National Tax Justice Youth Film Festival

Taxation can play a critical role in advancing or impeding human rights enjoyment, while the norms and mechanisms of human rights offer powerful tools for tax justice advocates. With the aim of building bridges between these communities, National Tax Justice Youth Film Festival is designed to build closer synergies between human rights and tax justice advocacy communities and to bring these previously separate spheres together with the aim of developing human rights-centered tax policies at both the domestic and international levels through a film. National Tax Justice Youth Film Festival (NTJYFF) is a first of its kind of festival in the history of the country with a focus to high light tax issues; the Festival will provide a unique platform and opportunity in Pakistan for screening short films presented by the youth.

National Tax Justice Youth Film Festival 2017

A large number of university students from Punjab  and Sindh came together to highlight gender insensitive tax laws and their adverse affect on women’s economic, social and political life through films at the second “National Tax Justice Youth Film Festival” held at Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi (PMAS-AAUR) on 29 March 2017.

Focused on creating awareness on fiscal justice in Pakistan, the Film festival under its “Fair Tax Campaign” provided a unique platform and opportunity for the youth of Pakistan to showcase their talent through short films and documentaries.

A total of 32 entries by students from 20 public and private universities of Pakistan submitted their entries in National Youth Film festival under the theme of “Gender and tax nexus”. Speaking at the occasion, chief guest, Ms. Jeannette Seppen, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands said that she was very impressed to see so many talented young students be engaged in the subject of taxes through film. Nobody likes to pay taxes, however, taxes are a key source of income for any democratic government to finance sustainable development and economic growth for all, she added.

Social activist and singer Jawad Ahmed who has been advocating for fair tax policy also addressed the participants. Ms. Farzana Bari, former head of gender studies at the Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad said that women in Pakistan were confronted with complex challenges. She said that both urban as well rural women had lack of accesses to economic and political opportunities.

The ambassador and the Vice Chancellor of Arid Agriculture University distributed awards, shields, and certificates among the winners and participants of the film festival. Prominent politicians, social activists, journalists, artists, filmmakers, academics and government officials attended the festival which was organized by Indus Consortium in collaboration with ARID University and RISE for Equality

National Tax Justice Youth Film Festival 2015

National Tax Justice Youth Film Festival held Tuesday, December 15, 2015 with collaboration of  Indus Consortium and Centre for Inclusive Growth with sole objective to create awareness among university students and youths to encourage ‘Direct Tax’ cultural in the country instead of burdening the poor segments of the country with additional taxes including ‘Sales Tax, Value-added tax, Income Tax and petroleum levies.

University students from all over the country participated in Film-Festival and 50 Short-Films and documentaries were shortlisted to be screened for a contest with the content theme to depict and highlight tax-related miseries of people and misuse of tax collection on part of elite leadership.

Netherland’s Ambassador to Pakistan H.E MS Jeannette Seppen addressing on the occasion stated that on her arrival in Pakistan, she was very impressed on seeing a separate line for tax-payers at the airport. She went on say that the government should devise a mechanism where people with low earnings should have to pay low taxes, while people having multiple sources of income made to pay more. Acknowledging work of students in film-festival, she said this is a very creative task that will help in projecting problems of people regarding tax.

Jawad Ahmed Social activist and singer, in his keynote address, stated that in Pakistan, political leadership is doing politics on the pretext of the poor public but no one bothers to devise policies in the interest of common men, He also distributed prizes among winning students of documentary and short-film contest.