ISLAMABAD: Focus Humanitarian Assistance Pakistan, an affiliate of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), organised a documentary festival on disaster risk management (DRM).
Entries were open to all individuals having an interest in themes such as ‘disaster risk reduction for resilience’, ‘climate change adaptation’ and ‘disaster preparedness’.
The festival showcased documentaries from many upcoming filmmakers from across the country. The panel of judges included renowned journalists and filmmakers Samar Minallah, Nadeem Iqbal and Haris Khalique. The best documentary prize was won by Rizwan Hunzai, a graduate of the National College of Arts.
His work highlighted the impact that the Attabad landslide of January 2010 had on the communities living in the region, and was highly appreciated by the esteemed panel of judges.
The second and third prizes were won by Sadaf Naeem and Saira Sarwar, respectively, for their work on the September 2013 earthquake and the Attabad landslide, respectively. The winners were also awarded cash prizes.
The winning documentary depicted the story of a family whose vicinity has been wiped out by the unfortunate disaster.
Portraying the after-effects of the calamity on family and community life, filmmaker Rizwan showed the role of a humanitarian agency in the process of recovery and rehabilitation.
Second-prize winner Sadaf took the audience on a tour to the areas affected by the September 2013 earthquake in Pakistan through her documentary and captured the aftermath of the earthquake. She also highlighted the National Disaster Management Authority’s (NDMA’s) reaction to the disaster.
Winner of the third prize, Saira Sarwar, also did her film on the Attabad landslide. Her film was about the endeavours her parents engaged into to provide her with quality education despite residing in an area prone to natural disasters.
Highlighting the purpose behind organising the event, FOCUS Pakistan Executive Office Nusrat Nasab said, “The objective of this festival is to raise awareness about disaster risk management. Advances in access to digital technology offer a great opportunity to use audio-visual media to raise awareness, support capacity-building, enhance transfer of best practices, and improve participatory processes for disaster risk management.”
The festival also promoted the goals of Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) and the National Disaster Management Framework through sharing and disseminating information on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) among various sections of society and key stakeholders.
FOCUS Pakistan Chairwoman Khadija Jamal Shaban said, “We try to reach out to as many people as possible in any medium possible. Visuals are a very powerful tool for communication and advocacy. Today, we are showcasing the documentaries produced by youth on the DRR theme and this visual tool is ideal to tackle a critical theme such as disaster risk reduction.”
NDMA Chairman Major General Muhammad Saeed Aleem, the chief guest on the occasion, commended the efforts of FOCUS Pakistan and said the festival was a great way to engage youth and masses in creating innovative documentaries and increasing awareness about DRR.
“These documentaries will serve as powerful tools for advocacy and raising awareness about DRR. Disaster risk management is a comprehensive framework of risk anticipation, hazard identification, disaster preparedness and organised response to disasters in order to ensure prevention and risk reduction of hazards and disasters. In order to have an effective DRM framework in the country, responsibilities are to be shared with government, civil society, the media, academia and all spheres of life.”
FOCUS Pakistan, has been very actively involved in DRR activities since its inception in 1998 and has used its ‘Global Vision – Local Action’ philosophy to benefit the people most vulnerable to natural disasters.
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