- Makes it to top silver screens in London, Pennsylvania, Germany, Arizona, Colorado
COLORADO (USA): It’s raining biopic in the international documentary films world and one such powerful “Positive Story” from Jammu and Kashmir is inspiring the world. There is an increase in the Bollywood films being made on real-life characters hitting the screens and doing tremendously well and so are the documentaries on the lives of real people who are the real heroes and are doing their best to contribute to the growth of India. Many Bollywood movies have been made on real life heroes including Chak De India, Bhag Milkha Bhag, Paan Singh Tomar, Sachin, Neerja, Dangal etc.
The documentary makers of “The Call of Pashmina” the life and work of Babar Afzal, have combined the passion and dedication that Babar has towards understanding the ground realities of the Authentic Pashmina Eco System of India, and how he wants to expose the realities of the lives of the people including shepherds, weavers, craftsmen and women to the world and then how he charts out a brilliant career path around solving a problem that has one million people directly and indirectly linked to the industry eco system. His work and life’s journey has become an inspiration for millions of youngsters and budding entrepreneurs globally. His work and approach is gaining momentum across the sustainable fashion and sustainable luxury industries across the world.
Babar is a “Silent Runner” and has built a beautiful case of Authentic Pashmina Industry of J&K, globally and continues to do that with his powerful work, living the life and highlighting the lives of nomads, shepherds, weavers, craftsmen and women. "Documentaries are an interesting medium to share one's story with the world. I'm both excited and nervous to see my story being picked up my international directors and being officially selected to be unfolding on the screens internationally in London, Pennsylvania, Germany, Arizona, Colorado, Delhi etc.
I have full confidence on the makers of the documentary and I'm sure they have presented the problems that the eco system is facing and also inspire the youth around the world to look at real life problems that desperately need solutions," said Babar Afzal. "Recognition at any level is a big responsibility and it has always forced me to work harder, reject my own ideas of yesterday, learn and upgrade my skills and look at the problem in a more holistic manner. As Lalleshweri, the mystic of Kashmir said that, truth does not come to you by reading word," Babar added. Babar is from Jammu & Kashmir and was moved to leave his corporate life when he read the news of 25,000 pashmina goats that died of starvation in Himalayas.
That moment changed his life completely and turned him into a Pashmina Artist, Activist and a Shepherd who is now advocating for this community around the world and sensitizing the global audience about the eco-system. Babar’s journey is unique in many ways as he is exploring all possible mediums to understand and then address the problems that the eco-system is facing. “I had no background in Pashmina other than my family and friends being heavily into Kashmir Handicrafts Manufacturing and Exports who had been tuned to looking at everything through the lens of commerce.
But no one I knew was sensitive towards the big picture. In the past few years, I have been named as an outsider, a paratrooper in the Pashmina industry, a useless artist, a man with no focus as I never got spoke about commerce of Pashmina. I did not realize that what I was doing was making many people in the industry, mostly in controlling positions insecure. But, with all the discouragement, my resolve to not only understand the problem solidified, but also pushed me to go deeper. I am happy that many of my ideas to solve the crisis of the Pashmina Eco System failed initially, as all those were stepping stones to go to the next level of exploration for me. If you ask me what have I achieved so far ? I will say I have just begun and I am happy today that the Pashmina buyers have started to ask tough questions to the sellers, which is a good beginning from my point of view.”
The man from Jammu and Kashmir, said he was initially skeptical of his life being turned into a documentary but decided to look at the larger picture and gave his okay to the shoot. Babar has become customary with positive and negatives of getting attention. An ex McKinsey Analyst and a Silicon Valley professional, an author and the founder of Pashmina Goat Project who dropped out of his technology and corporate career and chose to become a shepherd in the Indian Himalayas has an undying passion and a rock solid resolve as a Pashmina expert to change the future of many people who are linked to the authentic Pashmina Eco System of India.
His work has received appreciation and support from the former Presidents of India, Vice President of India and has many awards to his name for his work which include the Dr B R Ambedkar Award, Shri. Rabindranath Tagore Award, Shri. Rajiv Gandhi Excellence Award, Bharat Gaurav Award, Karmaveer Chakra (instituted with United Nations). He has also received the Sion of Magna Marter Medallion of Honor, Honouris Causa Peace and Humanity, International Peace Governor by WPDO and is also a WIRED Innovation Fellow UK, REX Global Fellow, Six times TEDx Speaker, WIRED Speaker, TED Residency Finalist NY. He has authored a book “6 TIMES Thinner, the Call of Pashmina” where he shares the wisdom of shepherds, which he believes are the lessons he received while he was living with them. These lessons are the key to problem solving in the 21st century he says. He was also invited by the British Parliament recently to speak at the House of Commons to share his life and work and build a case for Authentic Pashmina of India.
Babar, has a very strong background in technology, creative arts and business consulting and now add to that his experience of many years as a real life shepherd, Pashmina weaver and a craftsman himself, it presents a very powerful case globally to lead this industry into the next stage of evolution. Babar beautifully expresses his authority on the subject by explaining the complexity of the eco system and the overlap of multiple issues like Women Justice, Equal Rights, Climate Change, Conflict, Poverty, Fast Fashion, Technology, Comparitive Business Models, Material Complexity, Ecology, Environment, Fashion, Craft Innovation, Authentic Luxury and Mindsets. He is also the founder of the new art form (recognized by JKAACL) which he has created to start conversations around the Pashmina Goat, Authentic Pashmina Craft, Climate Change and such complex issues. He believes Art is a powerful tool and art without a reason is purposeless.
He has rightfully been named as the most credible man on Pashmina in the world by many. Babar’s work has been profiled by BBC, CNN, Bloomberg, Nasdaq, YourStory, Times of India, ABP News, Outlook, Hindustan Times and many top media platforms of the world including the TIME Magazine that profiled Babar Afzal in it’s “Genius Issue” and shared his work with it’s readers around the world. The Call of Pashmina, made by Emaho Films and sponsored by Jnana Foundation is a compilation of work and mission of Babar Afzal that has made it into the top international documentary film festivals of the world through official selections and has won multiple international awards. It would be screening at Flagstaff Mountain Film Festival, Arizona (US) and is also running for 2018 DCFS Audience Award there, Colorado Environmental Film Festival, Quotes from the Earth - An Environmental Film Festival (Delhi), Greenmotions Film Festival (Germany), British Documentary Film Festival Leicester Square (London), Directors Circle Festival of Shorts, Erie, (Pennsylvania), Woodpecker International Film Festival (Delhi).