*First posted on Express Tribune Blogs.
“Lahore. The second largest city in Pakistan; the fifth largest city in South Asia and the twenty-sixth largest city in the world but more than that though, this is the place of my parents’ birth and the place they now live in. I lived only once, as a 7-year old, now at the age of 24, I’ve finally got another chance to visit the place of my origins, and recreate the early mementos of my childhood trip: my postcards from Lahore”.
And so begins British-Asian and London-based filmmaker and comedian Aatif Nawaz’s short film ’Postcards from Lahore’ that has come to be the only Pakistani film to be shown at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival 2013.
Narrated by Aatif himself, ‘Postcards from Lahore’ centers not just around a young man traveling 7,000 miles back to his hometown after 17 years to recreate his memories but revisits every shade of color that comes together to make the vibrant composition that is Lahore: be it its rich historical and cultural heritage whose grandeur is redrawn vividly through the anecdotes of 86-year-old Jameel, one of Lahore Fort’s tour guides; a slice of its streets; the warmth of its people; their love for sports and of course, good food!
Aatif’s comedian wit is often heard in his candid commentary as he tours around Lahore, from the city’s fringes to its modern constructional erections that are the numerous shopping malls and plazas.
The documentary also includes tidbits about how the security situation in Pakistan has affected the city and how it is much lamented.
His experience of exploring Lahore and trying to rebond with his roots in ‘Postcards from Lahore’, in Aatif’s own words is “a foreigner’s love-letter to the city of his origins”.
And it truly is a love-letter that exhibit’s every feature of beauty of the beloved city that is the throbbing heart of the country: it’s life, diversity, past, people and culture.
The film was screened at the 2012 Raindance Film Festival, the Pakistani High Commission in the UK and was awarded an Honorable Mention at the Los Angeles Film Festival 2012 among several other honoaray mentions and awards at the festival circuit.
We’re proud of Aatif and congratulate him for the documentary’s success!
‘Postcards from Lahore’ on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PostcardsFromLahore
Aatif Nawaz can also be followed on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AatifNawaz
~ Hafsa Khawaja