Filmmaker Shehzad Hameed Picks ‘Best Feature Documentary Award’ At Paris Film Festival

Shehzad Hameed

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This story has been submitted by Shehzad Hameed Ahmad.

Singapore-based Pakistani filmmaker Shehzad Hameed Ahmad’s documentary titled ‘Caught in the Crossfire’ has won the Best Feature Documentary award at the prestigious Paris Film Festival 2021.

‘Caught in the Crossfire’ details the history of the Afghan war and the sacrifices of the people. Ahmad speaks to journalists who have been covering the war for years. The documentary narrates the lives of three ordinary civilians: a journalist, a female street artist, and a young Army cadet. All are stuck in a never-ending war between the Taliban and the Afghan government.

All Images: Shehzad Hameed Ahmad

‘Caught in the Crossfire’

Meanwhile, the second part focuses on how Ahmad obtained rare access into Taliban badlands. Moreover, it understands why the Taliban are gaining control of more territory, 18 years since America invaded the country.

The filmmaker wants to give people the experience of the war, the uncertainty of it, and the paradoxes. It is a meditation on what it is like to be a soldier, and how absurd this war is.

The first scene depicts the terror around a Shia-dominated area where an ISIS blast targets a gym, killing scores of people. ‘Caught in the Crossfire’ is a heart-warming and heart-breaking film. It looks into the lives of people in a country considered to be one of the worst places in the world to live.

Paris Film Festival is a unique monthly film festival. It is a response to international demand for art films and to showcase opportunities for global talent.  However, due to the coronavirus and travel restrictions, the festival has been forced to cancel our events. Meanwhile, the whole festival moved into an online space. 

Shehzad previously won 6 New York Festivals awards

Filmmaker Ahmed has filmed documentaries across Brazil, Bangladesh, Norway, Australia, New Zealand, United States, Pakistan, Philippines, Afghanistan, Egypt, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Nepal. Moreover, he has previously won 6 New York Festivals awards. 

His work includes topics like women’s rights, social issues, business and economics, investigations; and filming in war zones – embedding with many militaries in the most dangerous locations in the world.

Ahmad’s documentaries have broadcast on Al Jazeera, TVF International, Toggle, Dawn News, National Geographic, TV Ontario, Channel NewsAsia, and Crime and Investigation Channel amongst others. He is a distinguished Fulbright scholar with a Master’s in Journalism and Documentary from New York University.

Earlier, in 2020, Ahmad won ‘Silver Award’ at the Handle Climate Change Film Festival. Ahmad got the award for his documentary film on Brazil’s Amazon Rainforest in Shenzhen, China. 

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