The 60 Second International Film Festival is a youth-focused platform encouraging young filmmakers from the world over to step up and showcase a 60 second peek into their minds – a film of remarkable brevity but unparalleled insight – on any one of several categories. As a mission statement, 60SIFF doesn’t pull back on its punches – that’s an attractive prospect!

The first round of the 60SIFF was limited only to Pakistan, where this platform was birthed, and received over 200 fabulous short films from budding auteurs across the country. That’s an achievement in itself for a hitherto-unknown project but what’s genuinely impressive is the new grounds they traversed in the art of narrative and storytelling. Creating compelling and meaningful tales in a mere 60 seconds is no easy feat, presenting a unique challenge to young filmmakers to level up their craft and audiences with ample chances to experience new and engaging art.

60SIFF went to newer heights with their second round, inviting nearly 400 films from over 40 countries globally, an unprecedented accomplishment for a Pakistani platform. It gained international acclaim following this success, with organizations from several countries franchising the 60SIFF event.

Once you start going through the diverse entries to the 60SIFF platform, it doesn’t take long to see why they have gained such a following worldwide – the entrants bring a piercing, never-seen-before artistic view to the public eye. People who’ve spent their lives marginalised, whose creative visions never amalgamized into a coherent product, are all on display here. Messages of peace, humour, comfort and acceptance are touted through the medium of film in various subtle, brash and subversive forms. A particular favourite is the following animation, narrated by a hesitant-but-strong girl with a simple but universal truth:

Where does an upstart platform go from there? One way would be to combine their style of film with new technology and see what sort of art results. 60SIFF plans on doing just that by incorporating VR films into their model, a first for the Pakistani industry! Another way would be to grow from a mere publishing platform to one that trains and nurtures as well, for which 60SIFF is also setting up training programmes for aspirant filmmakers and creative storytellers.

Keep your eyes on the 60 Second International Film Festival – it’s gone places and has no intention of stopping there!

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