Pakistani Short Film “1978” Makes it to the Locarno Film Festival

Writer-Director Hamza Bangash is no stranger to film festivals. He has previously sent in the films “Dia” (2018) and “Stray Dogs Come Out at Night” (2020) to the Locarno, and Palm Springs Film Festival, respectively. Now, another short film by Bangash, “1978”, is heading to the Locarno Film Festival.

What is “1978” About?

The poster itself speak volumes about what the film will show. The vibrant night club scene that was a feature of Karachi’s night life is shown in full bloom. Alcohol lines the shelves while the youth sport hippie fashion under the crimson disco lights.


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I am thrilled to finally be able to announce that my secret film project, 1978, will be having its’ World Premiere in-competition at Locarno Film Festival 2020!!! 😍🎉 @filmfestlocarno There is so much I want to say about this film, and so many people without whom it wouldn’t have been possible. This is by far my most ambitious project. We built a disco. Recorded original songs. Non-actors. The list goes on. But the first thing that comes to mind is the two men who made this film happen. My incredible executive producers, Rashid Maqsood Hamidi and @abidazizmerchant Making a film takes a village, but this one felt like it took an entire city. Which makes sense, since the film is about a city-Karachi- that no longer exists. A city that was once the “Paris of the East” Now, more than ever, Pakistan needs a film about a Goan-Christian Rockstar who refuses to back down! Introducing the amazing CAST/ CREW of 1978! 😍😍😍 CAST: @Muhammadzeeshan80 as Lenny D’Souza @Sherwanthony as Thomas D’Souza @RubyaChaudhry as Dina @NKama012 as AJ PRODUCTION: Executive Producer: @RMHamidi, @abidazizmerchant Producer: @Caroln92 Assistant Director: @madhashmi @UmaimaTaj Associate Producer: @mo_sha_hu Cinematography: @YasirKhanPakistan Production Design: @Hiraa.m ,Tanveer Abbas, Haris Khatri Line Producer: @KanzahAnis Production Manager: Sunny Solangi Production Runners: Muhammad Asif, Ajay Kumar, Sujal Kumar, Faisal, Shehroz, Salman Sound Designer: Odinn Ingibergsson Location Sound: Faraz Qamar Wardobe Stylist: @Swearuponcoco Assistant Stylist: Zainab Masood Hair & Make-up: Sabs The Salon, Nanson Gill Leo Hair Dtylist: Suleman Javed SFX Make-up: @DanialShahzadKhan 2nd Assistant Director: @Falviiii 1st Assistant Camera: Zeeshan Saeed Barvi, Anwar Owaisi Gaffer: Saleem Rajput Production Assistant: Anas Siddiqui D.I.T: Michael Aziz, Waqas Younus Intern: Moazz Afridi Steadicam Operator: Faraz Alam Location Managaer: Mehmood Chaudery Colourist: Shahzeb Hussain VFX: Bilal Ghouri Featuring Music By: Clifford Lucas Original Music Design: Jong Ho Choi Additional Music By: @salmanahmedb Additional Lyrics: @iammehreen Titles Designer: @sillloo

A post shared by Hamza Bangash (@hamzabang) on

The film focuses on a young Goan Christian rock star named Lenny D’Souza, who is struggling to reinvent himself while Pakistan’s society is changing drastically. Conservative fervour is gripping the nation . Freedom of expression, creativity, and art are all under attack. Lenny must “decide if he can change with the times”.

The film’s plot is inspired by Norman D’Souza, a legendary Goan Christian rock star in Pakistan from the 70s. Hamza Bangash calls him “Uncle Norman” affectionately and considers it a privilege to tell the story of lost culture inspired by Mr. D’Souza’s experiences.

Norman DSouza
Norman D’Souza in action. Photo Courtesy: Goans of Pakistan /Tribune Pk

“1978” Was Hamza Bangash’s Secret Project

The film is quite clearly a passion project, as well as a secret project. The team has recorded original songs, enlisted non-actors, and built a disco to create the ethos of the time. Bangash waxes lyrical about the Karachi of the past as well, mourning that it’s a city “that no longer exists.” He credits his executive producers Rashid Maqsood Hamidi and Abid Aziz Merchant who “made this film happen”.

Already, the film has been nominated for the prestigious Pardino d’oro award for Best International Short Film and the Pardino d’argento as well. The Locarno Film Festival takes place from 5-15 August. We at PakistaniCinema.Net, wish Hamza Bangash and his team the very best.

“1978” stars Muhammad Zeeshan as Lenny D’Souza, Rubya Chaudhry as Dina, theater veteran Naveed Kamal as AJ, the disco manager, and Sherwyn Anthony as Thomas D’Souza. The film’s music is being provided by Clifford Lucas. The film has been produced by Carol Ann and written and directed by Hamza Bangash.

Written by Yousuf Mehmood


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