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Pakistan International Film Festival Features Animation



The second edition of Pakistan International Film Festival (PIFF) held under Karachi Film Society, focused on animated films only. The three-day event in Karachi had multiple activities including seminars, talks, workshops and film screenings along with three Pakistan premiers of international productions. The festival is supported by the Government of Sindh through its Department of Culture.

The seminar was conducted on the topic, ‘Potential of Animation in Pakistan – Challenges & Opportunities’, while six films were; BILAL: A New Breed of Hero (Arif Jilani – producer), ALLAHYAR and the Legend of Markhor (Uzair Zaheer Khan – director, writer & producer), Mary & The Witch’s Flower (English Language), Modest Heroes (Ponoc Short Films Theatre, Volume 1), The Donkey King (Aziz Jindani – co-producer, co-writer and creative director) and 3 BAHADUR: Rise of the Warriors (Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy – director, SOC Films), and few short films; Global Citizens, Saif The Fisherman, Earth Heroes, and Quaid Se Batein (Daniyal Noorani – Creator) were screened at various cinema houses of the city. A Workshop was also conducted by Geoffery Wexler.

A special screenings of the animated movies, organized for the underprivileged students from various parts of the city was also held on first day if festival. Participating schools included JS Academy for the Deaf, Tadrees, Karachi Schools’ Guide and the Young Patriots School.

Seminar was moderated by Filmmaker Sana Tauseef who produced animated film ‘TikTok’ in 2018, while the panellists were Amyn Farooqui (Co-CEO/Co-Founder & Creative SHARP IMAGE), Daniyal Noorani (CEO – Wakhra Studio /Creator Quaid se Batein), Aziz Jindani (Founder – Talisman Animation Studio, Creative Director ‘The Donkey King), Arif Jilani (Producer Barajoun Entertainment, BILAL – A New Breed of hero), Imran Ali Dina (Lecturer/ GFX Mentor) and Asif Iqbal (Bridge Animations &VFX -Chief Executive Officer) who discussed at length the quality and content of animated films produced in Pakistan and the reasons behind losing good human resource to foreign countries. Chief Guest of the seminar was Mr Murtaza Wahab – Advisor to Chief Minister of Sindh on Law, Anti-corruption, Establishment and Information.

The workshop was conducted by Mr Geoffrey Wexler, Chief of the International Division at Studio Ponoc on “Communicating Culture with Integrity”. The workshop comprised discussion from his work on Studio Ponoc’s debut feature film ‘Mary and The Witch’s Flower’ to his pursuit of storytelling worthy when producing the English-language version of Isao Takahata’s masterpiece, the Studio Ghilbi’s ‘Only Yesterday’.

The concluding day of PiFF 2019 Animation started with the annual brunch which was attended by Principal Secretary Govt of Sindh Mr S. T. Mustafa, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Sindh Mr Sajid Jamal Abro, Commissioner Karachi Mr Iftikhar Ali Shallwani, filmmakers, members of the U.S Consulate, artists and founding members of the Karachi Film Society.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Ishrat Hussain, founding member of KFS stressed on the need of organizing such events to nourish and train the young filmmakers of Pakistan and to put the country’s film industry on the world’s entertainment map.

Sultana Siddiqui, president Karachi Film Society once again stressed on the need of the government’s support to ensure the growth of Pakistan’s film industry. She also urged the attendees to support each other and to take steps towards the collective growth of the society.

The second edition of the Pakistan International Film Festival 2019 concluded with a special sneak peek of ‘The Glassworker’, presented by Pakistan’s first hand-drawn animation studio ‘Mano Animation Studios’. Usman Riaz, the founder of Mano Animation Studios shared his journey and the efforts that went behind making Pakistan’s first hand-drawn anime movie.

The Festival saw a gathering of professionals, students, academia and enthusiasts of animation in Pakistan.

The Pakistan International Film Festival (PIFF) was founded by Ms. Sultana Siddiqui, founder and president of HUM Network Ltd. The festival is held under the patronage of Karachi Film Society, which a  is a non-profit organization with founding members like the names if Dr Ishrat Husain (former Governor State Bank of Pakistan), Ms Ameena Saiyid (CEO OUP), Senator (r) Javed Jabbar (writer/producer, former Information Minister), Mr Sirajuddin Aziz (CEO Habib Metropolitan Bank), Mr Jamil Baig (CEO Nueplex Cinemas), Ms Ronak Lakhani (Chairperson SOP), Ms Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy (Oscar winning director/producer) and Ms. Sayeeda Leghari (Managing Director/Chairperson, Pepsi Sukkur Beverages (Pvt Ltd.). The primary goal of Karachi Film Society is to improve access of the people in innovation and excellence in different categories and genres of cinema and films to highlight the unique scope of this mass medium.

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International Luxury Brand Spa Ceylon Opens its 98th store in Karachi



The world’s largest Ayurveda Wellness chain opened its 98th international store with the opening of an exclusive Wellness Boutique at Defense Housing Society’s Bukhari Commercial Area located in the heart of the city of Karachi.

Speaking at the sumptuous launch, master franchisee and Spa Ceylon Pakistan’s CEO Saeeda Mandviwalla, said, It gives me great pleasure to be able to bring Spa Ceylon to Pakistan because for me it is more than just a brand; it is a brand affiliated with my heritage & identity. Being from Sri Lanka originally, it is with pride that I bring a piece from my birthplace to my current home; and the benefits of this brand will be felt by all age groups of the population.”

Spa Ceylon now produces over 500 all-natural Ayurveda inspired personal care, wellness, make-up and home aroma products. The complete range comprises prestige skin, body, bath, scalp and hair care preparations, oils, balms and potions, colour cosmetics, home aroma blends, candles, diffusers, incense, herbal infusions and gourmet teas, handmade stoneware, bath accessories and a range of tropical resort wear.

Attending the opening, the co-founder director Shalin Balasuriya explained, “The continued growth of the international wellness market to over US$ 4.2 trillion signals a strong shift in consumer preferences towards wellness. Spa Ceylon occupies a unique lifestyle space where personal care meets wellness. Given its brand attributes of high-performance authentic formulations, Ayurveda origins, environmental activism and ethical sourcing, it will continue to resonate with the modern consumer to drive further growth. I have spent the past few days in Karachi meeting industry professionals, media & consumers that reviewed the range & am delighted by their overall response to Spa Ceylon, from packaging to product quality & functionality, giving us confidence that the store roll-out in Pakistan will be a great success.”


Also attending the glamorous event was H.E. Mr. Noordeen Mohamed Shaheid the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to Pakistan. “There is a great sense of pride in seeing this esteemed Sri Lankan brand bring its presence to Pakistan, and through its success, we can only see strengthened trade relations between the two nations.”


Noor Mandviwalla, the young Executive Director of Spa Ceylon, Pakistan, said, “Spa Ceylon’s brand philosophy greatly resonates with me because of its unique emphasis on natural beauty & wellness. Beauty is no longer focused on making people meet a particular standard of the way one should look; rather, it now looks towards highlighting one’s natural beauty, on the outside as well as within. This is why I feel that this brand is truly revolutionary in its take on beauty care and wellness; using the principles of Ayurveda to live a fuller & healthier life.”

Spa Ceylon captures the romance of old Ceylon combined with ancient Ayurveda wisdom to create their range of majestic spa rituals and Royal spa formulae designed to soothe, calm and relax the body, mind and soul. The Spa Ceylon Flagship Store in Karachi opened its doors with a wide selection of the master wellness and beauty ranges to cater to all moods, seasons and needs. Whether you want to Detox, De-stress, find Peace, Comfort, Sun Care or Sleep, Spa Ceylon has a range of enticing ingredients like Pink Lotus Almond, White Jasmine, Aloe Mint, White Tuberose, Water Lily, Cardomon Rose, Neem and Tea Tree, Virgin Coconut, Neroli Jasmine, Margosa Lime, Sandalwood Vetiver and Sandalwood Spice, Lemongrass and Lavender Neroli that will cater to every mood and occasion.



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This Fun-packed Actor’s YouTube Channel will Give you Endless laughs!



Gone are the days when celebrities were hard to reach out to, with their personal lives being a mystery for their fans. With the onset of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, audiences can now feel more connected to their favorite stars.

Recently, Pakistani celebs are turning to YouTube, branching out beyond their traditional jobs and exploring their craft in a new space. So if you want to get a closer look at their lives, find out about their hobbies, or hear them talk about their favorite things; you can catch them on their YouTube channels. Interesting, isn’t it?

Currently featured in the fan-favorite “Alif”, the rising young star Yashma Gill is a powerhouse of talent. The very bubbly and cute actress has also recently launched her own YouTube channel. Her channel showcases videos – from personal adventures and experiences to experiments, fan moments, and her everyday anecdotes.

Her journey of vlogging is exciting enough to hook you up on her YouTube channel for hours. Her captivating personality and her natural flair for casual talk instantly grabs the audience’s attention.

Here are all the funniest moments from Yashma Gill Vlog to get your inner kid some carefree laughs!

When Yashma Gill becomes Friends with 75 Snakes:

The Vlog where she can be seen holding snakes in Biryani boxes, half puzzled and half appalled when Azlan Shah puts that snake on her palm. We couldn’t stop laughing at her cute expressions. The content of vlog is so different from the usual content on other celebrities’ Vlog.

When Yashma accepted the Challenge of “Do What They Can’t Do”

Her entertaining Vlog where she roamed around the streets of Lahore sipping local lemonade from street stalls and visited Lahore Zoological garden to take pictures with the elephant.  The climax of the vlog was when she came to know that Suzzi Elephant has died. Did she fulfill the challenge or not? Watch out her vlog to find out more:

When Yashma Gill tried making Gol Roti

So this Vlog is all about her gol roti struggles when her domestic help was on leave. Was she able to make Gol roti for herself or she had to order food in the end? Watch out her gol roti struggles!

When Yashma Gill visited Bakra Mandi

This vlog was all about her visit to Bakra Mandi in a black abaya and veil and asking random questions to the vendors. Her energy is unmatchable when it comes to this vlog, from buying cotton candies to bargaining, the Vlog will get you hooked to her channel. Don’t believe? Here is the link to full-time entertainment:

When Yashma Gill tried stitching her Eid Dress

So by now, you must have realized that this girl is unpredictable and you can expect anything from her. In her quest to do things in an unusual way, she learned from her tailor how to stitch a dress! Do watch to see her on-spot comments and real efforts.

So the list doesn’t end here, and I bet that once you start following her YouTube channel, you will not want to do anything else but watch her vlogs. If you haven’t subscribed to her channel, go and subscribe to find out what next challenge she is going to accept next!

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TEDxLahoreWomen Pulls Off Another Brilliantly Mind Striking Event!



LAHORE, December 8, 2019: TEDxLahore celebrated its 10th year with yet another series of compelling talks at its TEDxLahoreWomen event held at the British Council Library.

Speakers included Dr. Aneela Darbar, the first US trained female neurosurgeon of Pakistan; Soufia Siddiqui, an education research and strategy advisor; Amna Zamir, an Additional Districts and Sessions Judge in Gilgit Baltistan; Maheen Rahman, an investment banker with an impressive portfolio; Maheen Gul, founder of the Lahore Autism Centre; Fareeda Batool, an independent artist who explores Pakistan’s political upheavals and tumultuous history; and Masuma Anwar, a pediatric doctor and musician. Lakeer ke Fakeer, a husband-wife duo of “singing poets”, also performed at the event.

These “Bold + Brilliant” women shared their profound insights and exciting stories about a remarkable number of issues, ranging from the education of boys in the public sector to the careful mapping of the brain before neurosurgery. The audience comprised over 350 individuals, including young entrepreneurs, educators, doctors, lawyers, and students. Audience members also received a chance to interact with speakers during networking breaks.

“TEDxLahoreWomen brought some powerful women together this year,” said Areej Mehdi, the event’s co-curator. “These women have advocated and opened doors for other women, and changed lives with their groundbreaking work and ideas. We’re excited to share their talks today.” said Irteza Ubaid, TEDx Ambassador – Pakistan. The event was presented in partnership with British Council, Nestle Everyday Lite, MINT PR, Uber, Daftarkhwan, FM 91 and Poet Restaurant.

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