Lahore based cultural organisation SAMAAJ is set to release a hand-drawn anthology film titled The Lasting August, which is a cross-border collaboration centred around the theme of Partition as an on-going project.
The first of its kind anthology film consists of seven stories that subtly depict the seven decades following the Indian Partition in 1947.
The films are adaptations of short stories penned by distinguished authors from India and Pakistan including the likes of Gulzar, featured in a recently published short fiction anthology, The Other in the Mirror, published by Yoda Press in India and Folio Books in Pakistan.
SAMAAJ — led by creative writer and journalist Sehyr Mirza, and filmmaker and poet Ammar Aziz — uses different art forms to advocate gender equality and freedom of expression in Pakistan.
The cross-border film project engaged a team of over 45 Indian and Pakistani artists, authors, musicians, sound designers, voice over actors and a creative crew to create the film.
“It has been a terrific experience to be the supervising director, working with a number of young animators and co-directors. For each story, we developed a different style and approach relevant to its theme and setting.
Since all the short films in the anthology are hand-drawn, the entire process and mood are very organic, reflecting our own visual and aesthetic sensibilities, rather than trying hard to mimic Japanese or other animation styles,” said Ammar Aziz.
The Partition of India was a tragic historical event that led to significant political, social, and demographic changes in the region which continue to impact the people in the subcontinent.
“The Partition of India in 1947 had profound and long-lasting implications for the region and its people. Many of these implications continue to have an impact on India, Pakistan, and the broader South Asian region to this day. The seven films in the anthology take us on a journey from the era of 1940s till the present times, depicting the lasting impacts of the ongoing conflict that dates back to the Partition,” said Sehyr Mirza.
The film’s world premiere and local film screenings will be announced soon. SAMAAJ will also release the trailer of the film soon.
The film is aimed at sparking conversations about pertinent yet neglected issues between the two nuclear-armed countries that can pose a threat to humanity and future generations.