Thursday, 17 September 2020

Quaid-e-Azam Zindabad gets set to be the first Pakistani release in Covid times. But who will save cinemas in 2022?

People are going to restaurants and malls. Why wouldn’t they go to the movies?” asks director Nabeel Qureshi.

His movie Quaid-e-Azam Zindabad, starring Fahad Mustafa and Mahira Khan, is ready for release and Nabeel and Fizza Ali Meerza, his producer at Filmwala Pictures, are considering a December 2020 release date.

It’s a declaration that has Pakistan’s film fraternity raising skeptical eyebrows – cinemas are mostly still closed due to the coronavirus although a small smattering has started opening up.

Most major cinemas are only willing to resume business once they have enough content to air on their screens so that they can make up for their running costs.

This may happen by November this year when Agent 007 is expected to stalk into our lives and begin saving the Pakistani film industry. But even so, there is a chance that the fear of getting infected by the virus may dissuade audiences from buying tickets in droves.

There is also the niggling concern that once cinemas do open, the number of available screens may have dwindled.

Some cinemas may have closed down, unable to recover from the losses endured all through last year – a year when money-minting Bollywood movies got banned and the local industry released a spate of flops – with a final unequivocal blow delivered by the coronavirus lockdown.

The paltry 75 screens that Pakistani cinema had so far built up may have receded to much less. Less screens means less profits.

Knowing this, even though a number of Pakistani movies wrapped up production some time ago and are all set for release, most local filmmakers are opting to wait until a time comes when visiting an enclosed cinema is no longer a health hazard. This could take several months.

We may be looking at summer next year when, inevitably, movie releases may habitually cluster around an Eid date. But Nabeel and Fizza have weighed the pros and cons and are not inclined towards waiting for so long.

“We released our first movie, Na Maloom Afraad, to limited screens back in 2014. We’ll just do it again,” says Fizza. “And yes, there may be less cinemas but that will be the case even next year. Why wait? I do think that people will come and see the movie. We are all social animals and we naturally gravitate towards going out, meeting people and doing things together.

There have been so many times when people have predicted that cinema will die: when TV channels launched, VCR’s became popular, Netflix took over and now, during the coronavirus crisis. But the love for going to see the movies has never died.”

If events go as planned – and the world doesn’t come to another halt by another spike of Covid-19 – then Quaid-e-Azam Zindabad will be the first Pakistani movie to venture into cinemas in many, many months.

It will probably be joined by major Hollywood releases, James Bond being one of them and Wonder Woman 1984, delayed by three months, and now eyeing Christmas 2020.

But as far as local releases go, QuaideAzam Zindabad will be the first to take the lead; a flag bearer indicating that other production houses also need to take a risk.

“We may have fewer screens now but if local content doesn’t release because of this, there will be even less screens by next year. We can’t let that happen,” says Fizza.

2021 could turn out to be fabulous for Pakistani cinema

Other producers are not willing to forsake the chance to earn greater profits just to save cinemas. Jerjees Seja, CEO of ARY Digital, says that he’s going to ‘wait and see’ before he releases ARY Films’ latest production, Tich Button, a movie that is complete and would have originally released on Eid this year.

Ammara Hikmat, producer of the long delayed The Legend of Maula Jutt, only wants to release at a time when the movie can be seen by a maximum audience, thereby making up for the heavy costs incurred in its making. A large chunk of Wajahat Rauf’s Parde Mein Rehne Do, starring Ali Rehman Khan and Hania Aamir, had already been shot when the coronavirus lockdown weighed in.

Now, Wajahat has opted to work on a TV drama before resuming the movie’s shoot in December this year so that it can be primed for a summer 2021 release.

Adnan Siddiqui, whose cinematic production debut, Dam Mastam is complete, says that he has poured his ‘heart, soul and dime’ into the venture and will only release it at a time when cinemas are operating normally again.

This may mean that, the coronavirus notwithstanding, 2021 will be a great year for the release of local movies. “Next year may turn out to be so great that cinemas’ losses over the past few years may get covered,” predicts Wajahat Rauf hopefully.

But amidst this talk of a thriving cinema in a post-Covid 2021 and of saving screens so that cinema does not die, the elephant in the room does not get addressed: What’s going to happen in 2022?

2022 may be the toughest year for Pakistani cinema

Nadeem Mandviwalla, producer and owner of Atrium Cinemas, may be expecting thriving ticket sales in 2021 but he’s also dreading the inevitable dearth of local content come 2022.

“Pakistani producers are all going to release their movies next year which means that very few movies will go under production for 2022. Even if four to five movies do get completed, they won’t be enough to keep local cinemas going.”

He continues, “even before the coronavirus, cinemas were suffering huge losses. In my own experience, this is the Atrium Cinemas’ 10th year and our revenue never slid down to negative numbers until last year.

Bollywood movies got banned and our ticket sales immediately went down. The coronavirus has only made things worse. We are counting on 2021 to bring back revenue but cinema-owners and private producers have suffered a lot. We need incentives in order to continue investing into the local film industry.”

There was a time when these incentives for profits were ably supplied by Bollywood. Adnan Khan, the Head of Marketing and Sales at Cinepax, feels that this is no longer possible.

“Indian movies won’t be screening in Pakistan as long as the Kashmir issue remains unresolved. Also, the Indian government has banned the airing of their content in our country. Bollywood is not an option anymore.”

What other incentives could there be? “The government could invest into local productions,” suggests Nadeem Mandviwalla.

“That’s the only way that cinemas will continue to run. If 30 to 40 movies are annually financed by the government, there will be enough local content to keep bringing in revenue. Also, with enough screens available to ensure maximum viewership, private producers will feel encouraged and will make more movies. From 2001 to 2006, 250 cinemas closed down in the Punjab and the Pakistani film industry fell into ruins. We can’t let that happen again.”

Does he think that the government may take an interest in the plight of cinema owners and filmmakers?

“The government has so many priorities but we need to bring our concerns to its attention. We need to make sure that we get prioritised. And we need to do it now.”

Remaining oblivious to the potential crisis in 2022 could be disastrous for the local film industry.

“If the Pakistani film industry only realises the crisis before by late next year, it will be already too late. We need to cry out ‘May Day!’ right now so that by next year, 20 to 30 movies go on the floor and more new content keeps getting created,” says Mandviwalla.

How else could cinema be revived after 2021’s heavy influx of movies wanes away? Actor and producer Shaan Shahid, whose high-budget action thriller Zarrar is also slotted for a release next year, points out that ticket prices need to be reduced in order to bring in more crowds.

“Theatres in Lahore are running to full houses right now,” he points out. “But cinema has now eliminated the masses by becoming a medium for the elite. Punjabi cinema kept the industry going for 50 years before its demise. People may have criticised our movies but they brought in the crowds and revenue.

The new breed of Pakistani filmmakers talk about reaping crores of profits when they are selling tickets at Rs 700 or more. Back in the late ‘90’s, Syed Noor’s film Chooriyan hauled in huge earnings despite tickets costing Rs 150 apiece.”

Thinking beyond Eid

Coming back to Nabeel Qureshi and Fizza Ali Meerza, the filmmakers feel that there is hope yet. “If we release Quaid-e-Azam Zindabad this year, then we will definitely make two more movies next year,” plans out Fizza. “And we intend to support other independent filmmakers with their projects. There will be new content coming out. Things may be bad and profits may be low for a while but we’re willing to risk that.”

Nabeel muses, “If we just had business in mind, we would have probably wanted to time our release for next year as well. But we’re very passionate about what we do. We have so many more stories to tell.”

At a point when it is yet to gain strength and is crippled with yearly losses, it is passion – and only passion – that can save Pakistani cinema. Incidentally, prior to this, Filmwala Pictures had always opted to release their movies on Eid-ul-Adha. It has taken the coronavirus, and their love for making movies, to convince them to target a new, non-festive date.

Other filmmakers need to follow suit: bear with lower profits so that they can save the industry and gain greater profits in the long term. They also need to start thinking beyond Eid release dates. Pakistani cinema is barely surviving right now and next year, movie releases need to be spaced out equally. An Eid gridlock is the last thing it needs.

Friday, 4 September 2020

Celebrities Speak Up Against the Monsoon Aftermath in Karachi

Celebrities are using their platforms to raise their voices and speak up about the tragic flooding situation in Karachi.

Among the celebrities speaking out about the lack of initiative being taken to rectify the damage caused by the devastating monsoon spells, which have left the metropolis in a dire state, resulting in tragic urban flooding and infrastructure being reduced to gravel

Using her twitter platform, Mehwish has taken to express her disdain with the authorities, who seem to have no say in the terrible predicament of the city, as thousands suffer, finding themselves homeless while their homes and livelyhoods perish under thunderous clouds. Mehwish voiced her opinion, stating how frustrated she was regarding the circumstances.

 'My anger knows no bounds. How can a modern city like Karachi not have the infrastructure to cope with rain in today’s age? Our suffering over the past few days proves that those responsible need to be held accountable!'

Others who are expressing themselves on social media and grieving the strenous situation are Mashal Khan, whose house was flooded in the rains and Ahsan Khan. The Bandhay Ek Dour Se star took to social media to air his disappointment with the authorities over the devastating impact of the rains in Sindh. As Karachi perished, there was no electricity for days, no clean water, flooded infrastructure and dangerous wires with the threat of electrocution. Draining teams and pumps weren't enough to salvage the situation as people in various areas of Karachi such as Bukhari in Defence Housing Authority, Naya Nazimabad, North Nazimabad, Gulzar-e-Hijri, Gulshan and Clifton Underpass were notably more flooded, for longer periods of time without running water or electricity for over 60 hours. Celebrities aren't standing for it, as protests held by residents of CBC and DHA at the Cantonment Board are not subsiding, and the citizens of Karachi are rightfully enraged.

Ayesha Omar is another public figure who has spoken out against the lack of accountability for the problematic monsoon consequences. Not only have celebrities used their influential platforms to call for the authorities to take responsibility and bring about change, but they have made it evident that looking at Karachi currently, we find our hearts breaking as we grieve. With sewage waste, collapsed homes, dangerous circuits and broken roads, the monsoon system does not seem to yet be over, according to the Privincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), who have issued a forecast for this coming week.

We can only hope for action to be taken in order to avoid a disastrous outcome in the future, with prominent figures in the industry calling for the justice Karachiites are awaiting.

Saturday, 25 July 2020

Donkey King gets Amazon Prime release in English

The Donkey King made its name not only as Pakistan's highest grossing animated film but as one of the top grossing Pakistani films ever. 

The 2018 film has also been released in numerous countries such as Spain, Korea, Turkey, Russia, Ukraine and so many more - being dubbed in various languages and being a success everywhere. Now it's heading to USA and UK, gearing up for a release on Amazon Prime.

 According to director Aziz Jindani, "The Donkey King's continued global acceptance underscores that when content is built on universal truths and insight,s it can transcend geographies and language."

 "The film has been dubbed in more than 10 languages now and when I watched English version, it was so good, I forgot that the original language was Urdu.

" We can tell that the digital platform release did have to do with the current pandemic, which is rather sad as we're sure the film deserves a theatrical release in USA and UK as it had with other countries. However, we're sure the film will get the appreciation it has been getting.

Saturday, 11 July 2020

Won't do item numbers now that I'm married: Sadaf Kanwal

It's been a little over a month since Shahroz Sabzwari and Sadaf Kanwal had their nikkah. And anyone who is on social media knows that the announcement met with much trolling online. The newlyweds, however, seemed to have taken all the hate - and the love - head on and declared that their own happiness comes before everything else

‘Na Ghar Ka Na Ghaat Ka’ 

Even before Kanwal and Sabzwari tied the knot, there was a lot of hoo-ha surrounding their alleged link-up, which consequently resulted in the latter’s divorce from fellow actor Syra Yousuf. But the couple is now moving on and even working together for the first time in a comic telefilm titled Na Ghar Ka Na Ghaat Ka, to be aired on Eidul Adha.

In a recent interview with The Independent Urdu, Kanwal and Sabzwari candidly talked about the newly-wed life and their upcoming project. Speaking about the telefilm, Sabzwari claimed he was offered various dramas post-marriage but Kanwal wanted to play a comic role when the script was presented to them.

"I had wanted to do something different and this was a very different work," said the model. "Eid is a festive occasion. People look for humour, especially in the prevalent situation. Let's wait for how we look together on the TV screen," Sabzwari added.

"I could imagine Sadaf after reading the role of Sitara in the telefilm script. Later, both of us went to my father, Behroz Sabzwari, and sought his advice," he shared. "At first, I was reluctant when Papa asked me to perform the role in front of him but later, I mustered up the courage, on which Papa complimented me, and motivated me to do the film. That why I agreed to do the role," Kanwal added. 

Sabzwari further revealed that Javed Sheikh has played the role of Kanwal’s father in the upcoming show. He also happens to be the Chain Aye Na star’s uncle in real life. "We both have played the role of a married couple in the telefilm," he further shared. "I work in the shops owned by Javed Sheikh, which I want to take over. Watch the telefilm on Eidul Adha to see how I grab them."

 The item number debate 

Back in 2018, Kanwal performed an item number called Kaif o Sarwar in Na Maloom Afraad 2. According to the starlet, she never discussed the topic with her husband as item numbers are also a form of art, something she loves and accepts wholeheartedly.

"I completely own it and I really like it," she said. Sabzwari, on the other hand, thinks that item numbers should only be a part of the film if it's necessary, not meant to sell it. But of course, Kaif o Suroor is his absolute favourite! Unluckily for him, Kanwal said the song from the Nabeel Qureshi directorial was her first and last item song. "I have a big family and thus I want to be vigilant," she shared.

Under pressure 
The couple had tied the knot amid the lockdown, in a very private affair. Kanwal had always wanted a small wedding with limited gathering. Meanwhile, Sabzwari asked for people’s prayers. "We tied the knot in a minimal setting, as have other several renowned personalities, with a presence of 70 to 80 people only. It had nothing to do with the lockdown," he shared. Talking about the trolling, he stated, "We never really cared."

Kanwal echoed her husband’s sentiments saying, "We laugh at all the enmity; it had no impact on us. Do you think, now that you are looking at me, that I have been affected? I have a loving husband so these things do not affect me. I really don't care about the backlash that we received on our wedding since such incidents have also happened in the past." 

In conclusion, the couple appealed to the public to take care amid the covid-19 pandemic. "Stay happy and make people happy. Life is too short for hate."

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Monday, 6 July 2020

Doppelganger alert: Mahira Khan lookalike spotted on Insta

We’ve all heard the age-old anecdote that there are seven people around the world that share the same face, but the chances of running into one are next to none. However, it seems like our celebs are in for some surprises as many of their lookalikes are popping up on social media! A few weeks back, an Iqra Aziz lookalike was spotted all the way in Lebanon. And now Mahira Khan has one, albeit much closer – the girl is here in Pakistan!

Kurasah Anwer, a lifestyle blogger on Instagram, has an uncanny resemblance to the Superstar actor and isn’t afraid of flaunting it! While she doesn’t go out of her way to mimic Mahira just by virtue of her looks, she has an understated glam to her - just like Mahira.

From the perfect pout to the shy, yet piercing glare, Kurasah’s features are much like Mahira’s but she has her own charm too. It is refreshing because it’s obvious that she isn’t trying hard to look like Mahira… she just does naturally!

Here’s the eeriest part – you don’t even need side by side comparisons every time to spot the resemblance between the two. From what we gather, if Kurasah were to catch our eye out of the blue, we might just stop and ask for a picture thinking its Mahira… and that’s saying something!

Many of her 15.9k followers on Instagram have already spotted the similarities between the two and many of her pictures routinely seem to garner comments ranging from, “OMG you look like Mahira Khan... For a second I got confused!” and “I thought she is Mahira Khan!” 

Are you seeing what we and 15,000 other people are seeing? We hope so! 

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Thursday, 2 July 2020

Ahmed Ali Butt slams male actors posing as female, calls it disgusting

Pakistani actor and rapper Ahmed Ali Butt recently took to Instagram to share his two cents on the kind of content being shown on media these days. Butt, who played a double character in the hit film Jawani Phir Nahi Ani 2 - including that of a woman named Maina – shared how he feels disturbed by the same. “Why is, all of a sudden, everyone making male actors look like women and vice versa?” he questioned in an Instagram story on Monday. “It’s disturbing… Stop!” he added.

While many people seemed to agree with his post, some also took to bashing him for said opinion, owing to his work that may fall in the same category. One user on a popular social media platform commented how the post was “much needed” while another wrote, “Just because on one has given him attention, it’s disgusting,” referring to Maina. Earlier, when the film Jawani Phir Nahi Ani 2 released, Butt’s portrayal of Maina was lauded extensively by viewers. Talking to a local publication, Butt had even said that when the writer Vasay Chaudhry had informed him of the role, he was ‘absolutely up for it’ and had always wanted to do such work.

Butt will next be seen in his first lead role in Nabeel Qureshi and Fizza Ali Meerza’s Fatman. The film will present family relations and emotions and the problems faced by an obese man in his life. “This film could change the perspective of people towards superheroes,” he has said. 
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Friday, 19 June 2020

Sonya Hussyn replaces Faryal Mehmood in movie about lockdown

Gohar Rasheed and Faryal Mehmood were ready to star in a movie about lockdown.

However, director Abu Aleha has revealed to Images that there has been a change regarding the female protagonist.

The filmmaker revealed that "through mutual understanding, Faryal has left the project."

"We had locked Faryal for the role and even had her sign the contract," said Aleha. "But [as time went by and this script kept developing] at the eleventh hour, this character became so difficult that there was a need for workshops and due to her personal issues like marriage and health, she couldn't give us time required for this role."

"We have commitments ahead to OTT platforms that require us to have these shoots done in specific time and way, so we couldn't postpone."

Faryal also shared with Images that "I backed out because I was under the weather... The shoot is really intense and dates were not flexible."

According to Abu Aleha, "We now have Sonya Hussyn and it's officially confirmed."

So now Lockdown stars Gohar Rasheed and Hussyn. Gohar had previously shared that the film shows "how a simple couple gets affected by the horror of Covid-19 and the repercussions of lockdown."

There is no release date of the film as of yet but the intent is to release it on streaming sites such as Netflix or Amazon.

Saturday, 13 June 2020

Mahira Khan opens up about the 'Saleem' in her life

Pakistani superstar Mahira Khan recently appeared in a very candid Live session with celebrity designer HSY. Opening up on a lot of things, she confessed that she has finally found that special someone in her life, other than her son Azlan.

HSY initiated the topic as he confirmed that Mahira is indeed in a relationship, while also revealing the name of the lucky guy as Saleem, albeit through a slight slip-of-tongue. “You are in love now, his name is Saleem,” the couturier said, as Mahira got a bit annoyed at the mention of her beau.

After resisting for some time, she finally let her guard down. HSY asked her, “When you look deep into his eyes, what is the first thing that comes to your mind?”Mahira answered by referencing a line from her super hit show Humsafar. “There’s a line in Humsafar, which I thought was beautiful, where Ashar says to Khirad, ‘Pata nahi tum mujhe kis naiki kay badlay main milli ho (I don’t know what I did to deserve you]. I think the same about Salim. I think the same about him.” she said.

The Superstar actor added that she feels blessed and thankful. “I don’t know what have I done in my life… must have done something good because of which Allah blessed me with…” the actor began before HSY chimed in, “Because of which Allah blessed you with Salim.”

Moving on, Mahira talked about how she may have been rewarded earlier as well with the birth of her son Azlan. “I feel like this for my child too. My child is someone I feel super grateful for. He is the centre of my world, everything revolves around him. But I feel the same way about him, the people I love; that there is something that I must have done right.”

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Gohar Rasheed and Faryal Mehmood are working on a film about lockdown

With the coronavirus being a global pandemic, it was inevitable that the entertainment industry - already affected by it all - would have it as a plot for future productions.

 Pakistan's entertainment industry is working on such a project as well, with Gohar Rasheed and Faryal Mehmood pairing up for a film based on Covid-19.

 Speaking to Images, Gohar revealed, "It's a love story with the backdrop of lockdown and the horrors of Covid-19. The whole world is experiencing it right now.
" According to Rasheed, the movie - titled Lockdown - shows "how a common man get affected by [the coronavirus], how a simple couple gets affected by the horror of Covid-19 and the repercussions of lockdown.

" Faryal added, "I can't talk much about the story, but the name kinda gives it away! It's about a couple suffering through these times and how they overcome their struggles to be with each other in the end. A hope for all of us to ignite in ourselves and others!

" She also shared the film is "being made for Netflix or Amazon." 

The script has been penned by Abida Ahmed, with Abu Aleeha directing the project. Asad Malik will be the director of photography and Mont Blanc will produce 

Gohar adds, "The story is very unique, it's very relatable. The way it's been written, the kind of treatment they're doing... it's never been done before. Abu Aleeha has done a fantastic job on it.

" "It's very real. The concept is very original. It hasn't been attempted before especially in Pakistan. I was completely sold on Abu Aleeha's vision for this film. We're trying our best. I really hope with this project we enter the OTT [streaming service] market.

" There is no release date for Lockdown as of yet since the shoot is still ongoing. We just hope the cast and crew is doing their best to practice social distancing while working!

No, Mehwish Hayat does not have Coronavirus

Pakistani superstar, Mehwish Hayat, has rubbished the rumours of being Covid-19 positive. 

The Load Wedding star, on Thursday, took to Twitter and slammed a tabloid for sharing that she has been tested positive for coronavirus.

 “Not true,” she said, adding, “I just wish that our media would be more responsible and check their facts before posting such stories.”

She went on to add, “Call me and check instead of posting anything you feel like for the sake of “followers” and “likes”. This has caused a great deal of distress to family and friends.

” Earlier, few members of the entertainment industry have tested positive of Covid-19, including Nida Yasir, Yasir Hussain, Alizeh Shah, Rubina shraf, Sakina Samo, Naveed Raza. 

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Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Mehwish Hayat calls out littering in Islamabad

Mehwish Hayat is known for using her Twitter handle as more than just a personal diary and now, the diva is using it to call out the littering around the country’s capital, Islamabad – an important tourist spot. 

Mehwish took to Twitter late last night, retweeting a video that clearly showed the dismal state up towards the Margalla Hills. “I love going up to the Margalla Hills whenever I can. It always disappoints me to see all this litter and filth,” she said.

She went on to add, “I somehow expected more from the Islamabad crowd to keep these places of natural beauty clean. Is this the image we want to be showing to the tourists who visit?”

Many people went on to agree with Mehwish, replying to her tweet with their own thoughts. “Margalla Hills is home to more than a 1000 wild species including migratory birds. This reason only, should be more than enough for us take care of it,” wrote one user.

“When you raise your voice for something the administration always takes notice so it’s good to see you raising your voice for Margalla Hills,” wrote another.

Here’s hoping that relevant authorities take notice of the issue and clean up the picturesque sights in the capital. 

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Monday, 8 June 2020

Fahad Mustafa, Mahira Khan starrer 'Quaid e Azam Zindabad' unveils first look

Mahira Khan and Fahad Mustafa’s upcoming film Quaid e Azam Zindabad is one step closer to its release. Actors Mahira Khan and Fahad Mustafa both of whom play lead characters in the film, took to social media to unveil the first look of the film. 

Mahira shared a poster of the upcoming film that shows a bundle of thousand rupee notes with Quaid e Azam’s face being prominent. Along side the poster Mahira wrote a caption that read, ” Kabhi yeh socha hai, note per Quaid-e-azam Ki tasveer kyun hai ? ( Have you ever wondered why is there a photo of Quaid e Azam on the bill).”

Fahad also posted the poster with the same caption on his Instagram.

The film which is directed by Nabeel Qureshi and co-written by him and Fiza Ali Meerza is the first time, Fahad and Mahir would star opposite each other on the silver screen. 

“I have never worked with Fahad Mustafa,” Mahira previously 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.” 

It is not yet known how the film’s release will be handled in wake of the ongoing pandemic. 

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Sunday, 7 June 2020

The Donkey King on Geo TV is the most watched Television Premiere in the history of Pakistan!

Karachi: The Donkey King has broken all viewership records during its Television premiere. With cinemas closed this Eid, Geo Entertainment brought cinema experience to home by premiering the film on Sunday May 24, 2020 at 1900hrs. 

According to the TV rating data collected by Kantar Media Pakistan, The Donkey King recorded highest ever rating (GRPs) among cable & satellite audience of all ages & genders. The Donkey King dethroned Teefa in Trouble as highest rated TV premiere in history. The film got a whopping 36.8 million impressions. 

Commenting on the success of The Donkey King TV premiere, Asad Qureshi, COO, Geo Entertainment said, “Geo laid the foundation for the revival of Pakistani cinema by producing Khude ke liye in the past and now it continues to be the favorite platform for the biggest and best of Pakistani blockbusters. The Donkey King on Geo Entertainment proved to be the most successful TV premiere ever, and we would like to thank our audience for the overwhelming response and appreciation

.” Aziz Jindani, the creator of the film, too commented on the success of TV premiere and said, “We always promised that ‘The Donkey King’ is a film for all ages and the record viewership number of its premiere reaffirms that fact. In particular, it is most gratifying to note that during the film’s premiere, almost every second child in Pakistan who was watching TV at that time was glued to Geo Entertainment, which is not a kids’ channel per 

se. This presents a compelling case for producing more animated content for TV in future. Stay tuned!” With the maximum number of high profile film titles being premiered on Geo Entertainment, we can safely say that Geo Entertainment is the go-to channel for Blockbuster Premieres in Pakistan.

 The Donkey King is an animated comedy film that was released in Pakistan in October 2018 and has been produced by Geo Films and Talisman Studios. The film features the voices of Jan Rambo, Ismail Tara, Hina Dilpazeer, Ghulam Mohiuddin, and Jawed Sheikh.

Thursday, 4 June 2020

First look for Muhib Mirza's 'Ishrat Made In China' is out

It seems that Muhib Mirza’s long-awaited Ishrat Made in China is inching closer to release as the team shared the film’s promotional ‘first look’ on its Instagram account on Tuesday.

The film, that is largely a spin-off of Mirza’s 2006 satirical TV series Ishrat Baji, stars Muhib himself alongside Sanam Saeed, Sara Loren, Ali Kazmi, Shamoon Abbasi, Nayyar Ejaz, Shabbir Jan, Imam Syed, Salman Saqib (Mani) and Mustafa Chaudhry. It will also mark the acting debut of acclaimed designer Hassan Sheheryar Yasin (HSY).

Ishrat Made in China was announced in January 2019 but later stalled and is now gearing up for release soon.

The hit 2006 cult-classic television show Ishrat Baji is returning soon as a feature film. We can’t wait to see the much loved Ishrat Baji, a character made famous by Muhib Mirza, on the big screen soon,” read the caption on Muhib’s look for the comedy.

The team also introduced Cake actor Sanam Saeed’s look. “To all those who were looking forward to seeing the marvellous acting of Sanam Saeed on-screen, buckle up! The most bankable actor will be earning the appreciation and praise on screen with her commendable acting in Ishrat Made in China.”

Earlier in April, the cast and crew of the film called for help as they found themselves stuck in Thailand due to the global lockdown. The shoot for Ishrat Made in China had kicked off in there before the situation took a serious turn. As a result, half the cast of the film was stuck in Thailand with no way of returning home.

Back then, Abbasi had told The Express Tribunethat the team was waiting patiently for Pakistan to open its air space. “PIA revealed the list of countries’ flights that will be allowed and Thailand wasn’t one of them,” he said. “Not to mention, Thailand is also expected to close its air space soon. And if that happens before PIA resumes its flights, then we are doomed.”

But now, they are all back in Pakistan.

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