- Exclusive: First Review of Bench published on Mainstream Canadian
- Directed by Pakistan’s versatile Film and TV Actor Usman Mukhtar
- Bench showcased on August 7, 2020, at IFFSA Toronto – North America’s largest South Asian Film Festival
Usman Mukhtar is a popular Pakistani TV actor, who began his career as a filmmaker in 2006, and as a theatre actor in 2007, directing music videos and short films as well as acting in many plays. Usman got his break as an actor in the 2016 Urdu film Janaan.
Usman also starred in another Urdu film, Parchi, for which he was also the designated cinematographer. And guess what, Usman’s short film, Bench, scores good points when it comes to cinematography and direction.
And then, there’s Rubya Chaudhry, the multitalented actor, who has walked the ramp for big labels and designers for a long time in Pakistan. The model-turned-actor is dynamic and in this short film, she exposes multiple layers of the character she plays.
Bench is short, simple and has two characters that it seamlessly accommodates. It deals with a young couple sitting on a bench in a public park, who ponder over their relationship, and how they care about the fine little details of their lives. The storyline while simple, but is very intriguing, and you begin to realize that it has several layers to it, you want to know more.
The script is penned by Ali Mudar.
Recently, Usman also released the film’s soundtrack which is composed and sung by Natasha Humera Ejaz (NHE). The song “Soye Nahin”, by NHE, begins with a recording of Bengali master-poet Rabindranath Tagore’s Tomar Khola Hawa (Winds of Change) by Adhora Mahpara. The song, which also includes lyrics in Urdu, is beautifully sung by NHE.
Bench has been submitted to a host of other international festivals as per media reports from Pakistan. In Toronto, the Bench released today at IFFSA – International Film Festival of South Asia’s Virtual Theatre. IFFSA Toronto is North Amerca’s largest South Asian Film Festival.
The official trailer of the Bench is up on YouTube already.
Well done, to all those behind the Bench project, brilliantly executed – It is not easy to make a short film, and in the end leaving the audience wanting for more.
To view the full IFFSA Toronto schedule, get FREE PASSES and partake in the festival, visit iffsatoronto.com. Please note that some films may be geo-restricted and not available outside Canada for virtual viewing.
Final TakeFinal Take
- Acting5/5 AmazingBoth characters skillfully articulated the intensity of the relationship they have lived through, and where they end up sitting today on this Bench
- Storyline4/5 GoodSimple, short, intriguing, makes you wonder, asking for more about the two characters and their relationship
- Cinematography5/5 AmazingThe camerawork, drone shots, and portrait quality footage invoke a nostalgic fondness for Islamabad's beauty.
- Direction4.5/5 Very goodUsman Mukhtar carefully reveals the multiple facets of the relationship of both characters. When the short-film gets public screening, the audience will realize the connection between the teaser and the short film