Syed Hassan Zaidi, topper of his batch at the National College Of Arts filmmaking program, was asked on Saturday by Fizza Gilani, cousin of bride Fatima Gilani, to make sure she doesn’t look too fat.
Zaidi – who not only got a distinction in his thesis project for class of 2014, but also had the highest scoring film criticism paper – was told that maybe Gilani’s left profile would be better suited for such a request.
Zaidi – whose paper was titled “Deconstructed Adaptation: From Heart of Darkness to Apocalypse Now,” – is reported to have said, “Ji” in response to the request, which was one of the eleven Gilani’s total requests.
His careful and sensitive exploration of the themes that run through Joseph Conrad’s classic 1899 novella Heart of Darkness and Francis Ford Coppola’s great Apocalypse Now, was a fleeting relic in the deep recesses of his mind while trying to understand how to solve a problem with aperture, shutter-speed and framing decisions, which could have been best solved through diet and exercise.
Second position holder Abbas Cheema, who also followed his NCA BFA with a masters from the Vancouver Film School, was in a similar situation, having finally found employment managing the audio-visual content of a banned organisation on social media.
Cheema, whose thesis “Was Truffaut Right? War Films in 21st Century”, was brushed away from his memory when he requested the leader he was filming, “Please could you say jo na maaney, woh bhi kaafir a little more clear?”