Meet the Jury

Born in 1949 in Multan. Got MA Degree from Multan, appointed as lecturer in 1972, Performed in different Colleges of Multan, Sheikhupura, Shakargarh, Muzaffargarh and Lahore, Got his personality due as a Poet and Drama Columnist, Appointed as Associate Professor in GCU about 8 years ago.

Asghar Nadeem Syed is probably one of the most popular Pakistani writers currently in the field. He has written television plays, poetry, short stories, drama serials as well as news columns. However, his relation with the media is purely secondary, as he is primarily a teacher in the GC University in Lahore.

Asghar has written famous television drama serials such as Hawaian, Chand Grehan, Nijat, Ghulam Gardish and Piyaas. He is very popular amongst his colleagues, and his work is considered to be exceptionally good. Heart touching storylines such as that of Khuda Zameen Se Gaya Nahin have really placed Asghar Nadeem Syed as one of the most renowned Pakistani writers. He also writes his own column, which is published in the Pakistan Herald. He has appeared in several talk shows, such as Point Blank with Luqman and Aik Din Geo Ke Saath.

Wajiha is a Fulbright, FCOSAS, Chevening, and GIMD research scholar working for the government, public, and private sectors. She is a media practitioner, educationalist, and researcher. She has produced and directed about 20 TV commercials, 65 quiz shows, and 6 documentary films and supervised the production of 60 documentary films and 7 plays on classic stories from around the world for one-hour slot on TV by students enrolled in MPhil/MA Film and Television program at University of the Punjab and Kinnaird College for Women (University) Lahore. She was Project Director to set-up Hashmi Media Institute Karachi and Department of Film and Television, National College of Arts (NCA) Lahore, and is a core team member for setting up University of Culture & Art at Lahore. She has also been associated to Government Polytechnic Institute for Women, Technical & Vocational Training Authority (TEVTA), Board of Technical Education, and London International Documentary Festival. Wajiha is CEO of the NPO and specializes in media education and research. She is a recipient of Chughtai Award for Excellence in Design by NCA. She is Vice President of Fulbright Alumni Association Lahore and Vice Chair of Gender & Communication Section at International Association of Media & Communication Research.

Tazeen Bari is a documentary filmmaker and the director of KINO Films. She has been directing and producing documentaries since 2009. After working for various production companies in 2012 she earned a degree in Documentary Media Studies from The New School in New York City, USA. Tazeen believes that documentary filmmaking is a medium with endless creative possibilities. Her goal is to tell stories that resonate, have nuance and capture the essence of our multiple and varied shared realities.

Muhammad Ali Ijaz graduated from National College of Arts in 2009 with a degree in Film and Television Production. He has been making documentaries for various national and international organizations, telling stories on a plethora of themes for UNDP, UNICEF, USAID, WWF, World Animal Protection, Time Magazine, to name a few.

His profound mission is making films on wildlife conservation and environmental issues which explore the intricate relationship between man and nature. Amongst his several victories he received the WWF – Living Planet Award in 2011, for his documentary “Missing Vultures” which portrayed the disappearance of Vultures from Pakistan and its consequences. And, a more recent triumph was his award winning documentary “Pangolins in Peril – A Story of Rare Scales”, screened at film festivals around the world predominantly in USA, India, Russia and Finland.

His nature films have been screened in hundreds of schools across Pakistan as a part of WWF-Pakistan’s education and outreach program, helping fill a void in natural history programming in the country. From features in British red cross to Youlin magazine to film festivals in several parts of the world; at home in Pakistan Ali is the founder and director of Documentary Foundation of Pakistan and currently teaches filmmaking at the Institute for Art and Culture in Lahore.

Ijaz believes in documentary filming being a strong agent used to inform, educate and inspire millions who dream with open eyes.

Samar Minallah Khan is an anthropologist and a documentary filmmaker from Pakistan. In the media, she has been referred to as ‘The Savior of Soul’, ‘Women who rock the world’, ‘The Crusader with the Camera’ and ‘Women that changed Pakistan’.

Samar has been a pioneer in using film and other innovative mediums of communication for social change in Pakistan. Her innovative idea of using Truck Art for social change has won several international awards including Cannes Lion at the Cannes International Festival of Creativity 2019.

Samar has over 20 years of progressive experience in advocacy, women and children’s causes, anthropological documentation of tangible and intangible cultural heritage, social change, working in and with different media. One of her documentaries ‘Swara—A Bridge over Troubled Waters’ has won several national and international awards for breaking the silence around a practice that violates the rights of girl children and women. Samar has widely traveled to speak at national and international events. She serves on various advisory boards and is the recipient of prestigious awards such as Vital Voices Global Leadership Award 2012, Diane von Furstenberg (DVF) 2015, Vanguard Award, and many more. She serves on various advisory boards.

Saji Gul is a celebrated writer who is being commended a lot for his beautiful play O Rangreza serial. Saji Gul is someone who from the very start of his career has been endeavoring to produce works that address issues related to children. Saji Gul also produced and directed Granny, Sunny aur Science & Kidz Kourt at PTV. Both award-winning (PTV, Asian Broadcast Union & SPARC child Rights award)

After graduating from NCA, he did small theatre plays and got referred to larger production houses where he started writing a series for Sarmad Khoosat titled ‘Tamasha Ghar’ which taught him how to write for television from a Director’s point of view.

His famous plays involved O Rangreza, Sanata, currently running Iltijah and his contribution to the series Kitni Girhein Baqi Hain in the form of his play Gudde Guriya Ka Biyah. The presence of a psychologically unstable young girl in Santa, a girl forced into marrying a man of her father’s age in Gudde Guriya ka Biyah and a child suffering from down’s syndrome in Iltijah tells that children, their psyche and their rights are a matter of importance for Saji Gul.

Amna Mufti is a versatile and gifted Pakistani writer who has some of the best plays to her credit. These plays aired on Pakistani television. She makes it easy for the audience to connect with her plays through her incredible sense of crafting. She has written many prominent novels and plays among them are Maya, Rukhsati, Iztrab, Mol, Farwa ki ABC, Jugnu, and Akhri Station. She has received three awards – PEN Award on her debut work. A Sahir award from India, SATHA Award, and a Lux Style Award for Best Screenwriter.

Shireen Gheba has worked as a freelance writer since 1990. A writer of over 700 articles in leading dailies and magazines, two television documentary scripts: Islam in Europe (2003) & SAF Games (2004), and four books. Shireen won a second prize in the All Pakistan Allama Iqbal Academy, Lahore in 2003. As an artist, she has participated in many National exhibitions and one International in Shipkala, Bangladesh. She has illustrated a couple of Islamiat Books for school. As an educationist, she has worked in schools and colleges for the last 25 years. Working mostly, as a teacher, while delving into administration, training and development, and being a principal in her workshops. Her love for the coming generations has motivated her to go into this venture

Natasha Zubair is a freelance photographer and graphic designer from Lahore. After receiving a distinction in her BFA at the National College of Arts, Lahore she started to work in the fashion industry as a photographer. Alongside photography, she has her own stationery line made from recycled paper.

Ali Gul Pir has a degree in film making and is a satirist, rapper and producer. He has made songs on topics like feudalism, harassment, extremism, the 2013 YouTube ban in Pakistan and other socio political Issues. He was awarded the Google Innovation Hero award and has performed in Switzerland, Germany, Netherlands and many other countries.

Kamran Ali, aka KamranOnBike, has been traveling around the world by bicycle for the last five years. He has cycled 50,000 km in 43 countries so far. Recently he finished a 33,000 km journey from the tip of South America to Alaska.

Kamran is a Ph.D. in computer science. In 2015, he quit his job as a programmer and chose a path of hardship and uncertainty to pursue his dream of seeing the world on a bicycle. He combines cycling with his passion for photography and publishes videos and photo stories on Facebook and Instagram @KamranOnBike.

As a cyclist photographer, he has covered 45,000 km through 43 countries on four continents. Currently, he is cycling from Argentina to Alaska and is in Canada at the moment.

Hamza Bangash is an award-winning Pakistani-Canadian director, screenwriter, and producer. An alumnus of both Locarno and Asian Filmmakers Academy, his artistic practice is based out of Karachi. His works have been showcased in film festivals worldwide, including Locarno, Clermont-Ferrand and Palm Springs. Bangash is currently in the early stages of development on his first feature film, MARIAM. The project won the MPA-AFA First prize award at the Busan International Film Festival 2019 and was selected for Berlinale Talent Project Market 2020. The feature film is intended for a 2022 theatrical release.

Adeel Chishti started his journey of photography in 2015 from the National College of Arts. His passion for photography and persistent struggle led him towards great achievements nationally and Internationally both. He has won national competitions including WEKH Lahore, TDCP, London Photo Festival, Picturesque 2.0, and AGORA Images. He had the chance to act as a judge at various national and international competitions such as AGORA Images, WWF, PUCIT, UET, and Beaconhouse.

His artworks have been exhibited globally including but not limited to Arts D’Estiu festival in Spain, London photo festival, and Photo 18 Zurich Switzerland NatGeo, BBC, Forbes, and The News International.

Anam Saeed is a Fulbright Scholar, Economist, Lecturer, Artist and Lifestyle Photographer, roaming somewhere between Lahore and Islamabad. Anam started photography back in 2013 as a hobbyist photographer and then professionally kicked off her career in 2016 after graduation from Texas A&M University. She specializes in contextual photography and has covered various events and movies including the Hum Aik Hain Coke Anthem. The amalgamation of an artist and economist has always been a core element of her work as well, where she engages with the common man of various cultures and backgrounds. Currently, working with the Finance Minister in KP as an Economist, Anam plans to venture into the field of creating a new series to kick off her film making career.

Augmented Reality artist & director Asad J. Malik is of the view that the further development of virtual/augmented realities, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, gene editing, and neuroscience will significantly alter the human condition in our lifetime.

His studio 1RIC carved out a pioneering position in the AR for storytelling space when his immigration focused Hololens project Terminal 3 premiered to critical acclaim in 2018. It was called “the most intense AR experience” by Fast Company. He followed it up with a nuanced look into the ethics of AI with the first third party Magic Leap narrative A Jester’s Tale at Sundance 2019, featuring Android-Esque pop start Poppy. The project was named “Best AR at Sundance” by the Verge.

His work has been lauded for opening up new possibilities for the medium, earning critical acclaim in publications such as the New York Times, The Guardian, and Fast Company. It has since been exhibited at prestigious art centers such as the Barbican in London. Asad was named one of Adweek’s Young Influentials for 2019 and also made The Independent’s Filmmakers to Watch list. He now sits on the Board of Trustees for Bennington College as a recent graduate.

Gulbeen is a Lahore based 4th-year student at Pakistan Institute of Fashion and Design pursuing a career in fashion marketing and merchandising, her passion for fashion and aesthetics brought her to this degree and even brought her to explore her talents as a visual artist. She solemnly handles an instagram page that includes some of her portfolios, she has a keen eye for aesthetics and a deep passion for what she does. She believes everyone has a way to communicate without words and this just happens to be her way of doing it. She is an enthusiast and a lover of life.

Sarah is the brain that can create game-changing concepts for the betterment and convenience of people. She has served as a Startup Mentor, Growth Hacker, and Startup Strategist in some of the leading firms around the globe. From the 15 years of young age till today; Sarah has created dozen of worthy and internationally known projects for the internet industry. She has been part of many local and international brands to reshape the strategy including Leaders Lunch UK, Appease Apex, The Telegraph UK, etc. Sarah is Pakistan’s first law blogger and been feature as the Top Business Women in Pakistan for more than 6 years. and Top Pakistani Instagram influencer according to Google. She has also developed a complete database of Lawyers Movement of Pakistan.