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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Heal wins at Comic-Con

It is remarkable that Heal won an award at the CCI-IFF against other films armed with bigger budgets. PHOTO: PUBLICITY
While the film has not even begun circulating in Pakistan, where its story is based, Heal — a thesis production from Mian Adnan Ahmad — has already bagged 19 awards including prestigious awards like the Frank Capra and  ‘Best Science Fiction/Fantasy Film’ award at this year’s Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival (CCI-IFF).
The film elicited widespread acclaim from film critic Eric Vespe. “It is an incredible shot and it’s not preachy with the subject matter either. In some shots, you see political commentary garbed in sci-fi, horror and comedy to convey a message. That really impressed me apart from the amazing production value, the great performances and the very interesting story,” said Vespe.
Also, quite uniquely, the film touches upon the supernatural — an aspect that can often go awry, yet Heal managed to win in the category for Science Fiction/Fantasy. “When I was writing the screenplay for the film I wanted to put in a character with special abilities but also wanted to tell a story from this region,” said Ahmad. “Growing up, I have always been a fan of this genre; the amazing characters and stories that come from this world, for me they represent a fantastic way to reflect on reality and issues dealt with in our societies. So as a film-maker it’s really cool that our film, which tells a story set in the Pakistan and Afghanistan region, has not only screened there, but also won and we really appreciate this recognition by the festival’s jury.”
Interestingly, the film’s crew hails from Finland, Spain, India and the US, despite Heal dealing with a rather sensitive subject of the current socio-political region — a topic that has the possibility of causing serious friction any amongst the crew. “We didn’t want people to forget the story and get sidetracked towards who is responsible,” Ahmed pointed out. “Heal is a film about the people being affected by whatever is going on. And if you notice most of our awards are from the US,” adds Ahmad to dispel the notion that his film may have any political leanings or judgements.

Heal (Basic Information)

Release date
Drama / Supernatural
Plot outline
Amidst the conflict in Afghanistan and Pakistan, a gifted child makes an extraordinary effort for his people
WINNER, Best Science Fiction / Fantasy Film, Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival 2011

WINNER, Frank Capra Award, Fallbrook Film Festival 2011

WINNER, Narrative Competition, Reynolda Film Festival 2011

WINNER, Best Student Film, Victoria Film Festival 2011

WINNER, Audience Award (Student Film), Sacramento Film & Music Festival 2011

WINNER, Jesse Epstein Humanitarian Award, Cleveland International Film Festival 2010

WINNER, Audience Award, The 9th International Film & Video Festival of Beijing Film Academy 2010

WINNER, Best Subject, International Festival of Cameramen "Golden Eye" 2010

WINNER, Outstanding Filmmaker (Overall Directing), HATCHfest 2010

WINNER, Best Cinematography, HATCHfest 2010

WINNER, Jury Prize for Best International Shorts (Special Mention), Fantasia International Film Festival 2010

WINNER, Best of Festival, Lake Arrowhead Film Festival 2010 (while in competition against short films, feature films and documentaries. HEAL is the first short film to have ever received this award)

WINNER, Best Student Film, Lake Arrowhead Film Festival 2010

HEAL was nominated in five categories at Chapman University’s annual CECIL Awards ceremony, winning in four, including BEST PICTURE. List of awards won include:
- Best Picture
- Excellence in Producing
- Best Cinematography
- Best Production Design

Leo Freedman Award, presented by the Leo Freedman Foundation

Award from The Caucus Foundation for Producers, Writers & Directors


Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival 2011, USA (July 21st - 24th)

Berkshire International Film Festival 2011, USA (June 2nd - 5th)

Tiburon International Film Festival 2011, USA (April 7th - 15th)

Fallbrook Film Festival 2011, USA (April 8th - 10th)

Reynolda Film Festival 2011, USA (March 30th - April 2nd)

Victoria Film Festival 2011, Canada (February 14th - 13th)

Sacramento Film & Music Festival WinterFEST 2011, USA (January 15th - 17th)

Foyle Film Festival 2010, Northern Ireland, U.K (November 19th – November 27th). Qualifying film festival for the Academy Awards

9th International Film & Video Festival of Beijing Film Academy 2010, China (November 9th – 11th)

Third Eye Asian Film Festival 2010, India (October 28th – November 4th)

San Diego Asian Film Festival 2010, USA (October 21st – October 28th)

UN Association (O.C) Human Rights Film Festival 2010, USA (October 24th)

BendFilm Festival 2010, USA (October 7th – October 10th)

HATCHfest 2010, USA (September 22nd – September 26th)

Big Bear Film Festival 2010, USA (September 17th – 19th)

Rhode Island International Film Festival 2010, USA (August 10th – 15th). Qualifying film festival for the Academy Awards

Fantasia International Film Festival 2010, Canada (July 8th – 28th)

Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia 2010, Japan (June 10th – August 31st). Qualifying film festival for the Academy Awards

Short Film Corner, Cannes Film Festival 2010, France (May 12th – 22nd)

Lake Arrowhead Film Festival 2010, USA (April 22nd – 25th)

Gulf Film Festival 2010 (Out of Competition), United Arab Emirates (April 8th – 14th)

34th Cleveland International Film Festival 2010, USA (March 18th – 28th). Qualifying film festival for the Academy Awards
Ameer Ahmad Zhowandai, Navid Negahban, Hannah Sher, Fereshta Kazemi, Walid Amini, Reha Zamani, Summar Swift Bitar, Syed Hashimi, Hamid Majid Habibi
Directed by
Mian Adnan Ahmad
Screenplay by
Mian Adnan Ahmad
Produced by
Marcus Metsala, Mian Adnan Ahmad

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