Student Academy Award nominee holds exclusive screening for NU-Q community

Shahnawaz Zali, Student Academy Award nominee and NU-Q communication alumnus, screened his film 100 Steps – Sou Qadam, in a special community event attended by faculty, staff, and students ahead of the awards ceremony, which takes place on September 22.

Since his admission at NU-Q, Zali created three short films; he was director and co-director in two, and helped produce and co-direct photography in the third. Zali dreamed of pursing filmmaking and cinematography from a young age, and with NU-Q’s support he was able to realize his vision to tell stories through filmmaking.

“NU-Q students are encouraged to think critically, and challenge prevalent untapped notions in society. The NU-Q academic curriculum is designed so that students are constantly involved in interdisciplinary conversations, projects, and hands-on assignments, which are integral to developing new and innovative ideas,” said Everette E. Dennis, dean and CEO.

He added: “The University, which has become a melting pot of cultures and diverse worldviews, has enabled us to maximize our students’ potential to create valuable media content using their acquired skills. Zali’s film, which has been nominated as Best Film in the Narrative category for the 43rd Student Academy Awards, is an example of a student who has understood the power of a camera lens.”

Zali’s nominated film was funded by a Studio20Q grant, offered by Northwestern to NU-Q students to realize their film projects. Studio20Q grant applications undergo a rigorous selection process.

As a filmmaker, Zali believes NU-Q played a key role in preparing him for his Student Oscar nomination. “NU-Q’s worldclass education, renowned professors, and unparalleled facilities and cinematography equipment provided me with the combined package to create a quality film, worthy of being considered for the Student Academy Award,” he said.

“In the near future, I hope to gain practical experience in visual storytelling for commercial purposes," he added. "I would also like continue my studies, and to develop my filmmaking skills before returning to Pakistan to tell the world more stories.”


Watch the trailer for 100 Steps: