Thursday, 16 January 2020

Sarmad Khoosat appeals Imran Khan to save his film

After Sarmad Khoosat’s upcoming film Zindagi Tamasha, became the first Pakistani fiction to win big in South Korea, it’s trailer received criticism from its own country.

 Turn’s out the filmmaker is just as depressed as the people awaiting his film are, given it was set to release on January 24, 2020. According to Khoosat’s recent open letter to the Prime Minister, Imran Khan, there is an ongoing attempt to prevent the film from releasing at all.

 Khoosat uploaded the letter on his social media, stating the film is yet again being stopped from release after the first complaint was entertained, in a law-abiding manner.

Sarmad started his letter by providing details of his contributions to the film industry, “Like any other film, made in any part of the world, Zindagi Tamasha is a reflection of its setting. My team and I explored themes around gender constructs, class divisions and complex human experiences. There was never any intention to attack, to point fingers at or humiliate any individual or institution.”

He continued to address the appreciation his film received abroad, “Upon completion, the film was cleared by all three censor boards of Pakistan and had its world premiere at the prestigious Busan International Film Festival.”

“January was set as the release date. However, a ‘complaint’ was registered against the writer, the producer and myself, based on assumptions made from the two and a half minute long trailer..” Khoosat went on to clarify, “I couldn’t be more excited to bring this film to it’s original intended audience, however, a complaint was registered against the writer, producer and myself based on assumptions made from the trailer,” he said.

 “As a law-abiding citizen and with full conviction that there is nothing offensive or malicious in the film. In response I submitted the film for another review to the censor board. It was cleared once again with a few cuts to appease the complainants. ” According to the filmmaker, “Just a week before the film’s release, another attempt is being made by the same group to stop the release of the film and this time they are hell-bent on using pressurising tactics.”

“I am bringing this to your notice not just because my team and I are being bullied and pressurised but also because this series of episodes undermines a state institution like the Central Board of Film Censors and strips it of its authority and stature,” he added. He concluded by saying, “The space for rational and artistic thinking and expression must not be annexed by a few troublemakers for their political ends but I fear this is what will happen if we buckle under this time.” Zindagi Tamasha premiered at the Busan International Film Festival, where it won the Kim Ji-seok Award. Khoosat had cleared the air regarding the previous ban in an interview with The Express Tribune, explaining how he respected the censor board’s decision.

 “They were certain people who got offended, thinking I was pointing fingers at them. That wasn’t the idea and I was completely fine with re-editing the trailer. However, what’s problematic is that anytime one picks out a theme which people are uncomfortable discussing in public spaces or even behind closed doors, has to be deemed controversial.” Zindagi Tamasha is slated for release January 24. Here is hoping it makes it.

Friday, 3 January 2020

The first look of the romantic thriller – Delhi Gate is out!

2020 is up to a great start and actor turned director Shamoon Abbasi is beginning his new year with a bang. The first look of his 2020 romantic thriller – Delhi Gate is out!

Shamoon is all geared up to play the role of the primary antagonist in the film who goes by the name ‘Malik Gold’.

The film is said to be related to one of the 13 gates of old Lahore. “I play the role of a millionaire and how his influence can become a problem for the couple in love,” Abbasi shared in an exclusive conversation with Instep.

 Directed by Nadeem Cheema and penned by Mohammad Kamal Pasha, Delhi Gate features Jawed Sheikh, Shafqat Cheema, Roma Micheal, Khalid Butt, Qavi Khan, Yasser Khan, Suzain Fatima and many more.

Delhi Gate is expected to release in mid of 2020.

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

'Zindagi Tamasha' trailer taken down from Youtube

Sarmad Khoosat’s upcoming social drama Zindagi Tamasha appears to have stirred some controversy . The trailer of the film that was posted in September, has disappeared from Youtube. Khoosat was reached for a comment however refused to disclose any details. The director notes that he will release a press release soon to address everything.

Given the subject matter of the film, the possibility of the trailer being removed due to objectionable content always stood. However the Censor Board has maintained that this is not it’s doing. “We have no concern with  issues relating to  YouTube. Only the film producers or distributors know best. Our work is to censor films and issue clearness certificate,” said a source from Central Board of Film Censors told Express Tribune.

Khoosat had earlier on shared that Zindagi Tamaasha was made with the background of political and social situations wherein major traits of Pakistani society have been depicted. “The topic of the film is sensitive but I have spoken the truth and one doesn’t fear when speaking the truth,” he said."

Khoosat added that the film is a reference to Khwaja Pervez’s famous song Zindagi Tamasha Bani, written for the old film Naukri Vodi Da. The Manto director clarified that he had acquired legal rights for the aforementioned song.

Zindagi Tamasha created major buzz when it won big at the prestigious Busan International Film Festival, back in October. Khoosat’s directorial won The Kim Ji-seok Award, named after the festival’s co-founder and executive programmer who died in 2017.

The film-maker shared the award with Indian director, Pradip Kurbah, whose film Market was also being screened at the festival. The film was said to be released in January 2020.

‘Thori Setting Thora Pyar’ gearing up for a 2020 release

LAHORE: 2020 is already shaping up to be a big year for films in Pakistan. To add to the list of films that have already been announced for the upcoming year, Thori Setting Thora Pyar is all set to hit the screens after Pakistan Super League ends in 2020.

Helmed by director/producer Fayyaz Adrees, the film is being described as a romantic-comedy. Known for his engaging story-telling techniques, Adrees has a number of drama serials to his credit including, Surkh Jora, Zindagi Mujhe Tera Pata Chahiye, Haye Bechara Tipu and Jabeen-e- Ishq.

He has also done journalistic work for international channels like CNN, BBC, and National Geographic.

According to details, the film is touted as a dream project for Adrees, who has left no stone unturned to make sure that it is a complete family entertainer. He reportedly studied the art of film making from the prestigious New York Film Academy, ahead of his debut project for the silver screen.

Currently going through the post-production phase, the film can be expected to be full of music, comedy and love and consists of an entirely fresh cast. The promising actors that have signed on include Nauman Habib, Saeeda Imtiaz, Malik Aqeel, Mahnoor Malik, Maira Bangash and Laila Zuberi in pivotal roles.

The young, fresh-faced cast helps make the backdrop of the story more believable – the story revolves around university students and presents sentiments of young love, comedy and drama with compelling dialogues.

Along with being the director of the film, Adrees is also serving as the co-producer and hopes that his film can be a good addition to the Pakistani film industry. “Thori Setting Thora Pyar will prove to be a breeze of fresh air in the film industry because all the team involved in the project is young with creative mindsets and everyone has given their hundred percent,” he said.

“We are especially focusing on its post-production. Editing, color grading and patch work of the film is under completion and we are trying our best to complete the post-production using modern trends in film making. Our production team has not made any compromise on standard of quality,” added Adrees.

According to him, the film has been shot in more than one location, and the team travelled extensively around the world for it. “The last song of the film will be shot in America during second week of January 2020,” he confirmed. “Beautiful locations at Islamabad, Hunza and other areas of KPK have been used to create an authentic look for the film in terms of framing. We’ve made sure to use modern production techniques and latest equipment,” he elaborated.

Penned by Wahid Siraj, the five songs featured in the film are composed by musician Saji Ali, with Rahat Fateh Ali khan, Amanat Ali, Damia Farooq, and Sana Zulfiqar confirmed to lend their voice to the tunes.

Adrees also cleared that the film does not include unnecessary comedy saying, “Comedy scenes are purely situational and spontaneous.” Nauman Habib, who plays the lead role in the film revealed, “The film’s production team are aiming to release it in March 2020 and before that, official trailer and music will be launched soon across Pakistan.”

Friday, 13 December 2019

Betabiyan will leave you betab for the film to end

It almost feels like you’ve missed something, because Betabiyan starts off with the subtlety of a derailed speeding train one has accidentally jumped on to.

Moments into the film, Hassan’s wife Rida passes away during childbirth, and the films’ cinematographer and editor lose their minds. Framing amateurishly, whizzing round Hassan, the world unexpectedly turns into a throbbing headache.

But then, just as suddenly, the exaggeration cuts off as Hassan’s life finds instant stability when his best buddy from college, Niggy, offers to become the newborn child’s adoptive mother.

Being the child’s over-protective father, Hassan doesn’t realise that Niggy has been in love with him since forever. And so begins the protracted drama of a ‘what if’ scenario — what if Kuch Kuch Hota Hai had its mushy Bollywood sentiments (and budget) taken away, and the hero’s daughter, now in college, falls in love with a douche who thinks he is the hero of the film?

Woe is us having to find streaks of hope in a film that has glib characters, a trite premise and a screenplay that stretches one’s sense of believability

This alternate universe of late ’90s storytelling clich├ęs doesn’t sound too enticing … right?

 In spite of how Betabiyan looks, it is at times chirpy, stress-free entertainment with some fine music. I’m not saying the film is good — far from it — but these are dire times when even ho-hum fodder with some saving grace appears applaudable.

Woe is us, then, for entertaining the idea of being entertained by a film that has glib characters, an impulsively laid-out premise, and a screenplay that stretches one’s sense of believability.

Take Hassan, the clueless father played by Babar Ali, as an example: even though he lives in Karachi and seems to be a man of the world, he apparently had never tasted mix chaat in his life. The very thought of his daughter, Nida (Saima Baloch), eating a plate sets his senses on fire. This, however, is as deep and as emotive as the character gets.

Mostly directed to deliver as flat a performance as possible, the scene above is one of three moments we see Babar Ali trying out a different set of emotional reactions. Then again, it’s not entirely Ali’s fault. The script gives his craft the wiggle room of an overweight man stuck in a jam-packed bus. Baloch’s character — a kind-hearted, clueless, over-privileged brat who flings money at every issue — is just as uninteresting.

When her love-interest, Syed Arez as Zain, makes his entry, one realises that pairs are indeed made in heaven. He is every bit as much an insufferable cardboard cutout as she is. Even their college friends are every bit as unbearable. One of these friends is actor Waqar Godhra (Chain Aye Na, Enaaya), whose almost dialogue-less hamming bit-part should have been cut out of the film. The real star of Betabiyan — and the superglue that holds the film together — is Niggy, played by Hiba Ali. The actress, and her diligence to outshine every actor in her scenes, almost saves the film.

The list of usual suspects unknowingly roadblocking her are producer-director Abdul Majid Khan, writer Wasif Burney, editors Hasan Raza Abidi, M. Muneeb — and, astonishingly, topping everyone — Farhan Hafeez, the cinematographer whose credits include Jami’s Moor. Hafeez’s work alone amounts to a bulk of the problem, from the framing, the lighting, to the low-light noise of the camera that has been, quite apparently, cleaned up during post-production.

The shots are obnoxiously uneven. Split-second inserts suddenly look cinematic, and just as abruptly, look as if they were shot from a cell-phone camera. As if things weren’t dire enough, the late inclusion of the supporting cast (Sangeeta, Javed Sheikh and Saba Pervaiz), who lend an air of lightheartedness in scenes of overwrought drama, coupled with the bloated climax, make the last part of the film appear juvenile.

All is not lost though, because one gets sporadic pockets of relief. The eight songs by composer Ahsan Bari and the professional character play by Hiba Ali, heave and tow Betabiyan through the mediocre, the ill-conceived and the unbearably bad. One is inclined to give Bari and Ali a standing ovation — but then one remembers the last two hours spent in the cinema hall.

Monday, 2 December 2019

Amar Khan is Going to Make Her Big Screen Debut Alongside Imran Ashraf with “Dum Mastam”

Karachi: Actress and writer Amar Khan is all set to rock the big screen for the first time with the feature film “Dum Mastam”, which is also written by the fast-rising star herself.

Starring as the lead protagonist alongside the Ranjha Ranjha Kardi famed Imran Ashraf, the film is a romantic comedy that follows the story of the two love birds, as they experience a roller coaster ride of love, drama, and fun. The film is produced by Adnan Siddiqui under the banner of Cereal Entertainment, and helmed by the talented Ehteshamuddin, who last directed Eid-ul- Azha hit Superstar and has some hit dramas under his belt including Udaari and Sadqay Tumhare.

“I have been working on this script for the past two years so it goes without saying that I am so thrilled to be finally putting it out there. Dum Mastam would be a refreshing new watch for the audience, and I am so excited to be working with all these talented people,” said the excited Amar Khan.

Dum Mastam is all set to release in cinemas across Pakistan in 2020. The film stars some very famous names of our entertainment world including Sohail Ahmed, Saleem Mairaj and Adnan Shah Tipu and the famous vlogger Momin Saqib.

This won’t be the first time Amar Khan would be stepping into the role of the writer, she made her acting debut opposite Ahsan Khan with the critically acclaimed Chashm-e-Noor, helmed and written by the talented actress. The versatile actress and filmmaker made her mark in a short period of time with her choices of unconventional roles and promising story lines. She can currently be seen on screen in “Dil-e-Gumshuda”, that has been garnering rave reviews from the audience.

Sunday, 1 December 2019

Wajood Gets Online Release - Watch Here

Wajood is a 2018 Pakistani revenge thriller film co-written and directed by Jawed Sheikh. It stars Danish Taimoor and Saeeda Imtiaz in leading roles, while also featuring Aditi Singh from India, Nadeem Baig, Shahid, Ali Saleem and Jawed Sheikh himself.

It was produced by Momal Sheikh and Shehzad Sheikh under the banner Jawed Sheikh Films. The film released on Eid ul-Fitr, 16 June 2018, and has been distributed by SagaHits.

Watch Online Here:

Friday, 29 November 2019

Sultanat Released Online After Long Time Watch Here

Sultanat is a 2014 Pakistani action romance film and 30-episode television series created and directed by Syed Faisal Bukhari who had previously directed the top-grossing film Bhai Log and produced by Aslam Bhatti, who also plays the lead role. The film has a multi-star cast including actors from the Indian television industry. It is said to be most expensive film of Paksitani film industry having 22 crore budget.Pakistan's top famous writer Pervaiz Kaleem is writing screenplay and dialogue. Adeel pk is doing editing for this movie and he is handling post production sound designing and visual effects. It will be released as a film and later turned into a television series.

Saturday, 23 November 2019

Ahmed Ali Butt - the new superhero in town!

Nabeel Qureshi and Fizza Ali Meerza have recently announced that the duo will be producing two flicks in the coming year. The first project as we know is ‘Quaid-e-Azam Zindabad’ starring the gorgeous Mahira Khan opposite the dashing Fahad Mustafa.

The other one is a thriller action-comedy titled ‘Fatman’. The main lead of Fatman is none other than and the rightly deserved, everyone’s favorite Ahmed Ali Butt.

Ahmed Ali Butt expressed his excitement over playing the lead in Fatman through an Instagram post that was captioned:

 AlhumdulilAllah it’s official. My next film and my first as a lead with these crazy people Nabeel Qureshi Fizza Ali Meerza Filmwala Pictures FATMAN. Looking forward to making a great film with these great creative filmmakers and hope you’ll all love it as much as I love the script… Inshallah see you next year

In a recent interview, Butt revealed that the film highlights the issue of body shaming, something our society takes lightly. We couldn’t agree more! Body shaming is one topic that we as a society need to put a full stop on.

 In an earlier interview, Fizza shared that the plot revolves around the relationship between a man and his son.

So, we are expecting a light-hearted comedy with a slightly different take on superheroes.

Mawra Hocane And Feroze Khan to star in Yasir Nawaz's Chakkar

Mawra Hocane and Feroze Khan are all set to return to the big screen with a murder mystery titled Chakkar. This one is a Yasir Nawaz production and we can't wait to see the two brewing some magic on the big screen!

Scheduled for a 2020 release, the film is being helmed by Yasir Nawaz, who has the likes of Wrong No, Wrong No.2 and Mehrunissa V Lub U to his credit. According to reports, Chakkar has been in the works for quite a while now but had been put on hold earlier.

The entire cast has not been finalized yet, but it's known that Mawra and Feroze have been roped in as the leads, with Yasir himself making an appearance as the third leading character. Along with directing and acting in the film, Nawaz will also be writing the script and screenplay of Chakkar.

This movie will mark Feroze’s second after his 2016 debut opposite Sajal Aly in Zindagi Kitni Haseen Hai. Mawra Hoccane was last spotted in one of the highest-grossing films in Pakistan, ‘Jawani Phir Nahi Ani 2’. Currently, she is starring in Daasi, opposite Adeel Hussain.

Talking to Express Pk about the casting of Feroze and Mawra, Yasir shared that he feels the two are perfect for the role. “I am always in support of having a different face in every film. I have worked with Sohai Ali Abro, Sana Javed and Neelum Munir, hence I selected Mawra Hocane for this one,” he said.

We sure have high hopes from this duo!

Saturday, 9 November 2019

Ayesha Omar feels she hasn’t landed her best film yet

Popular actor and style icon Ayesha Omar feels that she is yet to be offered her best film yet, even though she feels Pakistani cinema is on the right track.

In an interview with the Voice of America, Omar talked about the films being made in Pakistan currently, as well as about her own projects. When asked about her favourite one, the Karachi se Lahore star laughed and said that the best film has not been made so far, but it won’t be long now.

Omar also broke the silence on her year long hiatus from the screen, saying she took the saying ‘Jawani phir nahi aani’ seriously, and thus, decided to spend some time travelling the world. She also simultaneously wrapped up work on the films she had already signed

One of these was working on, Kaaf Kangana, which opened on October 25 to mixed reviews. Her second film, Rehbara, has been shelved for an indefinite period of time, though work on it has resumed after two years. Omar will be seen opposite Ahsan Khan in Rehbara.

That’s not it, though. There’s a third film in the works as well, reportedly helmed by Kamran Shahid and currently under post-production. It can be expected to hit the screens soon after the post production phase is completed.

Omar revealed that work on two other films will be starting soon. That’s a lot up her sleeve, clearly.

Saturday, 2 November 2019

Exhibitors pin hopes on ‘Talash’ as the film gears up for release

LAHORE: Following the disappointing response to Durj and Kaaf Kangana, cinema owners, distributors and other film stakeholders are now pinning their hopes on Talash. According to the Distribution Club, the upcoming romantic saga is slated to on November 15 in 80 cinemas across Lahore, Islamabad, Karachi, Multan and other cities.

Talash revolves around the social issues that plague the province of Sindh. Its story focuses on the increasing child mortality rates due to malnutrition, written by Muhammad Nadeem Qureshi and directed by Zeeshan Khan. The leading cast includes Sana Bucha, Salim Mairaj, Ahmad Zeb, Faria Hassan, Noman Sami and Adnan Shah Tipu.

Promotions for Talash are well underway, with the cast participating in various campaigns to boost the excitement surrounding it, given that the local audience is probably not anticipating anything praise worthy after two previous disappointments.

Maintaining anonymity, a Distribution Club official told The Express Tribune, “The current situation of cinema is no secret anymore, given the failure of Durj and Kaaf Kangana. There is a huge financial gap which needs to be met. Therefore, it is essential that Talash manages to attract the public.”

The source added that, “The film is a rom-com involving medical students who proceed to address a serious problem. The cast includes both new and experienced actors and is expected to be a quality watch.

” The official trailer and two songs from the film have already been doing the rounds on social media, slowly gaining popularity. The trailer shows various sequences of Sindh and Sindhi households and there appears to be a kidnapping scene which provides the only dialogue of the clip. The remaining shots showcase a wedding sequence, police involvement and a few friends running away together.

Thursday, 24 October 2019

Mahira Khan to star with Fahad Mustafa in 'Quaid-e-Azam Zindabad'

Looks like Fahad Musfafa and Mahira Khan are keeping good on their promise! The actors are finally coming together onscreen for Nabeel Qureshi and Fizza Ali Meerza’s upcoming film, Quaid-e-Azam Zindabad.

The producers took to social media to share the news.

Mahira later confirmed the news on her Twitter handle.

“I have never worked with Fahad Mustafa,” Mahira previosuly told BBC Urdu. “I really wanted to work with him but there just wasn’t any time. I can’t even begin to tell you the amount of projects the two of us have been offered together but the timing has never been right.”

She added, “But there’s mutual respect. I respect him and I like him a lot as an actor. I like that he supports people and it’s really imperative to me that a person should support others and our industry for that matter.” Have something to add to the story?

 Share it in the comments below.

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Why are films like 'Durj' banned, asks Sanam Saeed

Shamoon Abbasi’s upcoming directorial on cannibalism created quite a buzz as soon as the trailer of Durj dropped.

While Abbasi had earlier announced that his film will release overseas before it hits the cinemas in Pakistan, Censor Board has now banned Durj to screen in the country.

The film is based on true events from around the world, depicting cannibalism.

Requesting anonymity, a source told the Express Tribune, “The censor board has banned Durj because of it’s subject. Given that a sensitive topic such as cannibalism, should not be propagated so openly. However, Shamoon Abbasi is trying his level best to make sure the ban is lifted.

” Now, Sanam Saeed has extended support to Durj, inquiring how Hollywood films with violence, dark topics and sexual innuendos can be screened in Pakistan but not an independent film such as Durj.

Taking to Twitter, the Cake star wrote, “Why are films like Durj nanned. If Hollywood films with all their sexual innuendos, violence and dark topics can play in our cinemas, then why can’t our independent and out of the box films like Durj be played?”

Many agreed with Sanam.

 “This is exactly what I thought! Despite all the vulgar and violent content, Pakistanis can watch Hollywood movies but not Pakistani movies. First it was Verna and now this. Is this the reality as a society we don’t want to confront?” a user

“Why they banned Durj, I’m not a fan of violent movies but if anyone is doing something different in Pakistan, suddenly censor board wakes up,” shared another user.

Another user shared how films based on weddings and romance are the only ones to receive clearance from the box office.

Abbasi had earlier surplus concerns regarding the ongoing problems faced by the film. The film was initially cleared by censor boards in both Punjab and Sindh, but was suddenly rejected by the federal censor board, without informing what the actual problem was.

“When I inquired, I received a certificate saying that the ban was because cannibalism is ‘not a part of our culture and tradition,’ so it should not be showcased,” Abbasi had told The Express Tribune.

“As if it’s a part of anybody’s culture or tradition or whether the films actually playing in Pakistani cinemas even depict our culture.

” He continued to clarify that there is nothing objectionable in the film and that the physical act of cannibalism has not been shown at all. “I don’t understand what has caused this revocation, my film does not have any vulgarity, not a single cuss word, not a single act of violence, and even if there is, I am willing to cut out whatever is objectionable if I am informed.” Have something to add to the story? Share it in the comments below.