By Momina Sibtain From The Express Tribune
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“I applied to my dream school, The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute in New York City.”-Shahana Khan Khalil, LSTFI alumna
LAHORE: Shahana Khan Khalil was just a theatre buff from Islamabad until she realized her passion for storytelling and found herself on a plane en route to Cape Town, where she began studying filmmaking. Recently, her classmates asked her to participate in a 72 Hour Shootout at the Asian American International Film Festival (AAIFF), where a film is shot, edited and produced within 72 hours.
“In Cape Town, I had done a 48-hour shootout and working under such pressure was intense. For this project, we had to make a film of under five minutes within the given time duration,” explains Khalil. The AAIFF promotes interracial integration and requires its contestants to make films, which highlight this as the running theme.
After the grind of producing a film titled Paper Dolls was over, Khalil forgot about the competition and got back to routine work. As soon as the festival started, she found out that her film has been selected as one of the 35 films shortlisted out of 400 entries at the festival. The film will be televised on NYC life and Crossings TV.
Upon Khalil’s return from South Africa, she was hired as Coke Studio’s first International Production Manager for season six, with production taking place in seven countries. “I couldn’t have asked for a better experience in production in Pakistan,” says Khalil. “Not only did I get work with a stellar team in Karachi, but also got to shoot with teams in Italy, Turkey and Serbia. As we completed season six, I felt it was time to return to the ‘original love’ and so, I applied to my dream school (Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute in New York City),” where she is now studying.
Shahana Khan Khalil is an alumna of The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute®. Learn more about the programs and classes available here. Apply here.