Over the last few decades in Pakistan, people with misguided mindsets have been obsessed blaming others rather than introspecting to seek prosperity. ‘Intezar Farmaiye’ – Stay Tuned, directed by Ali Mehdi portrays a realistic insight into Pakistan’s historical odyssey through a middle-class family’s perspective spanning across three generations via television.
The short film begins with the regime of Ayub Khan addressing the nation on Radiogram during the testing times of the 1965 war. The narrative moves forward and depicts the pros and cons of governments helmed by Zufiqar Ali Bhutto, Zia-ul-Haq, Benazir Bhutto, Pervez Musharraf and Imran Khan. The table-wall calendars and technological transitions depict the timeline of each era. But one thing that remains common in every decade is load shedding.
With the interpretation of significant events and the subsequent transformation of society, Mehdi’s short film is realistic yet thought-provoking. The portrayal of a Pakistani household is done most realistically with no exaggeration. He makes his actors deliver their best. The humor is well-balanced with the emotional sequences. He perfectly captures the look and feel of each decade. He compels viewers to retrospect their doubtful attitudes towards the media and their knack to shift blame elsewhere instead of personal growth.
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According to the words of the director himself, “Intezar Farmaiye lays bare the hypocrisies, corruption, strong political biases, and false beliefs that have permeated our society for decades. It’s a subtle yet powerful reminder to introspect and embrace change, rather than passively observing and criticizing others. Through humor and satire, we aim to stimulate reflection and dialogue, ultimately driving societal growth.”
He further adds, “In our film, the crux of the conflict lies within the news, where one moment, individuals are lauded for their accomplishments, only to be chastised for their missteps in the next. We’ve aimed for a delicate balance between subtlety and forthrightness, encapsulating the genuine reactions of characters that mirror any typical family, albeit in a humorous and relatable fashion. This is what makes our film unique”.
‘Intezar Farmaiye’ International Acclaim & Recognition
‘Intezar Farmaiye’ is already on a roll with various international praise awards, and nominations. The long list of accolades shared below is a winning proof of the team’s hard work and dedication.
- “Best Film Award” in Gandhara Independent Film Festival 23 (GIFF23), Karachi – Pakistan.
- “Divvy Audience Award” in Divvy Film Festival 2023, Karachi, Lahore & Islamabad – Pakistan.
- “Best Actor Award” (Shafqat Khan), and nominated for “Best Screenplay”, “Cinematography” & “Original Score” at Long Story Short International Film Festival 2022, Bucharest, Romania.
- “Best Editing Award” in Nights of Comedy Shorts 2022, Milan, Italy.
- “Best Short Film Jury Award” in DC South Asian Film Festival 2022, Washington D.C., U.S.A.
- Official selection for Best Comedy Nomination in Vienna International Film Award 2023, Vienna, Austria.
- “Best Actor” (Shafqat Khan), Best Cinematography and Best Poster in Tabriz Cinema Awards.
- World Premiere in International Film Festival of South Asia 22 (IFFSA22) Toronto, Canada.
- Indian Premiere in Mumbai International Film Festival 22 (MIFF) Mumbai, India.
- U.S. Premiere in Chicago South Asian Film Festival 22, Chicago, U.S.A.
- Screened in Vancouver International South Asian Film Festival 22 (VISAFF22), Vancouver, Canada.
- Screened in South Asian Film Festival of Montreal 23 (SAFFM23), Montreal, Canada.
Summing it up
‘Intezar Farmaiye’ is an eye-opener that manages to enlighten viewers about some of the inherent flaws present in the countless households of society. The narrative provides a moving depiction of Pakistani society portraying TV as an active observer rather than a passive recipient.