Thursday, 21 February 2019

Cinema revival continues in Pakistan: Another theater opens in Attock

The expansion of movie-theaters in the country continues, and it seems the pace is picking up. Just a few weeks back, we announced that IMGC was set to open a 146 seat new theater, the IMGC Cineplex in Sargodha. Now, a revamped cinema has been launched in the cantonment area of Attock city after a gap of nearly three decades.

Called the PAC cinema, the theater houses 350 seats and features Dolby 7.1 surround sound. Previously an older cinema, it was refurbished to a public auditorium during the collapse of the movie exhibition business during the 90s.

Following the recent upturn in movie theater revenues in the country, the management took a decision in 2018 to revert it to a cinema, albeit a modern digital one. Renovations, which include addition of a modern sound system, luxury reclining seats and improved d├ęcor, were completed during the latter half of the year.

The PAC cinema saw a soft launch in November, exhibiting a mix of foreign and Pakistani content on its single screen. However, the management stated that in the absence of movie going culture in Attock and accessibility issues to the theater’s locality, the response was rather muted. Following a public information campaign, which saw promotions on local cable networks as well as on billboards, audience turnout has improved.

Previously, movie buffs in Attock had to travel for two hours by road to get to the nearest cinema in Islamabad-Rawalpindi. The addition of a modern screen has made the experience of going to a theater more affordable and convenient.

While this is a step in the right direction, more such initiatives are required. Currently, Pakistan has one of the lowest screen density in the world. The figure is a woefully inadequate one of 0.8 screens per 10 million people, against 10 in India, 90 in China and 124 in the US. While reports indicate that the new Pakistani government is interested in drastically improving the number of screens, little progress has been visible on ground to substantiate those claims and screen growth remains slow.

Saad Sharif, manager at Odeon Multiplex cinemas, believes the non-optimal screen growth is attributable to the high risk and high investment nature of cinema exhibition business that relies in large part on imported software. Emphasizing that indigenous content is the way to go as it can reduce the risk involved, he said “Government and local movie producers need to sit down (and) seriously find ways (to) facilitate film makers and investors to produce more films so that our dependency on foreign content is minimized.”

Roughy 60% of Pakistan 200 million plus population is rural, and there is much scope in this untapped market that also includes smaller cities and semi-rural areas. The government needs to provide tax breaks and ease regulations in the licensing process for cinemas to further incentivize establishment of theaters in these areas. With the success of new movie theaters in towns such as Mandi-Bahauddin, Sargodha and now Attock, it is hoped more investors will seize the opportunity to accelerate the growth of cinemas in the country.

"I won’t spare anyone," Meera and manager slam the makers of Delhi Gate

Replacing actors in films isn’t a one-off incident; the trend has been banging on since Lollywood came into being. Whether it is the problem of date or the idea of director, there is no telling why actors in films get replaced with other actors.

Nadeem Cheema's next film 'Delhi Gate' recently witnessed a major shuffle in the lead cast. Meera the Lollywood film star widely regarded as 'one of the most bankable actress of her time,' has been ousted from the film. Meera was initially signed as the female lead and was later replaced by model turned actress Roma Michael. The reasons for her exit were not clear, it was rumored that she was replaced even before the production started. However, the makers of Dehli Gate have made it clear that Meera was never a part of the project.

We naturally gave Meera a call for details, she remained unavailable for comment as she is busy shooting her upcoming flick 'Baaji'. However, her manager 'Hassan Syed' made some shocking revelations in an exclusive conversation on Meera's behalf, with HIP in Pakistan which brought to the table many issues we never saw coming.

"We have been cheated by the makers of Delhi Gate. Cheema production previous venture 'Geo Sar Utha Kay' was a complete washout at the box office therefore in order to get publicity this time around they signed Meera just to have a big name associated with the project. They came up with a tailor made plan by organizing an opening ceremony for the film and insisted Meera to attend. She was in Dubai at that point of time but she somehow managed her busy schedule and came to Karachi to attend the event," said the representative.

He continued: "My suspicion and disgust over their foul play grew even more when they started to ignore my phone calls. Adding more to the horror, they have started the shoot as well."

The replacement episode has left Hassan in a bitter mood. Hassan also happens to be Meera's cousin, he further said: "We are related with the Cheema family and it was indeed a big shock for us to be treated with utmost unprofessional behavior. Forget about anything else they didn't even apologize for their hasty retreat, they seem to have no remorse. One thing is for sure, I'm not going to spare anyone and these people will pay the price for their ruthless attitude"

 Will Roma Michael prove to be a compensatable replacement in place of Meera? Only time will tell.

One can't deny the fact that Meera is one distinctive name who literally stood tall with her style, earnest performances, ethereal beauty and box office success. What is remarkable about her rise is that she never had any godfathers in the industry.

She will be seen with full force in her next film 'Baaji' which revolves around the life of a once successful film actress whose career is on the decline, the film also stars Osman Khalid Butt, Ali Kazmi, Mohsin Abbas Haider Amna Ilyas, Nisho and Nayyar Ejaz.

Thursday, 14 February 2019

Reema Khan and Shaan Shahid Are Reuniting For A Film

 Although the Pakistani cinema has all but revived and TV actors are busying themselves by appearing in movies, the truth of the matter is that they all lack that star power which actors like Shaan and Reema used to posses. Watching them on the big screen was a delight because these stars were larger than life and just knew how to lure in the audience.

Ever since Punjabi films stopped being produced, we missed Shaan and Reema on screen. However, our wish to see the magical two on screens is perhaps coming true. Both Shaan and Reema are ready to reunite on the big screen and create the same magic they made in films like Bulandi , Chakori and Aag to name a few .

According to sources it seems the duo will be appearing in a film as announced by the actor / director himself through his social media where he posted a shadowed picture of himself and Reema using the caption 2020 and a film camera logo attached with it.

So how do we know its Reema? Well it was Shaan's wife Amina Bandey who tagged the actress in the comment box below confirming the fact that they were pairing up once again

News has it that Shaan might not be at the director's seat for this one and we for one can't wait to learn more about this project as Shaan and Reema are our all time favourite actors and to see them on the big screen again would be nothing short of a treat.

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Pinky Memsaab Gets Selected For The 21st UK Asian Film Festival

While the major part of Pakistani film industry is thriving on commercial films. right there from time to time it is important to move away from a typical masala flick and make something which is artistic and makes the audiences think for a bit . Now where Pinky Memsaab upon its release may not have enjoyed such a fantastic run it has officially been selected for the UK Asian Film Festival which we are very happy to hear about.

Taking to the social media, the team announced the news and were naturally thrilled about it. Appearing as a closing night film on 6th April 2019, the movie will also be showing in Leicester, Edinburgh and Manchester.

In an earlier conversation with BBC Urdu, director and writer Shazia Ali Khan said, "Basically the story is about two women which is a crime in Pakistan, as it is a totally female-centric film and the two form a strange bond with one another. The young girl comes from a village in Punjab and lands in Dubai to work as a maid in the house of an investment banker, both are Pakistani. Now in the older generation there was defined line between a servant and a master but the new generation is confused and that line has become grey so the problems which come with this mindset, the accepting yet not accepting element is what the film will explore."

Hajra Yamin and Kiran Malik, we would like to congratulate the entire team on such brilliant news and wish them all the very best for the UK Asian Film Festival.

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Hamza Ali Abbasi shuts down the trolls on The Legend Of Maula Jatt

The trailer of “The legend of Maula jatt” itself is a great answer for all the trolls who have been throwing on the movie since so long, apparently the movie release is taking so long, may be this was the reason we haven’t heard anything from Abbasi himself on the trolls, as the efforts speaks itself.

zBut, recently a comment over Imran Ismail’s tweet made Abbasi speak up and made everyone speechless as he usually does.

He mentioned, for those who think film industry is a waste of time, that how media industry is important for the growth of our economy and its role in generating employment in the country.

While talking to Something Haute, he says that he even take criticism as a compliment when people say Maula Jatt seems like Game of Thrones and Gladiator, because it shows that now we are up to that level where people are comparing a Pakistani movie with Hollywood’s A-grade projects.

Moreover, he also cleared the air by adding that there is no legal order regarding the ban on the movie due to any copyright issue, the film is releasing and he is expecting a huge response globally.

Sonya Hussyn exits Faysal Quraishi starrer 'Sorry'

Local starlet Sonya Hussyn has stepped down from her role in director Sohail Javed’s Sorry: A Love Story because she disliked her character, reported Express News.

A source shared that two weeks ago, Hussyn expressed some concerns over her character in the film. However, the director refused to pay any heed to the Aangan starlet’s suggestions. Following this, the shooting of the movie was suspended.

Produced under the banner of SJ Films and Faysal Quraishi films, Sorry: A Love Story is a romantic drama, co-written by Asma Nabeel.

It explores the ups and downs of love – finding it, losing it and then finding it again. Along with Faysal, the star-studded cast includes Aamina Sheikh and Zahid Ahmed. Other notable stars from the industry will also be seen as supporting actors in the film.

Sonya is currently shooting for the Farhan Saeed and Feroze Khan-starrer, Tich Button. The Qasim Yar helmed project is produced by Urwa Hocane.

Soon after Sonya decided to opt out of the project, another top actor was cast for the role, whose name remains undisclosed.

Sorry’s original score will be produced by renowned singer Abbas Ali Khan. Other musicians will also be a part of the original soundtrack album. The film is to be shot in both Pakistan and international locations.

It was supposed to go on floors in early 2019 and expected to release the same year. However, it is unclear when the film will begin shooting.

Friday, 1 February 2019

Mehwish Hayat, Zara Noor Abbas starrer film will release this year," director Wajahat Rauf

One movie which has left us wanting to see it on the big screen soon is the Wajahat Rauf directorial that stars the stunning Mehwish Hayat and equally gorgeous Zara Noor Abbas in the lead. With the shooting currently going on and the first spell wrapped up, we got in touch with the ace producer/director to know more about his upcoming project which literally has everyone's undivided attention towards it.

Looking like a film not to be missed, talking about which Wajahat revealed, "Its a combination of comedy, drama and romance all rolled in to one which will provide family entertainment for all."

With the male cast yet to be announced officially by Wajahat, rumours are a float that Asad Siddiqui and Azfar Rehman will be seen in the project too.

Sharing more information, Wajahat Rauf also mused on the probable release of his film as well. "It will release this year on either of the two Eids but at the moment I do not know which one we will decide upon," added the ace director.

However, with Eid being a favourite time of every producer to release their films, we hope that the special holiday does not become a clutter and each film is able to enjoy their run in the cinemas without harming each another's business.

Now another thing which had been wandering in our minds was the fact that why was Karachi Se Lahore 3 put aside for this particular project as the last time we reported it was understood that the much loved comedy was in the pipeline.

 Here's what Wajahat had to say about it, "For the time being it has been shelved as I felt that the third part would just be a repeat of the first two with the same characters and twists in the plot."

Wajahat has not given up on Karachi Se Lahore 3 and he will make it when he feels the time is right as at present he wants to give the audiences something new to enjoy. Since having also ventured in to web series with Enaaya which also stars Mehwish Hayat, we have high hopes from this Wajahat Rauf directorial and look forward to his latest project soon. Both Mehwish and Zara are phenomenal actors whom we are sure will make the movie worth watching.

Saturday, 26 January 2019

Jawani Phir Nahi Ani 3 is in the works with Fahad Mustafa once again!

And so, here is another big news of 2019. The third installment of the much hyped and most loved comedy films of Pakistan, Jawani Phir Nahi Ani and Jawani Phir Nahi Ani 2, is in the works. The news broke when Humayun Saeed, who happens to be the co-producer and central lead of the film, shared a picture on Instagram confirming that JPNA 3 scripting sessions were in progress.

Although there was no word on when and how the film will be going on the floors, from the picture shared, it seems Fahad Mustafa will again be reprising his role in the film, along with Humayun Saeed, Ahmed Ali Butt and Vasay Chaudhry as well.

Another thing which we are still trying to find out is whether Fawad Khan be a part of the JPNA 3 gang, as it was strongly rumored around the release of JPNA 2, that Fawad would be seen in and if the third installment of the film takes place.

Released on Eid ul Azha last year, Jawani Phir Nahi Ani 2 became the highest grosser of Pakistan, crossing the Rs. 70 crore mark at the Box Office worldwide. JPNA 2 also became the first Pakistani film to do so as well. Directed by Nadeem Baig and scripted by Vasay Chaudhry, JPNA 2 starred Humayun Saeed, Fahad Mustafa, Ahmed Ali Butt, Vasay Chaudhry, Mawra Hocane, Uzma Khan, Sarwat Gilani, and Kubra Khan in pivotal roles.

Friday, 25 January 2019

Iman Aly Returns To Films With Farhan Saeed Starrer Tich Button

Iman Aly is a model whom we have admired for a long time as she is someone who handles herself with a lot of grace and poise. It was in a recent interview of hers with a leading daily where we also found out that she is all set to make her cinematic comeback in the highly awaited Farhan Saeed starrer and Urwa Hocane produced film Tich Button!

Yes guys, the new was revealed by the star herself who said, "I never approach anyone for work.

People approach me and I barely accept any offers. Qasim Ali Mureed ( the director) is my friend and he really pushed me into doing this film. Even though I told him I'll be busy, I wont have time, I'm getting married at the same time as the film's shoot but he convinced me on it somehow." With that she also broke the news of her plans to get married soon to Babar Bhatti, who is the grandson of Pakistani war hero Major Aziz Bhatti.

With her starring as the female lead while the other female actress is yet to be confirmed, she is currently busy squeezing the shoots in time, while she prepares for her wedding as well which is all set to take place in February.

Iman Aly made her debut with a leading role in the Shoaib Mansoor film Khuda Kay Liye in 2007 for which she also won a Lux Style Award for best actress and then returned to films once again in 2016 with Mah-e-Mir opposite Fahad Mustafa and did a supporting role in Bol .

To see her on the big screen again is going to be a treat and we for one do not want to miss out on that for sure!

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Hareem Farooq, Ali Rehman Khan to reunite for another film

KARACHI: The makers of Parchi are coming back with yet another film and the untitled project stars Hareem Farooq with Ali Rehman Khan (no surprises there). Imran Raza Kazmi’s new venture will see Hareem and Ali as the two main protagonists. Talking to The Express Tribune, the Dobara Phir Se star talked about her character.

“I will be seen on the big screen in 2019 as Heer. She is a textile designer with a passion for life; very energetic and lively,” the actor commented. “She’s someone who is fun, yet naughty, with a certain element of innocence about her. She dreams about making her family proud. She’s the only girl in a Punjabi household to reach graduation.”

The Diyar-e-Dil star said Heer is very different from the previous characters she has played. Hareem was last seen on the big screen in Parchi where she portrayed the role of a female gangster named Eman. She was someone who was not scared to fight off the bad guys in order to defend the good people of her city.

In her latest venture, Hareem will be seen playing the complete opposite. Divulging into what the film might be about, Hareem added, “It revolves around Kabir, an architect with big aims and ambitions and Heer, a textile designer with a sweet soul.”

She went on, “They are two people who are extremely enthusiastic about life and their future together but fate has something else in store for them. The film has surprising cameos with renowned actors playing odd characters that will keep the audience hooked to their seats wanting more!”

Friday, 11 January 2019

Hamza Ali Abbasi taught Mahira Khan Punjabi for The Legend Of Maula Jatt

Mahira Khan and Hamza Ali Abbasi share a fabulous friendship amongst all other celebs in the industry. The two have friends for a long time and although we have not seen them in a play or a movie together yet, the duo do look amazing together as seen in award shows as well as photo shoots which they have done together.

Hamza Ali Abbasi and Mahira are now starring together in The Legend of Maula Jatt but sadly they are not paired opposite one another. However, despite the reason, the much loved actress was all praise for her best friend who made sure she aced the character. As Mukho, Mahira had to speak Punjabi fluently and Hamza made sure she did so, helping her nail the accent.

Talking to Instep recently, Mahira who is Urdu speaking and has studied abroad as well, was not at all familiar with the language of Punjab as she said,

 “It’s like a French girl speaking Punjabi, I used to go there and say I’m doing a foreign-language film. I have to say I was very nervous and I told Hamza I couldn’t do it, but he convinced me by promising to tutor me."

Adding further she said, "And he lived up to that, he would come on Verna’s set and sit with me for hours, and so we prepared this one, long scene, which was also my first and everybody was expecting I’d mess up, but the first take went amazing. And I got all over-confident after that, so I never sat down with him again, but Hamza really kept at it. He’d come to the sets of Maula, even when he didn’t have scenes."

With Mahira having enjoyed playing Makho tremendously as she called her character cute but a bad ass, we cant wait to see both Mahira and Hamza shine bright once The Legend of Maula Jatt releases on Eid ul Fitr this year.

Monday, 7 January 2019

"My heart is in it," Mahira Khan on her upcoming film 'Superstar'

One of the most loved star of our industry is Mahira Khan whose fame is not just limited to Pakistan but world wide. People across the border loved Mahira the moment they saw her in drama Humsafar and then of course in Raeesopposite Shahrukh Khan. With the past year having been super busy for her with the release of Verna and 7 Din Mohabbat In as well as having attended the prestigious Cannes festival , this year we are more than excited to see her in upcoming films The Legend of Maula Jatt opposite Fawad Khan as well as in Paray Hut Love. But what is more is that another movie is also in the pipeline for Khan, titled Superstar with Bilal Ashraf, written by Azaan Sami Khan.

Talking to Instep recently, Mahira chatted about the film where we will see her play an actress on screen. "It’s a romance in its essence, but it’s a story about faith, failure, success and two people who meet each other at a strange time, basically wanting the same thing out of life, but how they want it is very different."

Talking further, the much loved actress said, "It’s a passion project. People ask me why I’ve taken it up, but I can’t help it, my heart is in it.

Before Superstar was announced officially Mahira has always been on board for it and never backed out despite many alterations having taken place in the project since the day she said yes to it.

Mahira strives to be part of films which allow her to perform to the maximum and not really focus on how much money would the film generate as she recently revealed, "Maybe I should do one of the big films, everybody tells me that day in and day out. But to be fair, at the end of the day, I’m an artist. I don’t think in terms of numbers, sometimes I wish I did because I would’ve done them and enjoyed them."

With Mahira content with the kind of films she has signed till now as she goes by her instinct, she is still open to working with the makers of Punjab Nahi Jaongi and Load Wedding. So will we see her romance Humayun Saeed once again and Fahad Mustafa on the big screen soon ? Well we certainly hope so.

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Sarmad Khoosat wraps up shooting for Punjabi Film Zindagi Tamasha

Every Sarmad Khoosat project offers something unique to the audiences. Be it a drama like Humsafar or the movie Manto, he always tries to entertain the audiences with quality content. Recently, he has been directing his Punjabi film Zindagi Tamasha. As per Entertainment Pakistan, the shooting phase of the film has been completed.

The movie was shot in various locations of Lahore as we have been seeing on Sarmad Khoosat's Instagram. The film focuses on the ways of Lahore and how this city shapes the lives of its residents.

Zindagi Tamasha stars Eman Suleman as the lead, alongside veteran television actress Samia Mumtaz. Arif Hasan and Ali Kureishi will also feature in pivotal roles.

Kanwal Khoosat has taken producer's seat and the screenplay was done by newcomer Nirmal Bano, a NCA graduate. Debutant band Sakin, has been given an opportunity to do the music for the film.

This will be the first film to release under the banner of "Khoosat Film."

Friday, 4 January 2019

2018 has been great for Pakistani films, says director Nabeel Qureshi

While the Pakistani film industry saw some big releases through 2018, local film-makers are already hoping for a better 2019.

 “The year 2018 has been great for Pakistani films altogether,” Load Wedding director Nabeel Qureshi tweeted. “Cinema has earned more from Pakistani films than Bollywood or Hollywood imports this time! It’s a big achievement. May it do great in 2019 as well.”

Ali Zafar, Maya Ali-starrer Teefa In Trouble also made it big at the box-office and emerged as one of the biggest hits of the year. Then there were Jawani Phir Nahi Ani 2 and Parwaaz Hai Junoon as well.

 Previously, Hamza Ali Abbasi lauded the multiple releases of 2018. Abbasi wrote, “Anxiously looking forward to Teefa In Trouble, JPNA 2, Load Wedding and Parwaaz Hai Junoon releasing this year.

Because of these films, I can happily and confidently say that 2018 will be a great year for the Pakistani film industry.”Throughout 2018, local distributors enjoyed ample revenue from the local films. They are more than satisfied and no longer see the presence of Indian releases as a threat. Pakistani film business is booming and has done pretty well throughout the year. Super Cinemas general manager Khorem Gultasab told The Express Tribune, “All movies attracted reasonable crowd, except Na Band Na Baraati.”

“The local audience has started believing in our films and realised that we can also produce good ones,” a senior official of Distribution Club stated. “Those who still don’t believe in Pakistani’s film industry should really start watching our films. After such a long time, we have managed to do so well.”