KARACHI: Usman Mukhtar’s film, Bench, has been making news ever since its trailer came out only a few months ago. Starring Rubya Chaudry, the film recently won the award for Best Short Film at the South Shore Film Festival in New York. On 3rd September, the director announced another achievement for his project.
“With great humility, joy and pride do we announce that Bench has been selected at the first Cannes International Independent Film Festival – CIIFF. We strive for the love of art and cinema and hope to reach new heights. we will continue making more films and also make it to the one and only Cannes Film Festival one day,” read Mukhtar’s latest Instagram caption.
Established in 2019 by an independent Cannes Association Silk Road Production, the Cannes International Independent Film Festival (CIIFF) is a platform for independent filmmakers to showcase their talents. The festival’s goal is to bring together top talents from the film industry, recognize new talent and to create creative competition amongst international film makers. The international competition welcomes entries from all genres and formats, including short films, documentaries and animations. The first spell of the CIIFF will be held in October 2020 over a two day event at Espace Miramar, France. The CIIFF will feature three categories for its awards: International Award, National French Award, and Silk Road Award.
It is an honour not just for Mukhtar and his team, but the entire film industry of Pakistan to have a project nominated at an international platform. With the senate’s latest call to revive the local film industry, Bench can definitely lead the example for other film makers to reach their full potential. Usman Mukhtar’s next goal is to have his film nominated at the grand Cannes Film Festival. After Mahira Khan, can the male artist lead the way towards representing Pakistan at the Cannes Film Festival? We all can definitely hope.