Watching movies in the cinema is a form of entertainment most love but is not accessible to many.
As Pakistani cinema goes through a revival after decades of being marred by Indian movies, a programme is working on making the experience of a cinema house accessible to all.
Parday Pe Rehnay doorCinema on the Wheels is a programme aimed at helping preserve local cinema, including classical films, musical records and magazines, by making it accessible to everyone.
Commercial Producer Akhlaq Mahesar has come up with a hope of resurgence with an aim to deliver the experience of a cinema at the doorsteps of the unprivileged. In an attempt to keep cinema alive, this venture will showcase Pakistani films in slum areas, villages and other remote areas of the country.
The launch of the venture kicked off on Friday at the TCP Godown area with a heart-touching rendition of the national anthem.
“We can’t bring them here but we can go to them and provide them with the experience of a cinema,” Ahklaq said as he took the stage to explain the project.
Subsequently, a number of disadvantaged children were shown films screened at the occasion. A corridor called the Memory Lane, consisting of movie posters dating as far back as 1949 was also incorporated. Desi food and ethnic props gave the event a rustic style.
Lollywood veteran Mustufa Qureshi was the chief guest of the event. “This initiative will help us grow and reach the masses. It will spread awareness about Pakistani film industry, particularly the new generation about our roots,” he said.
Speaking toThe Express Tribune, excited TV actor Hassan Ahmed said, “It is an out-of-the-box idea. So many people are doing it but this revival is good if it happens on a big scale like this.”
Late film star Waheed Murad’s son Adil Murad was also present at the event. “This is progression and we will take this forward. We need to elevate our films and make them approachable for everyone,” he said.
“It feels great how Pakistani cinema is being supported and benefited. It’s a good initiative,” Zara Yaad Ker star Sana Javed toldThe Express Tribune. We believe, this ‘kind of’ a portable cinema for the underprivileged in Pakistan is a commendable initiative, to say the least.
KARACHI/LAHORE: The past six years might have had a lot of promise for Pakistani cinema at large, however, for one of its biggest icons they were a constant battle of life and death. On Friday, Shamim Ara lost that battle and in her shape we lost our most prolific woman film-maker.
In 1956, director Najam Naqvi was on the lookout for a heroine whom he could cast in his filmKunwari Bewa. Shamim Ara was visiting relatives in Karachi and it was here that the two met and her acting debut materialised. The film bombed on the box office but trumpeted the arrival of a diva who 30 years later, gave Pakistan its most commercially successful film of its time.
The Aligarh-born actor then chose Lahore as her permanent abode and hence began her prolonged association with film. By the time she was done with roughly 90 films, acting no longer excited Shamim Ara as it once did.
With the 1976 Waheed Murad-starrerJeo Aur Jeenay Do, she made her directorial debut and continued belting out hits after hits –Haathi Mere Saathi,Lady Smuggler,Playboy, to name a few – until 2004.
HerMissfranchise, in screenwriter Vasay Chaudhry’s words, was perhaps Shamim Ara’s most important contribution to Pakistani cinema. Between 1979 and 1996, the late film-maker’sMissHong Kong,MissColombo,MissSingaporeandMissIstanbulsaw the combination of an unconventional female protagonist and exotic locations work wonders.
“How many such films can you name from that time? Even today, India does not have an example like that,” Chaudhry said, adding that Shamim Ara knew exactly what the box office craved for and over the years, she mastered the commercial film formulae. “For one of these films, Pakistani cinema’s first helicopter shot was taken. Today it might seem ordinary but back in the day it was quite a big deal.”
TheJawani Phir Nahi Aniwriter said it takes a lot of courage for a woman to produce such work consistently for so many years.
Referring to the “fashionable” shape of the women’s empowerment discourse that commercial industries of today bank upon, Chaudhry said, “We were making women-centric films back in the 1980s. Tarantino madeKill Billand everyone went gaga over it. People like Shamim Ara were doing this long ago.”
Money in the bank
With the 1995 filmMunda Bigra Jaye, Shamim Ara struck gold. The Rambo-Sahiba movie, according toNigar Golden Jubilee Number, smashed Pakistan’s film business records and remained our highest grossing film until Syed Noor’sChoorianhit screens.
Its title song that went by the same name became an anthem of sorts; many might not have seen the film but there’s hardly anyone who has not heard the song, which is said to have been made by pop star Hasan Jahangir first.
In the 1980s and 1990s, the Lollywood doyenne had assumed the role of a godmother of sorts to many of the industry’s top talents. Film veteran Nisho and her daughter Sahiba collaborated with Shamim Ara on a number of projects. “She was very supportive of us,” Nisho toldThe Express Tribune. Shamim Ara was a very non-confrontational and easygoing woman in everyday life but when it came to work, she was a different person altogether. “I know this is a very clichéd thing to say but honestly I feel her presence formed Lollywood’s golden period.”
Films such asAnarkali,NailaandDevdasare remembered as some of Shamim Ara’s most memorable acting performances. Pashto and Punjabi screen siren of the past Durdana Rahman said she started her career seeing people like Shamim Ara do so well. “She was the idol of every actor. We all wanted to be like her,” she added.
Isn’t it amazing that the newly revived Pakistani cinema continues to offer movies to all kinds of audiences?
FromNa Maloom Afraad toJPNA, andMoortoMah e Mir, our films have not only proven how talented our filmmakers are, but also shown they’re not restricted in terms of content.
And adding more power to the industry is a movie titledProject Ghazi, the makers of which are calling it Pakistan’s first ever superhero film.
“It’s a story of an advanced soldier project and it spans over a period of 20 years,” director Nadir Shah toldThe Express Tribuneduring a live Facebook session.
Nadir is an ad-film maker andProject Ghaziis his first feature film. “We wanted to shake things a little so there are elements of espionage and spy genres in the movie as well,” he added.
The film — 40% of which has already been shot — will feature Humayun Saeed, Sheheryar Munawar and Saira Shahroz in lead roles. “Humayun and Sheheryar’s characters are equally balanced and compliment each other and they’re both playing superheroes,” producer Ali Raza said.
What about Saira? Will she appear as a superhero as well? “Absolutely yes. In her own way,” Ali responded, adding that Adnan Jaffar is playing the antagonist while veteran actor Talat Hussain is also playing an important role.
Ali revealed that Humayun’s character is named Salar while Sheheryar’s, Saira’s and Adnan’s characters will be called Zain, Zara and Qataan respectively. “You’ve never seen Saira like this before. Sheheryar has worked really hard and he has come out looking really good; like a young, modern super soldier.”
When asked what kind of audience they’re aspiring to target, Ali said, “We strongly believe in Pakistan and the revived cinema of Pakistan. The superhero genre is owned by Hollywood. They’re the ones who started this and they’re the ones we would like to land closest to, if not be exactly like them.”
Ali added that since the Pakistani audience is evolving, they wantProject Ghazito appeal to not just the Ra. One or Krish fans but also those who love watching Batman andX-Men. “We want to do justice to the first Pakistani attempt. And I am sure Nadir will agree that while making this film, we faced many challenges because there’s no history of superhero movies in Pakistan. Hollywood films belonging to this genre have a track record of 80 years.”
One of the biggest challenges they faced was getting the costumes right. “We really had a great team. No one’s really done costume work like this in Pakistan before and we had to do everything from scratch. So it was difficult to design costumes in which actors could do stunts while being able to breathe normally,” Ali said.
“First, we made designs. Then we made concept art and later found the right vendors. Then we had a team which tried out several versions before we actually got to a functional piece which not only looked good but was wearable as well,” Nadir added.
That wasn’t it, though. Nadir and Ali disclosed that the actors had to undergo 3D scanning for the masks they’d be seen wearing in the movie which were created by a 3D printer, adding that the special effects used are of the highest standards.
“One thing that motivated us was that when we were travelling across Pakistan, we’d see superhero merchandise from all over the world but nothing from Pakistan. So it’s time. And I hope we can complete this project and present it to the audience in a grounded way,” Nadir said.
“We will come up with a product which will make every Pakistani proud,” Ali added.
The official poster of Lahore Se Aagey —a spin-off of last year’s popular hit Karachi Se Lahore — is finally out.
Directed and produced by Wajahat Rauf, the comedy film features Yasir Hussain and Saba Qamar in lead roles.
In an earlier interview with The Express Tribune, Yasir, who is reprising his role as Moti, revealed that the film “will be more of a romantic-comedy and will follow the adventures of a young couple set right after the events of Karachi Se Lahore.”
Sharing details about Saba’s character, Wajahat toldThe Express Tribune, “She will be essaying the role of Tara, an urban girl in the movie and, just like Ayesha Omar’s character in the original film, her character will also go through a transformation.”
Lahore Se Aageyis set to be released on November 11.
LAHORE: It might have been a while the last time Pakistani films competed against each other on the box office with simultaneous releases, but July 22 will change all that.
With Jamal Shah’sRevenge of the Worthless, Noor Bukhari’sIshq Positiveand Faisal Bukhari’sBlind Lovehitting screens together, Lahore’s cinemagoers might be spoilt for choice.
“Revenge of the Worthlessis an action drama film shot in the northern areas of Pakistan. It narrates the story of the Swat insurgency. It points out the sacrifices made by the army to counter terrorism in such areas while it also sheds light on the sufferings of people,” said Summit Entertainment official Waryam Iqbal.
The cast of Shah’s film includes actors Ayoub Khoso, Firdous Jamal and Shamil Khan, among others. Holding high expectations from the film, Waryam shared the movie will be screened across all multiplexes in Lahore.
Blind Love, on the other hand, is being distributed by IMGC Entertainment and Eveready Pictures is backingIshq Positive. “I am currently busy in promoting my film. It is a beautiful musical and I am sure it will be remembered for years to come,” shared Noor. She revealed that post-production ofIshq Positivewas completed in India and the cast comprises a number of new actors, with Indian star Sonu Sood doing a cameo.
WhileBlind Lovewas originally scheduled for an Eidul Fitr release, it was delayed to avoid competition from Sultan.Blind Lovehas been made by Lahore-based producers Chaudhry Ejaz Kamran, Mian Amjaz Farzand and Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ahmed. “We are releasing the film on July 22. We are expecting it to be a major hit,” Kamran said
The trailer of the much-anticipated film of the yearDobara Phir Seis out now and it proves that the film industry is indeed undergoing a revival.
Fresh faces and a storyline combined with equally refreshing cinematography show the impeccable talent found within the Pakistani entertainment industry.
Starring Adeel Husain, Hareem Farooq, Sanam Saeed and Ali Kazmi in key roles, the Mehreen Jabbar directed film is “a journey of love and friendship”.
But this journey has its fair share of ups and downs — it’s all about winning, losing and giving love another chance.
By the looks of it, Adeel’s character seems to be married to Tooba Siddiqui’s and has a child. But things get complicated when he falls in love with Hareem’s character.
Speaking toThe Express Tribuneearlier, Mehreen revealed that her film is about the unlikely love story of soul mates that just can’t seem to be in the right place at the right time for the right reasons. “It’s about relationships, friendships and finding one’s way in life.”
Dobara Phir Sealso stars Atiqa Odho and Shaz Khan and is slated to release this year.
KARACHI: Exactly two years and one day from Tuesday, director Nabeel Qureshi had released the trailer of a film calledNa Maloon Afraad. While many thought the film and its debuting maker were no match for Shaan’sOperation 021and Hrithik Roshan’sBang Bangthat were also releasing on the Eidul Azha of 2014, things changed whenNa Maloom Afraad’s box office figures were made public.
Today Qureshi and his screenwriting partner Fizza Ali Meerza are among the most successful film-makers of the country. Set to release their latest filmActor In Law, the duo put out its trailer on Tuesday.
They may have chosen to keep the story of the film under the wraps; the 173-second trailer does give away a few vital plot points. The movie follows the story of a lawyer (Fahad Mustafa) who harbours a burning desire to become an actor, something his father (Om Puri) does not approve of.
With the trailer’s view count rising, some have already begun to draw parallels between this “social comedy” and Indian National Award-winning filmJolly LLB.
No stranger to such comments, Qureshi laughed at the comparison, saying, “Even prior to the release ofNa Maloom Afraad, people were pointing out how the movie is similar to Indian films likeHera PheriandC Kkompany. It wasn’t until they saw the full movie that they realised that it was a completely different film.
Another major talking point from the film’s trailer is the issue of minorities, with the movie’s leading lady taking a jibe at the plight of Pakistan’s marginalised communities. Clearing the air on the particular line and whether the topic of minorities would constitute a central theme of the movie, he explained, “All I can say is that the trailer consists of a few scattered lines and it is too early to draw any assumptions.”
Given the success of their debut film, it was only logical for the production team to up the ante with their next project. “That was something obvious and we’ve made this movie on a bigger scale,” said Qureshi. “There are close to 300 extras dancing alongside Fahad [Mustafa] in the title track,” he added.
Slated to release on Eidul Azha this year,Actor In Lawis expected to go toe-to-toe with another Pakistani film, Janaan. “When we announced the release date forActor In Law, Janaan wasn’t releasing on Eidul Azha,” the director explained.
Aware of the fact that of competing with a local film means that the already small number of screens would be divided between the two releases, Qureshi felt that such events were understandable given the Eidul Azha’s box office promise.
Produced under the banner of Filmwala Pictures,Actor In Lawfeatures an ensemble cast, including Fahad Mustafa, Mehwish Hayat, Alyy Khan, and will also mark the Pakistani film debut of renowned Bollywood actor Om Puri.
The four-song soundtrack for the movie has been composed by Shani Arshad with the music launch set to take place in July.
The trailer of the much-anticipated filmActor in Lawis finally out and it has all the elements of a“social comedy.”
The “story of real and fake” shows the lead actor Fahad Mustafa as an aspiring actor Shan Mirza, who after facing restrictions from his father, played by Om Puri, takes up the role of a lawyer but continues to channel his inner talent.
His character apparently draws inspiration from Quaid-e-Azam, who himself wanted to be an actor but ended up as a lawyer.
From then on, Fahad showcases his acting skills in the courtroom by delivering some famous dialogues.
What left us in fits of laughter was “Tight Karain Issay”that was indeed a play on Ayesha Sana’s claim to fame “Bright Karain Issay.”
Mehwish Hayat can be seen as a journalist who is apparently playing the love interest of Fahad.
Alyy Khan seems to be taking a dig at the famous TV anchor Mubashir Lucman with his character Muddasir Sultan.
With a glimpse of Ayyan Ali and the film touching the sensitive topic of minorities, Nabeel Qureshi’s directorial seems to be up to date on current affairs.
Actor in Lawhowever, takes a dramatic turn when Shan Mirza is exposed and proved to be a criminal.
But what makes him a criminal is yet to be known and for that, we can’t wait to watch the film.
Produced by Fizza Ali Meerza, the upcoming film is slated to release this Eidul Azha.