Student Teacher Combo of the School of Social and Humanities at NUST secured funding for a series of Short Films enabled by RINSTRA Technologies

The collaboration of NUST with RINSTRA will help young filmmakers to be able to produce quality content while working with professionals from the film industry and top-quality industry standard equipment

Islamabad, PK – The Department of Mass Communication, at the School of Social Sciences & Humanities (S3H), NUST has recently collaborated with RINSTRA to create an enabling environment for the students across Pakistan to be able to produce shorts films, creative advertising pieces, theatrical performances, Music Videos, AR/VR Content, and Interactive films.

Ms. Zoha Shakoor, a student of Mass Communication Batch 2020 who is currently pursuing her Master’s in Mass Communication and working on her final year project was selected as the first of many students whose idea was shortlisted for this initiative.

Her film is being supervised by Mr. Salman Nasir – Assistant Professor from the Department of Mass Communication, S3H, NUST. He has helped Ms. Zoha secure this funding for her short film and is also the executive producer for this film.  Mr. Salman is a filmmaker and storyteller who is a graduate of the National College of Arts Lahore specializing in Multimedia Arts, Experimental filmmaking, and digital storytelling.

This funding is part of a larger concept to create enabling environment for young filmmakers to be able to produce quality content while working with professionals from the film industry and top-quality industry standard equipment. The acting team was an ensemble of young students from the School of Natural Sciences, NUST Business School, and School of Social Science and Humanities who worked for over a month to make this project a reality, some of which were working for the first time.

Amir Jahangir, Chief Executive Officer RINSTRA, said

“RINSTRA supports young filmmakers and storytellers via funding initiatives which will help them to produce the quality of production. RINSTRA aims to Support and create an enabling environment for the students across Pakistan to be able to produce short films, creative advertising pieces, theatrical performances, Music Videos, AR/VR Content, and Interactive films”.

While speaking on the occasion Dr. Najma Sadiq, Head of the Department of Mass Communication at S3H, NUST said,

“As we are strong advocates of supporting and developing the creative economy of Pakistan, we believe that collaboration of industry and academia is vital, and it provides students a practical exposure during their learning stage. It provides students with resources to experiment with their creative ideas and produce insightful, entertaining high-quality content. By bringing industry and academia together we can bridge the gap between theory and practice.

This is, however, a long-term process, but by building sustainable partnerships we can change the outlook of our industry and help it reach its full creative potential by contributing locally and competing globally!”

Mr. Salman Nasir, Assistant Professor from the Department of Mass Communication at S3H, NUST said,

“The Creative Economy globally generates around $2.25 Trillion and helps create 30 million jobs, I think we must realize that we can no longer create innovative products that are limited to our local market, we must think global, and creating enabling environments is the key to achieve the monumental task.

This also means that we must embrace the new, focus on enabling others and remove the ideology of individual gains and focus on collective gains.

I firmly believe that the youth of Pakistan must be given opportunities to express themselves in more creative ways. We have designed this initiative to help the overall industry and academia collaborate to create sustainable opportunities for the modern-day storytellers that are starting out or need help to jumpstart their ideas!”

Ms. Zoha Shakoor said, 

“As a female, I believe that we need tell new stories, I feel that there should be more representation of women in mainstream media as we comprise 50% of the population and we can’t be generalized based on how we are viewed by a select few who produce content.

It’s an absolute necessity for us to start to dig in and realize the importance of a good story and why it needs to be told. Choosing a short film as a medium of expression has been insightful and challenging, and this experience was a highly significant one. 

I would like to thank the faculty and staff at the Department of Mass Communication at S3H, NUST for helping me tell this story one more interesting thing which I have to share is that 80% of my team is comprised of young women and giving them a safe stress-free environment was only possible because our university gave them an enabling environment, with flexible timings, and accommodations. This is noteworthy, to say the least.

I would also like to thank Rinstra Technologies for funding Tazheek, as it is laying a foundation for young female filmmakers like me to disseminate their perspectives and stories. This film might not be that great, but the opportunity to work with a team of professionals and learn new things was simply amazing and we need more of that!”

As part of cultivating industry-academia relations, this project further strengthened was supported by an NUST Alumni Mr. Faisal whose Startup Fable Films/Essential Studios provided the technical facilities and professional crews for this project. The Team from Fable Films/Essentials Studios provided the students from the 1st year Mass Com with the opportunity to work with professionals from the film/advertising industry to learn firsthand the different aspects of filmmaking, lighting, camera techniques, Makeup and set designing, and working with actors & crew, which they have not studied yet. The music for this film is being developed by students of the NUST Music Society who have taken a keen interest in this project to develop the original score and music.

The film was shot entirely in the TV Studio of S3H and is currently being edited. Once the edit is completed the film is planned for limited screening & discussions in different universities across Islamabad. We are partnering with people, professionals, and alumni of NUST and beyond to band together to work on this idea. 

We are poised to produce over 10 short films this year!

RINSTRA is the outcome of the thought leadership of Dice Foundation USA’s Creative Arts and Media Initiative (DICE CAM). It is part of Dice Foundation’s National Innovation Basket (NIB) program, which aims to create media as a cornerstone of Pakistan’s growth strategy.

RINSTRA is Pakistan’s first short-form digital media platform for on-demand streaming and for the creation of user-generated original content on iRINSTRA. The organization provides entrepreneurship opportunities to emerging and established content creators and filmmakers in Pakistan and beyond. It also has a feature for Content Competition where more than 100 academic institutions in Pakistan are competing in various thematic areas. The Fest feature of the application has provided some of the leading Film Festivals to partner with RINSTRA for digital viewing of their films and documentaries. This has created an unprecedented experience for viewers in the country. 

Creative and independent content with premier shows and films can be accessed on RINSTRA by visiting the website or downloading apps from the Google Play Store and/or Apple App Store

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