It was in August that filmmaker and theatre practitioner Hamza Bangash, who has award-winning short film Dia to his credit, represented Pakistan for the first time at the 72nd edition of Locarno International Film Festival 2019.
Besides, earlier this month the young filmmaker was selected to join the Asian Film Academy (AFA) as part of the Busan International Film Festival 2019 (BIFF), where he submitted his debut feature film, titled Mariam. The good news is that the film has bagged the first prize, in the MPA-AFA category.
“We WON! I still can’t believe this happened. My feature film debut project, Mariam, has picked up the First Prize, MPA-AFA award at BIFF,” Hamaza Bangash shared the news on his official Instagram handle.
“Super grateful to Asian Film Academy, Motion Picture Association and Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) for this opportunity. Mariam, my feature film debut, is taking small steps into becoming a reality,” he wrote adding that next up is L.A.
According to CityLights Productions, which is helmed by Hamza Bangash, “The MPA-AFA prize grants the first place winner a 5-day Immersion Program trip to Los Angeles, USA where Bangash will pitch his film to US-based producers. Inspired by his 2018 critically-acclaimed short, Dia, the feature film is slated for a 2021 release.”
Well, this makes two Pakistani films winning big at BIFF, including Sarmad Khoosat’s upcoming film, Zindagi Tamasha and we couldn’t be happier.