Usman Ashraf MFA Filmmaking

Usman Ashraf

I saw a lot of city symphonies from the silent era such as Walter RuCman’s Berlin: Symphony of a Great City and Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera, as well as contemporary city films such Mark Cousin’s I am Belfast and Terence Davies’ Of Time and the City. My starting  point towards the film I have made was the observation that each city symphony or city film I watched was different. They were made by different directors and they had different cities for their subjects. Each film revealed something about the person, the city, and the connectons between cites and persons. Therefore, the film I made on the city of Lahore would have to be unique to both my person and to the city that was my subject. My personal connection to Lahore is emblematic of some of the things that the city is known for, and these would of course bleed into my film. First, there is the absolute fascination that the city exerts on those who know of it, and the loyalty it demands of those who stay here for any period of me. As an outsider from another town of Punjab, I was not a Lahori when I first went there for my studies, but I would consider myself one now, or enough of one to feel comfortable making this film.