The National College of Arts has recently started department of Film & Television and enrolled students for the first session 2005-2009. The department is presently offered a 4 year bachelor degree program in Film & Television Production and will soon launch a one year postgraduate Diploma program in Script & Screenplay Writing. The department is also planning to offer other certificate/ diploma course and a master’s degree program in future.
The need for this department and its degree program was felt because of the rapid expansion of the film & television media in the region over the last decade. “International Media Giants,” globalization of television media and acculturation due to foreign film and video materials is presenting a threat to our cultural identity in the new global village. Film & Television mediums demand for a precise seminal approach to help shape our cultural and emotional identity and responsibility as people of Pakistan and South Asia. There is a need to voice our native sensitivities and emotions in the dominant global media scene and cut off prolonged intellectual neglect which is only possible through preparing professionals of outstanding caliber. NCA courses aim at preparing graduates with the caliber of practice indispensable for producing the artistic and professional moving images that are in great demand. The curriculum and disciplines (film, drama, documentary, news & current affairs, and such others) would also phase in discourse on cultural effects, cultural identities and other communication issues in the new global village. The curriculum, the disciplines and the existing NCA environment will help enlarge students vision by triggering erratic multiple layers of creative, intuitive and intellectual thought processes, and seed a mastery of form, content and structures as well as solid fundamentals with the integration of digital media which has globally created its own space and entered all motion picture mediums like film, video and television. The focus will be on broadening the student’s vision, global understanding, competence and skills. There is no institution of substance for a serious, in-depth understanding of the requirements of film and television medium in Pakistan. And it is, thus, the obligation and commitment of NCA to face up to this challenge and be among the pioneers in institutionalizing formal training in film and television.
NCA, as a college of arts will also benefit from this program. The incorporation of motion picture (film and television) courses will reinforce the existing teaching of visual arts and audio arts at NCA, for two reasons. Firstly, a living proof that multi perception elements, which are audio and visual perception in case of Film & TV, reinforce each other by enhancing the overall aesthetic perception or impact. The present teaching at NCA needs this significant internal link between the two perceptions. Therefore, the inclusion of Film and Television courses (and general film theory, storytelling and aesthetic) will establish this link between audio and visual forms (and perceptions) in a multidimensional manner.
Secondly, NCA needs to explore the possibilities for revival of mental, emotional, social and cultural expression of the east through more indigenous native sensitivities, local ideas and emotions while utilizing film and television media. The incorporation of Eastern sensitivities to Western techniques of production will widen and enrich our aesthetic canvas and balance those prevailing from the West. Thus, making the teaching and learning of film and television art at NCA a vibrant, ingenious and comprehensive process.
In developing this program, NCA has incorporated advice and suggestions of film and television professionals and institutions. Several film and television workshops were conducted at NCA to assess student’s response and to identify future faculty and the results were satisfactory. These workshops were conducted by some national and international film and television professionals of repute and included ‘Documentary Film Production’ by Shireen Pasha, ‘Basics of Film Production’ by Feryal Gauhar, ‘A to Z of Film Production’ by Usmaan Peerzada, ‘Screenplay Writing for Feature Film’ by Prof. Wolfgang Laengsfeld, ‘Spanish Cinema’ by Don Oscar Peyrou – Spanish film expert accompanying the Spanish film festival, ‘Scriptwriting for Television’ by Haseena Moin and ‘Documentary Production’ by Kohei Iwasaki, television expert/Senior Volunteer, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The workshops were a great success and with the setting up of the Department of Film and Television, NCA is able to address the need of the country and the industry and offer education in the field of film & television in an organized and systematic manner.