Sunday 21 April 2024

I could've never imagined playing Umro Ayyar in a million years: Usman Mukhtar

KARACHI: Usman Mukhtar is on a roll. The actor, who has amassed a dedicated following after his many fan-favourite stints, is all set to star in the promising spectacle that is Umro Ayyar - A New Beginning. However, Usman has more than one trick up his sleeve, given that he will soon be seen helming and starring in more than just the mega silver screen offering, which, in itself is a milestone.

"I love directing, and I often take some time off to work on short films," the actor told The Express Tribune, when asked about his upcoming projects. "All I can tell you about this [upcoming] short is that it’s a beautiful script titled Toffee." The actor had previously teased fans with Jaffa, an upcoming drama series, on which he briefly shed light in an Instagram Q&A session. Adding on to the same, he revealed, "Jaffa will be out soon and all I can tell you about the drama is that it’s been written by Samira Fazal and directed by Danish Nawaz. I play an oncologist in it."

As Usman traverses forward, he does not hesitate to address the work that's been left behind as a contribution to his surmounting legacy. Addressing the never-ending line of questioning regarding his previous fan-favourite project, Usman shared, "The number of times I've been asked when Izza and Altamash are coming back since Anaa ended is overwhelming."

However, he was quick to admit that he had little to do with the project's return. "As an actor, giving fans what they want is not in my hands. There are so many factors that come into play. Is the writer willing to write season two? Will [the production house] produce it? Will all the actors return? So I direct this question to the production house," he quipped.

Without a shadow of a doubt, one can assert that Usman seems to be wholeheartedly fixated on his excitement for Umro Ayyar. Talking about the impact of such ambitious projects on the landscape of Pakistani cinema, Usman expressed, "I believe it will have a significant impact on the mindset of producers, giving courage to independent producers to create unique content and think outside the box. I hope directors and producers start to experiment more with the sci-fi and fantasy genres."

Providing context for his exhilaration, Usman dove into his love for such narratives. "People who know me, know that I’ve grown up reading comic books, going to comic cons, attending panels, and geeking out," he highlighted. "I remember the first big investment I made was buying the Action Comics #1 1988 reprint. I’ve geeked out on comics and superheroes for as long as I can remember, and it feels surreal to be playing Umro Ayyar. I could never have imagined that I would be a part of such an epic film."

Shedding light on what cemented his decision to sign on to the project, Usman opened up on Umro Ayyar's impact on his childhood. "What drew me towards the project was the project itself; I grew up reading Umro Ayyar," revealed the star. "When I was sent to boarding school, my mother would come on the weekends to meet me and take me to a bookstore on Mall Road. I would pick some Umro Ayyar books, and she used to read at least one of the books to me before she left."

Usman also made it a point to share his love for the team. "The most exciting part of working on Umro Ayyar was the cast," he voiced. "I got to work with some amazing actors like Faran Tahir, Sanam Saeed, Ali Kazmi, Manzar Sehbai, and Simi Raheal. It was fun and intimidating at the same time."

Sharing three major reasons for why his legions of fans and admirers, or general fans of cinema should watch the film on Eidul Azha, Usman remarked, "It’s the first live-action sci-fi, fantasy film from Pakistan. It is based on Umro Ayyar. This movie has already created history by being the first South Asian film presented at WonderCon." The star also added how playing Umro was "truly a dream come true." He declared, "Playing Umro Ayyar is an honour for me, honestly. I could have never imagined in a million years that I would be able to portray Umro Ayyar in my lifetime."

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Sunday 10 September 2023

Proud of the quality of films we are producing: Fatima Bhutto

Many familiar names grace the line-up as the local entertainment industry gears up to determine Pakistan’s Best Foreign Language Film category entry to the 2024 Oscars. The newly revealed committee members, led by Chairman Mo Naqvi, include renowned names like Fawad Khan, Ahmed Ali Akbar, Bilal Lashari, Saim Sadiq and Fatima Bhutto – who makes a statement hailing the work the entertainment circuit has currently been producing.
After the announcement of the deciding body, Bhutto took to her Instagram Stories to share the good news, all while hoping for film projects from Pakistan to garner more attention across the world. She wrote, “[I] am really happy to join this year’s Oscar committee and [am] proud of the quality of films we are producing. I hope the world will see much more work from Pakistan.”
The committee has also recruited multifaceted artist Nadia Afghan, event director, producer, and activist Frieha Altaf, acclaimed filmmaker and co-founder of the Documentary Association of Pakistan Haya Fatima, award-winning documentary filmmaker, journalist, and cultural critic Madeeha Syed, and award-winning producer, director, and editor Mehreen Jabbar to select Pakistan's official Oscar entry.

Last year, in 2022, Pakistan's official entry for the Oscar's Best Foreign Language Film category was the critically acclaimed film Joyland, which also won the Cannes Jury Award at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival. In addition to this, the film garnered significant attention and accolades on other platforms, representing Pakistan's thriving film industry on the global stage.

As the new committee begins its deliberations, expectations are high for their selection for the 2023 Oscars. The chosen film will carry the hopes and aspirations of Pakistan's film community and movie enthusiasts, aiming to make its mark on the international cinema scene once again. With the expertise and talent of the committee members, Pakistan's film industry is poised to showcase its best work to the world and compete for the prestigious Academy Award in the Best Foreign Language Film category.

Copyrights Express Tribune 

Friday 21 July 2023

With my film debut, I displayed my versatility - one can't be a heroine their whole life: Hira Mani

Actor Hira Mani, who made her film debut with Teri Meri Kahaniyaan, in an interview with Independent Urdu, shared her excitement over the anthology film. She also discussed her journey from television to the big screen, while expressing her gratitude towards her co-star and husband, Mani. The actor also shed light on her preference for her on-screen and off-screen identity.

Speaking about her film debut, Hira revealed that she felt a sense of security in being a part of an anthology. If audiences didn't resonate with her short film, there were two other stories to uplift the entire anthology. She credited director Nabeel Qureshi for being a big reason why she took on the film and expressed happiness about sharing the screen with her husband, Mani. She also mentioned how she portrayed Mani's favourite get-up in the film, donning a simple look with kajal.

‘Teri Meri Kahaniyaan’

"[Teri Meri Kahaniyaan] is my life's dhakka start (push-start)," said Hira. "Nabeel was a big reason why I did the film. I'm sharing the screen with Mani, and I've done Mani's favourite get-up in the film. Mani likes me like this, with kajal, all simple. I'm happy." Addressing rumours of playing a witch in the film, Hira clarified that the film revolves around a social issue, infused with Nabeel's signature comedy touch. She emphasised that sometimes one becomes a "witch" in a figurative sense, alluding to the complexities of human emotions and experiences. "One becomes a witch sometimes. You know what they say: inside every woman lies a witch. But it's not like that. It's about a social issue that Nabeel has inculcated within comedy," said the actor.

When asked about the level of romance between her and Mani in the film, Hira responded that there is no romantic angle between them on-screen. Instead, she humorously described the post-marriage romance as timely dinners, dining together, and meaningful conversations. "There is no romance between Mani and me in the film...After marriage, romance is timely dinner, dining together, talking to each other," revealed Hira.

On films and dramas

Having played conventional saree-wearing and dancing roles in television dramas, Hira expressed her enthusiasm for exploring versatility in film roles. She stated, "I've done all this. If you've seen Do Bol - in Mere Paas Tum Ho, I've just worn sarees. I've fulfilled my wishes in my dramas. The drama industry is bigger than the film industry. I've done many plays that people remember and will continue to remember. There's Kashf, Do Bol, Mere Paas Tum Ho, Dil Mom Ka Diya. For a film, I feel the character's versatility should show. I got the chance to show that I'm versatile and a character actor. One can't be a heroine their whole life. Through character acting, another path has opened up for me."

When asked about when she'll be on the big screen next, Hira said, "This is the work we do, we'll keep doing it. Sometimes film, sometimes drama, sometimes singing, sometimes hosting." The actor also reminisced about her passion for singing and dancing. She shared an incident about planning to dance at an award show, only to be derailed by unforeseen circumstances. However, she assured fans that she would gradually explore different aspects of her talent. "I was going to dance at some award show, but such an incident transpired that I couldn't do it. But in the future, I'll do everything. Slow and steady," stated the star.

Love of sarees and style

On her love for sarees, Hira affectionately mentioned her mother recently gifting her an Ajrak-like saree with a message encouraging her to wear it during the upcoming monsoon season. Hira shared how she has always adored sarees and has even used her grandmother's dupattas to fashion them. "What's interesting," began Hira, "is that my mother recently gifted me a packed saree - it's Ajrak-like material - and on it is written, 'Monsoon is near, Hira. Wear this saree.' This is what my mother has done...She thinks that since August and July are monsoon seasons, Hira must have a new saree to wear. But yes, I love sarees. I always have. I used to use my grandmothers' dupattas to make sarees."

When discussing style, Hira shared, "Style is inherent to you. Sure, you may need a stylist. If one is a public figure and God grants you fame, then there is something about you - you are aesthetically strong. Everyone has their own style. I have my own style. I'm more comfortable in my own innovative styling, as opposed to someone else styling me, which causes me stress."

Juggling act

Addressing general criticism, Hira took it in stride, mentioning that all actors face it at some point. "I don't get criticised," said Hira. "It's normal, it happens to all actors. I usually get love from people. There are people who enjoy criticising others, but that's also important. If there is no criticism, how will you learn? Individuals nurture themselves."

The star also spoke about juggling numerous facets of her life. "I've handled everything. Acting, social media, my kids, my husband, my home, work - I'm tired, I'll have Mani press my shoulders (she said jokingly, rubbing her aching shoulders) ...I can't take so much responsibility. I want to live my life, and be happy. Everyone has a right. Your responsibility is limited to television, where you don't create content that offends your audience, but even then, people do get offended. Women do negative roles. People go after them. People will talk."

Finally, when asked about her preferred name, Hira asserted, "Hira Mani. If someone writes Hira Salman, I get angry. Why does this happen to me? I don't like it. Mani, write Mani. I'm Mani. I like Hira Mani. I like Salman Khan, but I prefer Hira Mani. And Mani I like anyway."

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Limited time offer: Pakistanis can now watch banned film ‘Zindagi Tamasha’ for $50

There is finally some good news for Pakistani fans desperately waiting to watch Sarmad Khoosat’s banned film Zindagi Tamasha online – however, it comes with a price. Khoosat Films and Southasia Peace Action Network (Sapan) have collaborated to present the internationally acclaimed film Zindagi Tamasha for all those who donate to the organisation through a special fundraiser. This opportunity is a limited-time offer and is only valid from July 21 to 23.

“We are thrilled that the multi-talented actor, director, and producer Sarmad Khoosat has made his Zindagi Tamasha available to Sapan donors. He will also join donors at an online discussion along with the lovely, talented Samiya Mumtaz, who plays the film’s lead female role,” read a post by Sapan on Instagram on Thursday.

To participate in this unique cinematic experience, individuals are encouraged to donate $50 (PKR 14,000) or more by Thursday, July 20. In return, they will receive an exclusive link to watch Zindagi Tamasha from July 21-23 at their convenience. This limited-time offering ensures that the film, previously banned in Pakistan, can now reach its rightful audience.

For those eager to engage in meaningful conversations with the filmmaker and the lead actor, Sapan has a special opportunity. By donating $100 (PKR 28,000) or more by the same deadline, donors will not only gain access to the film but will also receive an invitation to join an online discussion with the talented Sarmad Khoosat and the lead actor, Samiya Mumtaz.

The discussion will be hosted by poet Dr Arvinder Chamak in Amritsar, creating a platform for dialogue and understanding between individuals from both sides of the border. This exclusive event is scheduled for Sunday, July 23 2023, at 10:30 am ET, 7:30 pm in Pakistan, 8pm in India, and 8:30 pm in Bangladesh.

Sapan's initiative aims to create a platform for dialogue and cultural exchange while celebrating the artistic achievements of filmmakers like Sarmad. The fundraiser allows people to watch the much-anticipated movie and encourages peace activism across South Asia. To watch 'Zindagi Tamasha' and support this noble cause, interested individuals can visit Sapan's website at

Zindagi Tamasha stars actors Arif Hassan, Samiya Mumtaz, Eman Suleman, and Ali Kureshi. It revolves around a respected real estate agent in Lahore, a devout Muslim who writes and composes 'naat' (hymns praising the Prophet) and cares deeply for his bedridden wife, who is the only one who truly understands him. However, his life takes a tumultuous turn after a video of him dancing at a friend's son's wedding goes viral on social media, leading to ostracisation from neighbours and friends. The film provides a nuanced and heartbreaking depiction of the challenges faced in a conservative society, as the elderly man embarks on a soul-searching journey to reclaim his identity.

Despite being Pakistan's entry for the Oscars in 2021 and receiving multiple awards, Zindagi Tamasha was banned in the country due to protests by conservative factions. Sarmad has earned widespread acclaim for his feature films Joyland, Kamli, Zindagi Tamasha, and Manto, as well as for hit Pakistani television dramas like Humsafar and Shehr-e-Zaat.

“His work has established him as one of South Asia's finest filmmakers, and Sapan is immensely grateful to him for his generous contribution of time and thoughts to this noble cause,” Sapan’s website read. Sapan, a coalition of peace activists, is paving the way towards soft borders and visa-on-arrival arrangements for South Asians. Their ultimate goal is to facilitate freedom of trade, travel, and tourism, especially between India and Pakistan.

Saturday 19 November 2022

'The Legend of Maula Jatt' becomes leading South Asian film at UK box office in 4 years

After five consecutive weeks of a successful run, The Legend of Maula Jatt has proven to be one of the best cinematic productions of the year. According to Screen Daily, a British film publication, it has broken records at the UK box office, becoming the highest-grossing picture from the subcontinent in the last four years.

Screen Daily stated that following five weeks of playing in UK theatres, Maula Jatt earned £44,149 (Rs11.5 million). However, in the sixth week, the film grossed approximately £1.3 million (Rs340 million) during 54.6% of its remaining run, far less than many of its rivals. However, that is still £1.26 crore (Rs329 crore) more than the Indian film Ponniyan Selvan: I released this year.

On October 13, the film was released in theatres across the globe. The film is a rendition of the Punjabi hero, Maula Jatt, inspired by the 1979 version. It stars Fawad Khan, Mahira Khan, Humaima Malick, Hamza Ali Abbasi, Gohar Rasheed, Faris Shafi and Ali Azmat.

According to the film's official Instagram account, The Legend of Maula Jatt earned $7.8 million (Rs1.7 billion) at the international box office only four weeks after its premiere, making it the highest-earning Punjabi film of all time.

The film was also released worldwide on more than 500 screens across 25 countries, setting a new precedent for Pakistani or Punjabi films, a press release stated.

Besides the UK, the star-studded film is doing quite well in other countries. Despite having a smaller screen count compared to the Bollywood blockbusters, the film has outgrossed RRR featuring Ram Charan, Alia Bhatt, and Ajay Devgn, Akshay Kumar's Ram Setu, and Thank God, starring Sidharth Malhotra at the UK box office.

The Legend of Maula Jatt bagged $324,000 at the Canadian box office, placing it in the top 6. The film also cumulated $600,000 in North America.

Audiences have shown tremendous support for the film as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Box office reached over US$515,000 in only four days, making it one of the leading pictures in their cinema.

The Bilal Lashari directorial also performed well in regions such as Australia, Norway, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, and South East Asia.

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Umair Jaswal 'extremely fortunate' to portray Shoaib Akhtar onscreen

Singer Umair Jaswal is all set to star as the former cricketer, Shoaib Akhtar, in an upcoming biopic. Titled Rawalpindi Express, the project will focus on the fast bowler's life - on the professional and personal front. 

Jaswal has confirmed that he will be playing a leading role in the motion picture. With an immersive storyline, the film is a tribute to the celebrated cricketer, Akhtar. Fans will also see other well-known celebrities from the Pakistani entertainment industry playing key characters in the film.

The movie is set to release on November 16, 2023. Further, the aforementioned project will mark Jaswal's return to the big screen after six long years of focusing on his music career. 

“This project is a dream come true for me as an actor," the Coke Studio star shared in a statement. "I feel extremely fortunate to portray Shoaib Akhtar on screen. His life is an inspiration to several youngsters in Pakistan. He is not just a superstar in Pakistan but for all cricket lovers globally."

He further shared, "It is a huge responsibility to shoulder, and I am completely aware of this. I am cherishing every moment of this journey and I will always treasure the time spent with him in preparing for this role which required a new level of dedication and effort. He has recounted several stories and experiences of the ups and downs he has faced in life en route to becoming an international star cricketer. I hope that audience loves this narrative and gets inspired." 

When asked about how feels about casting Umair Jaswal for the role, director Faraz Qaiser said, “The film will span from 1975 to 2002 and requires physical transformation to be shown by an actor. Umair Jaswal perfectly fits the role as he is a sports and fitness enthusiast and has worked on his body and fitness level for several months."

Qaiser added, "His dedication is unparallel and he recognizes the gravity of the role, and the commitment required to bring in the persona of legendary cricketer Shoaib Akhtar live on screen. Umair has a keen understanding of the bowling technique as well. I am extremely pleased to have Umair Jaswal on board and we are looking forward to starting shooting in December 2022 in Pakistan, Dubai, New Zealand, and Australia”.

Jaswal’s addition to Rawalpindi Express will further solidify his career as an actor. Rawalpindi Express is expected to capture the passion, excitement, purpose, activism, and positivity around sports. The movie is said to set a benchmark and bind audiences with the power of sports, its cultural impact, and its unrivaled ability to transcend borders and barriers.

The film tells a story about the enduring power of the human spirit, relationships and complexities that come along with it. It’s a story of sacrifice and overcoming one’s demons and fears. Most importantly, it’s a story of unconditional love; for family, for a nation, and for the game of cricket. It’s a story that must be told and a fantastic team has come together for it. 

Jaswal started his career in 2008 by joining the rock band Qayaas. Soon after he gained popularity with his songs Tanha and Umeed. He later joined Coke Studio where he made a name for himself as one of the most talented vocalists in Pakistan. Jaswal later made his big screen debut in the war epic film Yalgaar as Captain Umair. He also made his television debut by appearing in the serial Mor Mahal in 2016. 

In 2020, the Sammi Meri Waar crooner also featured in his series titled Raahi where he explored the beautiful landscapes of Pakistan on his motorbike. Jaswal has several other projects in the pipeline. 

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Sunday 6 November 2022

You need an emperor's vision to execute a project as grand as Maula Jatt: Writer Nasir Adeeb


What goes behind the scene of a record-breaking film? A powerful script? Check. An ensemble cast? Check. Flawless direction? Check. Brilliant cinematography? Check and check. 

But more than that, writer Nasir Adeeb thinks what it really takes is the backing of a producer who will stick by a project through thick and thin. Adeeb, who has a glittering career of over 50 years, has written 412 films so far. But 1979's Maula Jutt remains a classic that would always be touted as his best work.

The writer also helped filmmaker Bilal Lashari pen the script and dialogues of his latest offering, The Legend of Maula Jatt. In one of the promotional events, Adeeb shared the secret behind making Lashari's magnum opus.

"If producers in Pakistan wish to make films like Bilal Lashari, there are two things that they would require," he shared on a local television show. "You have to pay attention to minds; not the faces. Secondly, you'd need a 'Shah Jahan' to make a film as opulent as this," Adeeb added as he praises producer Ammara Hikmat. "It's easy to make a map of the Taj Mahal; it's not easy to bring in the manpower."

Previously, in an interview with The Express Tribune, Lashari while lauding Hikmat, shared, "I would really like to praise Ammara. To have this kind of budget for a film and have that creative freedom alongside is rare. She supported me through and through. She is the person who turned this film into what it is today.” 

The phenomenal response to the film has led to full house screenings across the world and queues outside cinemas, with exhibitors continuously scheduling additional screenings to meet consumers’ demands. Such has been the adulation for the film that standing ovations have been recorded at cinemas globally. The number of screens for the movie are increasing every day.

A reboot of Yunus Malik’s 1979 cult classic Maula Jutt, the film is a re-telling of the story of the rivalry between Maula Jatt and Noori Natt. Directed by Lashari, The Legend of Maula Jatt also stars Khan, Hamza Ali Abbasi, Humaima Malick, Mirza Gohar Rasheed, Faris Shafi, Ali Azmat, Nayyer Ejaz, Shafqat Cheema, Raheela Agha, Zia Khan and Saima Baloch.

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I was alive; I didn't go anywhere: Iman Aly on making big screen comeback



We're seated at an upscale restaurant in Karachi when Iman Aly wanders out of a small space. One would think she must follow her diet to a T to maintain her impeccable figure - but there's one weakness she openly confesses to: devouring a scrumptious plate of Dahi Ballay.

She orders a serving and sits down with a group of people as her stylist fluffs her hair for a photo shoot. "I think we should step out for the photos," she tells the photographer. "The light is perfect and I'd get to wear my sunglasses. I look better in them anyway," Aly winks as she sashays out the glass door. "I told them not to make me a part of the promotions," Aly tells The Express Tribune. "I'm not kidding; I have no filter regarding almost anything. Please tell me you have some fun questions."

Karachi has been rather tiring for Aly; the promotions, the events, the makeup - the whole package. "I find this city too blurring," she says. "The people are too fast. I've been in Lahore for the last few years and I think I have adapted to the culture." Laughing, Aly adds, "I never thought I could if I am honest. But once I got married, my husband asked me to pack up and we happily moved."

Talking about her 'comeback' to the big screen, Aly comments, "I was alive! I didn't go anywhere. I don't look at this as a 'comeback'. I've been a part of this industry since I was born. I never went away, you know." She whispers. "So, I don't understand how it would be called a comeback."

But Aly confesses that even though she has been in the industry for decades, she hasn't worked much. "Considering how long I have been in the industry, I don't think I have worked a lot," she remarks. "I only modelled for seven years - from 2000 to 2007. Later, I came on board as an ambassador for many brands, but I was done modelling. When Khuda Kay Liye was released, I told myself to make up my mind - either be a model or an actor. Seems like I chose the latter."

At the peak of her career, Aly was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. "I made a strong point to be very upfront about my condition," Aly recalls. "I tried to bring as much attention to this as I could. It was an important choice. We all are so vocal about how perfect our lives are, how celebrities are these people who can't be harmed - but we just don't talk about diseases, do we? As if we all are immortal. I'm very immuno-compromised. I haven't, though, taken any medications for it. I believe in mind over matter."

After being last seen in Fahad Mustafa-starrer, Mah-e-Mir and away from the limelight for a good six years, Aly is returning to the big screen with Urwa Hocane's maiden production, Tich Button. The model-turned-actor, however, feels that every project she has taken was different from the last. "Mah-e-Mir was more regal; it was a double role. It had its own challenges, you know. Each character I played was different. So, I've been blessed that way."

She asserts, "It also depends on the audience how much they want to see us, right? It's not something for me to decide. So, what can I say about that? Qasim Mureed [Tich Button's director] will be a better person to share why they thought I was a perfect fit for Leena." At this point, she calls Mureed, "I was just telling them how you haven't shown the relatable bit about my character in the trailer." The filmmaker adds, "Leena was tailormade for her. We couldn't think of any other actor who could have done a better job."

Aly gushes, "He's too kind! But hey, it's not every day I get to crawl up a table and give my boss a shut-up call!" Aly shared that she didn't have to prepare for her character, Leena. "Oh, Leena is just me but onscreen!" the supermodel adds. "She is just as fierce as I am and just as outspoken as I am. She also has a no-bullshit rule, which I apply to my life religiously. She can't stand people who lie and always stands up for the truth. That all is me, so it was all so very relatable!" The Bol actor, however, shares that there are many layers to her character. "She's a Turkish woman; there's a lot of progression in her role throughout the film."

Aly then adds, "I had a blast working with everyone. I previously worked in Khuda Kay Liye, Bol and Mah-e-Mir, which had very different flavours. Tich Button was entirely unlike my previous films. And I enjoyed it. I loved working with Farhan, specifically! It was a delight to work with him. He's a great actor; I was taken aback by his brilliance. I've done a few scenes with Feroze; my scenes with Farhan were elaborate. I know people see my and Feroze's interaction more in the trailer, but that's the twist! Feroze and I play friends in the film, but my scenes with Farhan are very intense."

Aly, however, retorts that it was Mureed with whom she had a hard time. "He and I would fight!" she chuckles. "See, this is why I told them not to make me a part of promotions! I can't lie; I will spill everything!"

She concludes, "But Qasim has been a dear friend for a long time. So, for me to see him put on his director's hat just didn't sit well. We would bicker over scenes, the dressing, his, and my idea of how we should shoot a scene. But like, I mentioned, it's great to be in front of a camera again."

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Buckle up: 'Joyland' trailer draws you in for an emotionally challenging ride

Is deception still a sin if it, for once, allows you to live freely? Are you capable of loving more than once or more than one person? How much of our lives is in our control before society and responsibilities kick in? Similar thoughts would engulf your mind as you watch the beautifully edited and viscerally sensual trailer of the award-winning film, Joyland.

Set in the streets of old Lahore, the barely two-minute clip begins with a dark joke on love, sensuality, and death — which seemingly looks like Saim Sadiq directorial's focal point. The trailer begins with Haider (Ali Junejo) telling the infamous joke about a mosquito and chicken to her lover Biba (Alina Khan).

Without giving away too much, the clip goes on to detail the dual lives many characters are living in the film. The Rana family isn’t aware of Haider’s dancing troupe, a theatre festival or his unconventional affair with the charming Biba.

While Haider is away courting another kind of love in his life, his wife Mumtaz (Rasti Farooq) shares some intimate moments of sheer joy and comfort with what seems like her sister-in-law Nucchi (Sarwat Gilani).

As Haider and Mumtaz explore love elsewhere around them, they still share an unbreakable bond. They’re both keeping secrets, they’re both scared, perhaps even guilty and the price of keeping their secrets may lead them to ruins. The next scene in the trailer shows Mumtaz and Haider cleaning up a crime scene as a bloodied Biba walks away.

The joy soon changes to dread as the trailer ends with a glance at the rest of the Rana family: Sohail Sameer, Salman Peerzada, and Sania Saeed. A glance of judgment and reason towards the madness that we call life.

Joyland will come to cinemas near you on November 18. 

Sunday 30 October 2022

Amid controversies, 'Tich Button' release date pushed

Amid multiple controversies, the makers of Farhan Saeed, Sonya Hussyn, Iman Aly and Feroze Khan's upcoming film, Tich Button, have decided to push the release date. The film was previously set to release on November 11. 

"The release date of our upcoming film, Tich Button, has been moved and the film will now be released in cinemas on November 25," a statement read. 

The film has been surrounded by controversies since Feroze was accused of allegedly abusing his wife of four years, Aliza Sultan. The actor has since 'vehemently' denied the said accusations. 'I, Feroze Khan, vehemently deny any and all baseless, malicious and untruthful allegations which have been levelled against me and are circulating on the social media rumour mill," he shared in an Instagram story. "These allegations have no basis in truth or reality." 

Feroze further shared, "I would categorically like to state that I have always followed the law in its true letter and spirit and have never knowingly hurt another human being. I very strongly believe in all human rights of every human inhabiting planet earth."

In other news, Sonya had sent a legal notice to the producer of the film, Urwa, claiming the former was not paid her contractual dues as committed. 

In the legal notice dated October 22 shared with The Express Tribune, the Saraab actor’s legal team reminded Urwa that she “entered into contractual” agreement with their client, Sonya, under the terms and conditions of which, she was bound to pay her a certain amount upon the completion of Tich Button’s shooting, which she did not. Shooting for the film began on February 2, 2020 and concluded on June 5 of the same year.

Upon failure to comply with the demands, the notice states Sonya’s legal team has received “express instructions” to “institute appropriate civil and criminal legal proceeding, including without limitation, lodging an FIR, under the relevant provisions of the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860, for criminal breach of trust, cheating, fraud and misrepresentation.”

The team has also been directed to file a civil suit in court, in case of the demands are not met, and “seek recovery of the payment, general damages; and attachment of your [Urwa’s] immoveable and moveable assets.”

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Friday 29 July 2022

Noor Bukhari thinks Humayun Saeed should leave romantic hero roles, do ‘mature’ roles now

The Nadeem Baig directorial London Nahi Jaunga has been touted as a huge success given the response it's getting at the cinemas not just in Pakistan but also worldwide. However, former actor Noor Bukhari, wasn’t too fond of the romantic comedy’s weak” storyline when she saw the film in the UK recently. She was particularly unhappy with Humayun Saeed’s character, Jameel, as a romantic hero. 

Posting short clips from her time in the cinema, Bukhari praised Kubra Khan’s acting and Baig’s direction and cinematography in the film. However, she also added that she felt that the love story did not feel right with Saeed essaying a hero at his age.

Very well shot Nadeem Baig. The cinematography is excellent, the actors are brilliant but sorry, a love story?” wrote the Ishq Positive actor. “It is not going with the age of Humayun Saeed as no love happens in this age. The story is too weak.” Bukhari further suggested Saeed to now take up some “mature” and age-appropriate roles. “Now do mature roles. These are just difficult to digest”

When her statement got viral online, she posted a screenshot of a publication, and clarified her stance stating that Saeed is her favourite actor. “Humayun Saeed is my favourite and he looked superb but I feel he can do much more than just being a romantic hero,” she wrote.

London Nahi Jaunga, which also stars Mehwish Hayat and Vasay Chaudhry in pivotal roles, is currently playing in cinemas across the world.

Saturday 7 May 2022

Box Office Numbers of Movies Released on Eid Ul Fitr 2022


As we all know that the Film industries, across the world, remained halted due to the severe outbreak of Covid 19 pandemic. The businesses were pretty much bearing huge losses because of pending and unreleased films, likewise, in Pa

kistan, no movies saw release from 2019 to 2021, Now, life is back to the normal routine and film makers, across the globe, have successfully released movies in cinemas. A lot of international and Pakistani movies also got released on Eid ul fitr 2022.

On Eid day, five Pakistani movies Ghabrana Nahi Ha, Chakkar, Parde Main Rehne Do, Dum Mastam and Tere Bajre Di Raakhi were released. Here are their earnings.

Ghabrana Nahi Hai

Well according to the numbers, Saba Qamar’s Ghabrana Nahi Hai is topping the charts with around 3 crore plus PKR, the first day collection was 95.5 lacs, taking the two days total to approximately 2.5 crores which has now crossed approximated 3 crores, and more until now,however, the exact current numbers haven’t been shared. The earning of the film were less than one crore on day 1 but on day 2 it surpassed one crore with a decline on the third working day.

Dum Mastam

According to the box office details, Dum Mastam’s two days earning is 1.76 crore. It also saw more audience on day two and also surpassed the figure of one crore. On the first day the movie made less than a crore. The current numbers haven’t been shared.

Parde Mein Rehne Do

“Parde Mein Rehne Do”s two-day collections are 1.2 crore PKR, on the first day the movie earned 44 lacs while on the second day it earned 76 lacs PKR.


Chakkar collected 28 lacs Pkr on day one and 54 lacs on day two. It showed a good growth on second day despite having lesser shows.

A part from that public also ranked Ghabrana Nahi Hai as a good movie. Dum Mastam as a better movie. A few fans praised Chakkar and Parde Main Rehne do too. Bajre Di Rakhi remained unnoticed. According to public, an international movie Dr Strange, which has just been released, is expected to destroy many of running Pakistani movies.

In past, day first of the Eid release movies saw great response and they always surpassed one crore pkr or even 2 crores, with the daily revenue of approximately one crore pkr in starting days of release, great example of movies are Na Maloom Afrad, Punjab Nahi Jaungi, Wrong No, Lahore Say Agay Karachi say Lahore. Actor in Law and Na Maloom Afraad earned around 20 crore in total. Punjab Nahi Jaungi made 50 crore. Jawani Phir Nahi ani 2 earned 75 crore. They all were Eid releases.

Sunday 23 January 2022

From 'Superstar' to 'Parchi': Here are 11 Pakistani films you can watch at Dubai Expo 2020

From Bin Roye to Parwaaz Hai Junoon, eleven Pakistani films will be screened at Dubai Expo 2020. The list also includes hits such as Superstar, Teefa in Trouble, Saawan, Actor in Law, Parey Hut Love, Heer Maan Ja, Parchi, Chhalawa, Load Wedding and Heer Maan Ja.

The Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, while at the Pakistan Pavilion recently shared, "The Pakistan Film Week will kick off at the Dubai Expo. Eleven Pakistani films will be screened at the Pakistan enclosure from January 21 to March 26.”

“UAE is home to 1.6 million Pakistanis. TV and film is important medium that connects [the] expat community to their culture. For [the] expat community and all other communities residing in UAE, Pakistan Pavilion will screen 11 blockbuster films,” said Chaudhry.

The politician further added, “In the 1960s, Pakistan was the 3rd largest filmmaker of the world with largest cinema houses in the country. Now again the film industry is booming and films produced in Pakistan have been blockbusters in many parts of the world.”

He added that the government fully supports its film industry and has given special tax incentives. “We invite filmmakers of the world for joint productions in Pakistan. Pakistan is bestowed with natural beauty,” Chaudhry asserted.

The Federal Minister had also sung praises of overseas Pakistanis residing in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for sending remittances. “This year, overseas Pakistanis have sent remittances amounting to $31 billion to Pakistan,” he said.

“Pakistanis in the UAE were the largest contributors to this $31 billion," Arab News quoted as Chaudhry saying. "You have contributed the most for Pakistan,” Chaudhry told a charged crowd at the venue. “I also want to tell you that Prime Minister Imran Khan stands with you the way you stand with him.”

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Friday 31 December 2021

5 local films we can't wait to watch in cinemas in 2022

Reopening of theatres is probably the best thing that happened for artists and filmmakers across the board this year. Filmgoers rushed to cinema houses to watch Khel Khel Mein, the first Pakistani film that made it to the big screen after the halt. But trust us, things are only going to get better. While Bollywood films are no longer welcomed in Pakistan, there are a slew of Pakistani films in the backlog, waiting to be released. Thus, as 2022 approaches us, we’ve compiled five of the most anticipated local productions you need to mark your calendars for.

‘Javed Iqbal: The Untold Story of a Serial Killer’

Based on the life of serial killer Javed Iqbal, Javed Iqbal: The Untold Story of a Serial Killer stars Yasir Hussain and Ayesha Omar in the lead roles. The Abu Aleeha film has been the talk of the town when its first look came out. Its trailer is filled with intense chase scenes and emotions running high, as well as a chilling voiceover by Hussain as Iqbal. Promising a seemingly thrilling offering with a fresh storyline in a local market inundated with too much of the same boring romantic comedies and domestic rivalries, the film is based on a book penned by the director.

‘Zindagi Tamasha’

Sarmad Khoosat's Zindagi Tamasha will also be released in theatres across Pakistan in March 2022. Having received the green signal after facing much backlash over its sensitive subject matter, the film, that was also Pakistan’s entry to the Oscars in November 2020, will see Arif Hasan in the lead role as a naat khwaan, Rahat, who enjoys a celebrity status amongst his community. He is a devout Muslim; someone who, hence, when he does wrong, there is no forgiveness for him. Rahat and his family get sidelined by society after a video of him goes viral on social media.

‘Legend of Maula Jatt’

Another film that many of us have long been waiting for is the Legend of Maula Jatt, which was supposed to release in May this year. Now we’re hoping the film, that stars Fawad Khan and Hamza Ali Abbasi as Maula Jatt and Noori Nath, will release in 2022. Directed by Bilal Lashari and produced by Ammara Hikmat, It also boasts a star roster featuring Mahira Khan, Humaima Malick, Ali Azmat, Shafqat Cheema and Nayyer Ejaz. The remake is not a family entertainer and makers have advised for parents to not bring children to watch it, provided its depiction of blood and gore.

‘Ghabrana Nahi Hai’

The first teaser for Saba Qamar’s latest cinematic offering Ghabrana Nahi Hai dropped recently and hinted at a promising action-packed ride for lovers of desi crime thrillers. Without revealing much about the plot, the teaser is complete with gold chain-sporting gangsters, gun-wielding police officers, sherwani-clad politicians, and a bride marching into a wedding venue filled with shocked guests, seemingly ready for a confrontation. Also starring Zahid Ahmed, Syed Jibran and Nayyer Ijaz, with director Saqib Khan at the helm of the project, the film is slated for an Eid ul Fitr release in 2022.

‘Quaid e Azam Zindabad’

The first poster for Nabeel Qureshi’s Quaid e Azam Zindabad, an action-comedy that follows the story of a notorious cop, played by Fahad Mustafa opposite Mahira Khan, promised that it is ‘coming soon’. With previous offerings like Na Maloom Afraad, Actor In Law as well as Load Wedding, which were not only packed with entertainment but also carried important social messages, critics and fans are hoping Quaid e Azam Zindabad will be no different, and we can’t wait!

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