mariam is a sensitive law student preparing for her final year exams. She lives with her overbearing mother and younger brother in a middle class neighbourhood in Karachi, Pakistan. As Mariam’s exam date and graduation draw nearer, her mother urges her to consider an arranged marriage. Mariam, who is in a secret relationship online, refuses. As the pressure of marriage and finals build to a boiling point, she struggles to retain her sanity. The film chronicles her descent into madness- and how she attempts to seek help- in a society where mental illness remains taboo.
The film has a direct purpose of highlighting the place of women in contemporary Pakistan , with Bangash painting a picture that is quite dark. Modern technology and particularly the mobile phone “world” has brought a sense of freedom to Pakistani youths, but the film destroys this false sense completely, as it shows that tradition and religion are the elements that still dominate the country’s society
At the same time, Hamza highlights the social prejudice associated with mental illness, as the film takes a turn towards the psychological thriller, as the images follow Miriam’s troubled mind. Yasir Khan’s cinematography succeeds in capturing the sense of claustrophobia deriving from Miriam’s mentality, while Bangash’s own editing presents the events in the film with a rather fast pace that makes the film easily watchable.
Nida Khan as Mariam captures the essence of her character, and particularly the downward spiral, to perfection, while Bakhtawar Mazhar as her mother is impressive as a woman who has no clue and does seem to wish to learn what is going on with her daughter.
“Dia” is an impressive short, and I would like to see Hamza making a feature out of it, portraying the lives of women and the situation with mental illness in more detail.”
Were thrilled to announce that #DiatheFilm will be playing in competition at Batumi International Art-House Film Festival in Georgia! We are the only Pakistani film in selection this year, and are excited to continue travelling through Europe with our film! 😍🚀🔥🔥🔥
*The full screening schedule timings will be announced next week on the event page- BIAFF - Batumi International Art-House Film Festival , so stay tuned for updates!
The News | August 29th, 2018 | Read full article here
"For the film market, this year’s winning pitches were given cash prizes. Hamza Bangash for his idea “Sofiya Ki Shaadi” bagged the first prize and the second prize was shared by members of the current class of fellows, between Eshah Shakeel and Shireen Khan, for their stories ‘Missing’ and ‘Dome’ respectively
Hamza is also headed to the prestigious Locarno film festival for the screening of one of his short films. Past fellows Taha Sheikh and Fahad Naveed are Fulbright fellows in Writing for Screen and Stage in Northwerstern University and News and Documentary at New York University respectively. Izhar Kakar is slated to direct his debut feature film in Balochistan this next year."
The Kollective | August 29th, 2018 | Read full article here
"Perhaps the most remarkable thing about this character, is that she has been nipped from reality. As has been admitted by Hamza Bangash himself, Dia is based on a true story. The harrowing possibilities that it conjures up, are also real. According to the writer/director, the case that inspired this film was dismal. Where someone struggling with mental illness was, to use his words, “smothered by family expectations and pseudo religious beliefs.” These social dogmas, which Bangash weaves into the narrative of his short, are also amongst the greatest tragedies facing Pakistan’s youth."
ETiCinforma | August 13th, 2018 | Read full article here
"This film has literally shocked me....If I had to award a prize, I would give it to this filmmaker for making tangible the mental discomfort, pain and anguish of the protagonist. Congratulations to the young actress."
*The review is published in Italian so please use Google translate
Dawn Images | August 1st, 2018 | Read full article here
Filmmaker/theatre practitioner Hamza Bangash has developed a knack of dealing with thorny themes. His last short Rang Raaz tackled interfaith marriage in Pakistan. His 2016 play Suno! explored all the ways families can mismanage a loved one's mental illness.
With his latest short film Dia, Hamza gives us another glimpse of the latter reality.
Dia is a psychological thriller based on a true story of a girl who pursues a secret online romance and begins to break away from reality when the pressures of exams and a marriage proposal get too much to handle. Her family tries to treat her breakdown by taking her to a spiritual leader.
Thrilled to announce that #RangRaaz will be having it's North American premiere at the National Bank Mosaic International South Asian Film Festival! We are so excited to be showcased alongside incredible South Asian storytellers, including Deepa Mehta & Konkona Sen Sharma. Get your tickets at the #Misaff website, and be part of our festival journey! 🎉🎉🎉
Purchase your tickets at www.misaff.com
Many people in Pakistan believe that the local film industry is thriving after a long time. However, there is little reality in this commonly held belief. The recent revival is only gilded, not really gold. With the kind of films being released over this year, it seems as if the recent wave of cinema is all set to fizzle out before making any mark.
Having said that, there are still a few filmmakers in Pakistan who are genuinely trying to push boundaries and achieve cinematic merit. These filmmakers focus on bringing real life questions to the screen for the audiences to find their answers.
Every culture has its own version of Romeo & Juliet: stories of star-crossed lovers doomed due to the sociopolitical constraints of their time. In modern South Asian cinema, the trope is most often filtered through the lens of religion and the sometimes deadly plight of Hindu-Muslim couples...
It’s difficult to talk about his upcoming film ‘Rang Raaz’ (‘The Secret of Colour’) without pondering over where Pakistani films have catapulted themselves to. From having no releases for years to having multiple movie screenings in a month, we are truly witnessing a marriage of extremes and the young director acknowledges an innate dichotomy, “we have some filmmakers who are making daring, original work that addresses social issues so well,” he says, particularly praising ‘Moor’ and ‘Actor-In-Law’ before adding, “It’s all of the stuff in between that is the problem. The films that are so clearly cash grabs; made with no vision.”
"It's kind of astounding.
When this all began, I hadn't planned for Rang Raaz to come to Kickstarter. I had no idea if this idea would work; if we'd even be able to raise enough to cover post-production. And here we are, with over $3,151 more than we asked for. Seriously, things usually don't work out this way. Especially when you're trying to make a movie. Usually, things fall through. Usually, you fail, and you just have to get up and you try again. And so when your faith is rewarded, when you put something out into the world and discover that you're not just shouting into a vacuum--that there are other people out there who want to be a part of the act of creation as much as you want to create--it leaves you kind of stunned."