Sunday, 24 May 2020

Pakistan's cinema industry in dire straits


ISLAMABAD: With some of the most awaited releases of the year being shelved worldwide in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the year 2020 has been absolutely devastating for the international cinema industry. However, for a country like Pakistan which manically slates its biggest releases for Eidul Fitr, hoping to bank on the holiday crowd’s eagerness to splurge on movie tickets, the timing couldn’t have been worse. 
According to a leading film distributor Nadeem Mandviwala, the last two months in lockdown have broken the local cinema industry’s back and left little to be hopeful for.

 “Eid days are usually the most sought after dates for film releases in Pakistan, which is also when the local cinema industry makes most business. However, this year, the global coronavirus pandemic has postponed all releases slated for Eid, be it from Hollywood, Bollywood or Lollywood, which has left the cinema industry in dire straits,” he shared. 

Whereas on the other hand, the pandemic has also put a damper on the spirits of film enthusiasts and cinemagoers and left many feeling apprehensive about the big screen. “I am a huge Marvel fan and had been counting days till the release of the movie Black Widow, until it was postponed to November. 

However, I doubt the virus is going away anytime soon and I am not sure if it will be safe to go to a cinema in the coming months,” expressed Saira, a resident of Rawalpindi. Similarly, Ibrahim, a third-year engineering student from Islamabad believes that the government’s decision to close cinemas during the pandemic was a wise call to make amid current scenario. “I was actually quite looking forward to watching The Legend of Maula Jatt with my siblings this Eid, but even if the cinemas were open and the release wasn’t postponed I would have never gone considering how contagious the virus is. I think we should be responsible citizens and avoid all public gatherings until the government has found a way to deal with the disease

.” However, speaking to The Express Tribune Mandviwala shared that shutting cinemas completely is not the logical answer to the pandemic. According to the distributor, cinemas in the country pay as much as Rs4, 000,000 in rent every month, for which expenses have to be met and movie tickets have to be sold. “Developing a digital computerized cinema costs between Rs20 million to Rs30 million and there is a lot of advanced machinery involved. If cinemas continue to remain shut over a prolonged period, there is a risk that lot of expensive equipment will be damaged due to non-usage. 

Who will cover our losses if something like that happens?” he questioned. “Even if the government allows screening films to a limited audience under its SOPs, the cinemas will still be incurring losses on account of utility payments, electricity charges and employee salaries. This is a huge industry and something better needs to be planned for it if it is to survive the age of coronavirus,” he asserted.

Monday, 18 May 2020

The Legend of Maula Jatt, Tich Button: Eid releases halt due to Covid-19




ISLAMABAD  : Covid-19 has caused immense damage to the film industries across the world putting the global economy at risk with both Bollywood and Hollywood film producers at the verge of losing millions of rupees. 

Similar is the case with Pakistan’s film industry with filmmakers halting film releases and production since the pandemic took over.

 Following the consecutive halt, the release of films slated for Eid-ul-Fitr – including Fawad and Mahira Khan’s Legend of Maula Jatt, Urwa Hocane’s debut production Tich Button, as well as various films in Rawalpindi and Islamabad – have been postponed.

In view of the current situation, the announcement for release of the films will only be made after the situation improves. According to a senior official of the Central Board of Film, the coronavirus has affected the film industry across the globe. 

The screening of local films has been banned. While talking to The Express Tribune, the official revealed that censorship certificates were issued to the films in March. The agency had granted approval for the screening of commercial and non-commercial films. But the federal government closed cinema halls for the safety of the public. 

Thus, films will be screened after the federal government permits cinema houses to re-open in line with the new SOPs.

 Have something to add to the story? Share it in the comments below.

Saturday, 9 May 2020

Rishi Kapoor wanted to watch Pakistani film ‘The Legend of Maula Jutt’




Bollywood legend Rishi Kapoor passed away few days ago, leaving a void in his fans and the Bollywood.

 Rishi Kapoor’s wish to watch the Pakistani film ‘The Legend of Maula Jutt’ which could  not be fulfilled. 

Amara Hikmat, the filmmaker of ‘The Legend of Maula Jutt’, said that Rishi Kapoor was excited to see the film and he also praised its trailer. 

Amara Hikmat, shared a screenshot on her social media account of messages sent by the late actor Rishi Kapoor on Twitter.

Amara Hikmat said that she was deeply saddened to hear of Rishi Kapoor’s demise and that is why she wanted to shared the screenshot with everyone. 

Sharing a screenshot, Amara Hikmat said that Rishi Kapoor often asked about the release of the film The Legend of Maula Jutt and expressed his best wishes. 

She said that when she went to Twitter to watch the conversation with Rishi Kapoor, she was surprised to see that Rishi Kapoor had texted her on Twitter last month. Amara added that due to inactivity on Twitter, she could not see his message and she will always be saddened by not replying to Rishi Kapoor’s messages.

 Note that, the release of the Pakistani film The Legend of Maula Jutt was delayed for many years due to legal issues which was later announced to be released on Eid-ul-Fitr this year. Earlier, Ammara also shared the glimpse of the most awaited Pakistani movie ‘The Legend of Maula Jutt’.

Saturday, 2 May 2020

LUX Style Awards cancelled due to Covid-19 crisis





KARACHI: The annual LUX Style Awards (LSA) will not be taking place this year, according to a press release. The decision comes in wake of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic as a result of which, several high profile festivals and awards shows across the globe have been delayed indefinitely.

 The show’s funds will instead be redirected to Akhuwat Foundation which is built to support affectees of Covid-19 crisis that belong to the entertainment and fashion industry.

“The LUX Style Awards were conceived 19 years ago, to reward and promote Pakistan’s entertainment and fashion industry. Over the years, thousands of people have supported and worked on making it the most coveted award ceremony of Pakistan. Today, in these tough times, we want to support the members of these industries, whose lives and jobs have been affected by the pandemic,” said Asima Haq, the Beauty and Personal Care Director at Unilever Pakistan, said

Amir Paracha, Chairman and CEO of Unilever Pakistan, added “The LUX Style Awards have always stood as one the most esteemed platforms to recognize and celebrate the best in Pakistan’s Entertainment & Fashion Industry. We recognize the impact of this postponement and urge everyone to stay together in strength and spirit.

” Have something to add to the story? Share in the comments below.

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Fahad Mustafa’s deep neck has internet in deeper thoughts









For a couple of days now, a picture of Pakistani star Fahad Mustafa has been making rounds on Twitter.

In the picture, the Jawani Phir Nahi Ani 2 actor can be seen in a show, while conversing with the host. But that’s now what has gotten everyone’s attention. Fahad’s choice of attire in the particular picture has become the talk of the town.

 The Load Wedding star wore a deep neck black sweatshirt, in which a part of his chest is exposed. Multiple Twitter users took to the micro-blogging website to share (or make fun of) the actor, tweeting sarcastic and hilarious comments.

We gather some of them:

1) Is this Islamic Republic of Pakistan

2) ahh i said the same thing to my cousins when i saw him and was planning to tweet the same as well.

3) Guys who wear long neck shirts are so so weird.

4) No one: Ppl in Fahad Mustafa ib:

Have something to add to the story? Share it in the comments below.

Friday, 24 April 2020

Watch: Faisal Qureshi makes a 'Call to Action' against Covid-19








A coronavirus awareness short film has popped up on everyone’s social media, thanks to Faisal Qureshi.

Amid lockdown and prior to the indefinite release of his up and coming political satire, Money Back Gaurantee – the television personality has released a short film titled, Call to Action.

Dedicated to the cause of preventing Covid-19 spread, the 18 celebrities featured in the two and half minute long culmination of clips, make actual calls to action, informing the viewers about the measures they can take against the disease.

 The film takes off with Hamza Ali Abbasi saying he has cancelled all of his plans so he can stay at home with wife, Naimal Khawar. Moving on to Reema who explains how ones own house is the safest place for them to stay in this current time. The string of calls then leads to Humayun Saeed, who goes on to add that even he won’t be going anywhere, not even to London (Term).

Then comes everyone’s favourite, Shehzad Roy, who is seen washing his hands carefully while talking about how important it is to do so. The camera then moves to Maya Ali, who appears with her baking tools again while talking about how she won’t be shaking hands with anyone – regardless of how bad they feel about it. Sheheryar Munawar gives a similar message pertaining to social distancing.


Bilal Maqsood then makes a funny entrance, talking about how a person can forward such a disease without knowing that he’s the carrier. Enter Ayesha Omar, who goes onto target the phenomenon of forwarding Covid-19 related messages without verification.

Zara Noor Abbas also pops up, stresses on the need to remain isolated. Whereas Ali Rehman Khan also makes a call, reiterating how he isn’t allowing anyone to touch him these days.


This is followed by the power couple, Shaniera and Wasim Akram who talk about the importance of covering their faces in this difficult time. Their conversation leads to Faisal Kapadia, stressing upon the need to also remain hydrated. Then comes Iqra Aziz and Yasir Hussain, advising everyone to keep a distance between themselves while talking to each other.

Mikaal Zulfiqar also appears washing dishes, as he goes on to say he has given his house help a holiday, following which his Money Back Gaurantee co-star relays the importance of quarantining if Covid-19 symptoms appear.

The series of messages end with a final one coming from the renowned veteran figure, Anwar Maqsood, who just asks some Mehfooz bhai to take care of himself and keep his surrounding clean.

Have something to add to the story? Share it in the comments below.

Thursday, 23 April 2020

Ali Abbas admits he has a 'huge' crush on Mahira Khan







There’s an addition to the ever-growing list of Mahira Khan’s admirers and it’s none other than actor Ali Abbas.

Ali, son of veteran actor Waseem Abbas, let down his guard in a recent interview and admitted to being intensely infatuated with Mahira Khan for well over 10 years! “I have a huge crush, a huge crush on Mahira Khan and it’s been 10 years.

 I still have a huge crush on her. She is gorgeous, she is amazing,” said the Nazr-e-Bad actor.

That’s not all – he could barely stop gushing over the stunning Mahira. “I think the grace Mahira has, I have never seen in an actor in Pakistan like that,” he added.

Safe to say, Ali is smitten like countless others in Pakistan, and can we really blame him? Mahira is easily one of the most endearing celebs in Pakistan in recent memory and one of the biggest assets of the industry.

Have something to add to the story? Share it in the comments 

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Mehwish Hayat just asked people their 'darkest desire' and the answers are outright bizarre






The current lockdown has Pakistani celebrities becoming more and more creative with social media to entertain their fans. While alot of them are holding QnA sessions where they answer fan questions, Mehwish Hayat has turned the tables.

Instead of letting fans in on her secrets, she asked them about their’s. “Now tell me, what’s your deepest darkest desire ?” she tweeted.

The response was well, not your usual dinner time conersation. Fellow actor Ushna Sha broke the eyes by using the most misplaced Game of Thrones reference.

Coming back to Hayat’s fans. As expected, some of the answers were really thirsty. Thirsty for the Punjab Nahi Jaungee star that is. star that is.ual dinner time conersation. Fellow actor Ushna Sha broke the eyes by using the most misplaced Game of Thrones reference.

1) Washing your hands for 20 secs

2) To be so popular that it becomes your desire to meet me.

3) want you to marry me.

Some had this weird fixation with seeing Hayat with Humayun Saeed on the big screen, as siblings. Weird priorities people have these days.

4) ap or Humayun Saeed ko behan bhai ka role krte dekhna

Have something to add to the story? Share in the comments below.

Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Meera stuck in New York, asks PM Imran Khan for assistance














A brand new video of Meera has been circulating on the internet since Monday which the Baaji star has recorded in a hotel room in New York. Herein, she addresses Prime Minister Imran Khan and asks him to help her return home to Pakistan.

“Mr Prime Minister, it’s 2 am here in New York and I am trapped in this hotel room addressing you right now. I arrived here with Humayun Saeed and other actors for the shooting of a film, but they’ve all left and I’m stuck still here,” claims Meera.

Saeed had returned from the US along with Adnan Siddiqui before the two went into quarantine together. The latter uploaded a video announcing their return on March 19, while letting their fans know about the precautionary measures they took upon their arrival in Pakistan.

However, Meera’s video comes precisely a month after the celebrities’ return and the actor is saying that she has no savings left to sustain herself in New York anymore. She adds, “New York is turning into a graveyard with several people dying each day. Death is inevitable but I don’t want to die in a foreign country.” The Baaji star then pleads to the Prime Minister to help her return to Pakistan. “Mr Prime Minister, you have always supported the artistes of our country and nations around the world are bringing their citizens back home. I am begging you, please make arrangements for me to come back. I want to die in my own country.” This is the second time an artiste has complained about being stuck abroad due to the closing of our airspace. Meera’s video comes six days after the safe return of the cast and crew of Ishrat Made In China from Thailand.

The entire team of 21 people along with the director, Muhib Mirza, had also shared similar videos during their time abroad. Considering their shoot had ended on March 25, sustaining so many people in a hotel for so long had become problematic.

Nevertheless, here’s hoping Meera Jee’s return is also made possible and the celebrity makes her way back home. Have something to add to the story? Share it in the comments below.

Sunday, 19 April 2020

Shamoon Abbasi Reveals Ishrat Cast Tests Negative for COVID-19








Renowned actor, Shamoon Abbasi, took to his social media to share updates about the ongoing issues the cast of Ishrat Made In China faced, after being able to come to Pakistan after a troublesome ordeal of being stranded in Thailand.
The Durj star made it clear how upon arrival in Islamabad after a rather expensive flight, the cast was told that they had to stay at the Ramada Hotel, the group was informed that their stay and dining were included in the heavy sum. However, Shamoon Abbasi attests the mistreatment on behalf of the management as well as being told tests would be conducted after a week of stay. After appearing in live sessions on social media to shed light on and elaborate on the difficult predicament, the Ishrat team were able to get their point across as reportedly the hotel management situation was cleared out and precautionary measures were exercised with precision and hygiene, not just for the group but for all the passengers staying at the hotel.

"All necessary measures are being taken now. I am glad they are following protocol."
As of 19th April, it has been announced on Shamoon Abbasi's social media platform that all 42 of the passengers present at Ramada Hotel have fortunately tested negative for coronavirus and are in good health, including actors Sara Loren, Sanam Saeed and Mohib Mirza; as the hotel staff have been accommodating after prior misunderstandings.

Saturday, 18 April 2020

Mahira Khan is in love, can you guess the guy?
















Mahira Khan, Pakistan’s arguably biggest superstar, has confessed that she is in love!

The Verna actor was the latest guest in Samina Peerzada’s web show, Rewind with Samina Peerzada, and revealed that she is a committed woman.

When asked by the veteran actor whether Mahira was in love with someone special, the Raees star smiled sheepishly and nodded her head. “

Yeah, I think I am in love,” Mahira smiled. When Samina went on to congratulate her, the Sadqay Tumhare actor added, “I don’t know, I am so shy about it.”

Samina then inquired if she would know the person Mahira has fallen for, to which the former VJ asserted, “You might but he’s not from the industry.”

Samina then asked Mahira if she would want to name the person, she shared that she wouldn’t. “This is one thing I would want to protect with my life. I want to protect my child,” the Bol actor said, adding, “At first, I wanted to show everyone what an adorable baby Azlan is, but now I’ve become more cautious. If you notice, you really wouldn’t see Azlan’s face full front, it’d either be a side pose or a back pose.

” Samina ensured her that she had all the right in the world to do that.

“I know we shouldn’t be so superstitious and I wasn’t someone who you would call a vehmi, but now I’m just like I don’t want any Nazar (evil eye),” Mahira shared. Have something to add to the story? Share it in the comments below.

Friday, 17 April 2020

Mehwish Hayat calls out India for using COVID-19 to fuel Islamophobia









Mehwish Hayat is known for speaking her mind whenever she comes across an injustice, be it anywhere in the world. In a recent tweet the Punjab Nahi Jaungi star called out the latest wave of xenophobia in India against Muslims, stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.

The actor shared an article about coronavirus conspiracy theories arising in India that target Muslims. Alongside the article, she talked about how the world is uniting in its fight against the pandemic, while in India it is being used to fuel bigotry.

“Just came across this article. When the world is uniting to fight against a common enemy, our neighbours are using this pandemic as a way of spewing further hatred and dividing ppl. Why do they discriminate when the virus doesn’t? This is Shameful!” Mehwish said in the tweet.

Her fans expressed their support for her

Absolutely right — Shahbaz Gohar (@ShahbazGohar14) April 14, 2020 Mehwish has been really vocal about people keeping their humanity intact amid the coronavirus crisis. 

The Load Wedding star recently uploaded a video on social media urging people to donate to the Prime Minister Imran Khan’s COVID19 relief fund. The actor said that the country is facing a big challenge and “how we behave right now, will decide our fate for generations to come.” She started off by emphasising that even the most efficient healthcare systems of the world have submitted in front of the prevailing pandemic.

“What chances do we have then? In a place like Karachi where 20 million people reside, the intensive care wards have only 600 beds. Pakistan’s population is 220 million and the number of ventilators across the country? 1700. Last week there were only 15000 masks for doctors and nurses,” she added.

Have something to add to the story? Share in the comments below.

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Shamoon Abbasi and Sara Loren Announce Their Return to Pakistan









Sara Loren and Shamoon Abbasi were filming Ishrat Made in China when the quarantine and travel ban ensued. The cast was stranded abroad as no flights would be coming back.

With the help of the Pakistani Government, Shamoon Abbasi updated his twitter with good news, thanking the Prime Minister Imran Khan, and officials, "Would like to thank the Pakistani ambassador, Mr. Ifthikar, Colonel Humayun, Atiqa Odho and Mr. Rashid Khwaja, that made our evacuation possible," the Ishrat team will be departing from Bangkok Airport at 3 pm on Tuesday, 14th April via a special flight organised by the government of Pakistan.

Similarly, Sara Loren issued a statement showing gratitude to Pakistani Authorities as well for making their trip home possible. The cast of Ishrat Made in China is inclusive of Shamoon Abbasi, Sara Loren, Imam Said, Mohib Mirza and Sanam Saeed, they had been stuck in Bangkok after the rapid impending threat of COVID-19 and appealed to the government, who in turn organised their safe return. We hope to see them back in Pakistan in good health, and all the necessary precautionary measures taken upon arrival.

Saturday, 11 April 2020

Donkey King is back to sing about combating coronavirus












The Donkey King has made his comeback and it's to fight Covid-19.

 Mangu - the popular character from the animated movie - is joined by friends to sing track 'Darna Nahi, Larna Hai' which is the latest coronavirus anthem to come out of Pakistan.

This might just be the first original track made for the virus in Urdu - the rest being covers such as DC Hafizabad's rendition of 'Suno Na' - with Shuja Haider and Asrar leading the composition and vocals. The lyrics have been written by Donkey King director Aziz Jindani.

Donkey King is Pakistan's most successful animated movie to date, being released internationally in countless countries including Turkey and Spain. It's good to see the team return for an important cause.