A four day Punjab film festival in Jalandhar, organized by the Faculty of Film, Television and Media department of GNA University in association with Mumbai based National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) – Cinemas of India, brought film makers and film lovers under one platform. Called the first edition of ‘Punjab Film Festival 2017’ which was designed to be one of the biggest and prominent Cultural and Entertainment events of Punjab, aimed at promoting upcoming filmmakers and culture. Around 1000 people came together from different parts of the country to witness the event.
Many production houses and film distribution companies like Shemaroo Entertainment, Baweja Movies, PSBT – Public Service Broadcasting Trust, Red Arts, Sur Saanjh Productions, Silent Hills Studios etc. were supporting the festival that showcased many Punjabi Feature films.
Deputy Commissioner, Jalandhar Shri Varinder Kumar Sharma (IAS) who was the chief guest emphasized the value of good cinema in promoting social causes and uprooting evils in society. Other dignitaries at the event were S. Gursaran Singh Sihra, Chancellor GNA University, S Gurdeep Singh Sihra, Pro Chancellor-GNA University, Dr. Prem Kumar, Vice Chancellor-GNA University, Mr. Sohi, Mr. Sunil Sarad, Registrar, GNA and Mr. Gurdip Singh Sandhu (Editor of Punjab Mail, London) who traveled all the way from U.K. to attend the festival.
The first day of Punjab Film Festival opened at K L Saigal Memorial Hall, Jalandhar on 29th March, 2017 with great pomp and show. Gurvinder Singh’s film “Anhey Ghorey Da Daan” and Punjabi superhit from yesteryears “Nanak Naam Jahaaz Hai” were the highlights.
Equally exciting was the second day. The morning session opened with Anwar Jamal directed Film HARVEST OF GRIEF, a winner at LOS ANGELES REEL festival which was on farmers’ suicides, brought tears in all eyes. The thought provoking film has travelled to many international festivals winning accolades all over the world.
For the second screening of the day – The Journey of Punjab 2016, the cast, director and producer of this film on drug menace interacted with audience after the Screening. The day also showcased short films Vajood by Ajay Jethi, Gurmukh by Sukhmanjot Singh, Jatt – The Farmer by renowned actor of Punjabi Cinema Mr Harinder Bhullar. These nominated short films were competing for the best film award which was been sponsored by Duke Fashions India Limited.
The third day opened with competitive section where short Films like ‘DIM’ by all girls group, UNBOUND BIRDS was screened along with ‘Kaafir’ an entry from Chandigarh and ‘Ram Bharose’ an entry from Mumbai. These films along with some heart touching music videos like ‘SHIMLA THA GHAR’ by Deepak Rathore, ‘BOLO NA PAPA’ by Shashi Thakur and ‘NANHI PARI’ by Amir Ali Sultan were competing for top awards.
The highlight of the day was the screening of Navtej Sandhu’s internationally acclaimed, cult classic NOORAN which is based on Balwant Gargi’s story RABBO MARAASAN. Director Navtej Sandhu, lead actor SARDAR SOHI, well known film promoter Deepak Bali and actress Gony Saggu held a lively discussion with the students of Film, Television and Media after the screening. Another highlight of the day was screening of another internationally acclaimed film QISSA starring Irfaan Khan and Tisca Chopra. The film directed by Anup Singh, an alumni of Film & Television Institute of India ran to packed House.
On the final day of Punjab Film Festival directors, producers, actors, music directors, industrialists and academicians mingled to create a mesmerizing aura of a festival of high standards. The day started with Deep Joshi directed film BATHINDA EXPRESS. Deep Joshi who is also the hero of the film was present with his co actor & executive producer Vijay Kumar. Shemaroo entertainment’s Babli Singh presented his film “47 to 84 – Hunn main kis nu apna watan kahaan”.
The closing ceremony of the festival was a mix of entertainment & some heart breaks as some were unexpected winners. A very distinguished panel of Grand Jury judged many short films, student shorts and music videos at the festival which were competing for top prizes sponsored by DUKE fashions India Ltd. The jury includes National Award Winning Film Director Mr. Anwar Jamal, whose mesmerizing film Ëmpire of Threads – Malerkotla was the opening film of the festival. Other Jury members included the renowned film critic and screenwriter Mr. Saibal Chatterjee who also has won a national award. Distinguished punjabi novelist & short story writer Mr. Khalid Hussein, versatile actress Ms Rajbir Kaur (of award wining Punjabi Film Chauthi Koot), Dr. Om Gauri Datt Sharma former DDG of Jalandhar Doordarshan were other members of the distinguished panel.
The award for Best Short film was bagged by Ajay Jethi’s film VAJOOD while Deepak Rathore’s music video SHILMLA THA GHAR bagged top honours in this category. In the Student Shorts category Suhaan Singh Directed film KAAFIR was the winner. The awards sponsored by DUKE FASHIONS INDIA LIMITED were handed over to winners by executive director Duke Mr. Kuntal Jain.
Others who graced the occassion were Industrialist & President of K L Saigal Memorial Trust Mr. Sukhdev Raj, Mrs India International 2016, Mrs. Jasmine Toor Bhatal amongst the dignitaries along with former Jalandhar Dl. The evening closed with Sushil Sharma: With former deputy Director General, DD Punjabi Dr. Gauri Datt Sharma and actor director Shashi Thakur.