Friday, 11 January 2019

Hamza Ali Abbasi taught Mahira Khan Punjabi for The Legend Of Maula Jatt

Mahira Khan and Hamza Ali Abbasi share a fabulous friendship amongst all other celebs in the industry. The two have friends for a long time and although we have not seen them in a play or a movie together yet, the duo do look amazing together as seen in award shows as well as photo shoots which they have done together.

Hamza Ali Abbasi and Mahira are now starring together in The Legend of Maula Jatt but sadly they are not paired opposite one another. However, despite the reason, the much loved actress was all praise for her best friend who made sure she aced the character. As Mukho, Mahira had to speak Punjabi fluently and Hamza made sure she did so, helping her nail the accent.

Talking to Instep recently, Mahira who is Urdu speaking and has studied abroad as well, was not at all familiar with the language of Punjab as she said,

 “It’s like a French girl speaking Punjabi, I used to go there and say I’m doing a foreign-language film. I have to say I was very nervous and I told Hamza I couldn’t do it, but he convinced me by promising to tutor me."

Adding further she said, "And he lived up to that, he would come on Verna’s set and sit with me for hours, and so we prepared this one, long scene, which was also my first and everybody was expecting I’d mess up, but the first take went amazing. And I got all over-confident after that, so I never sat down with him again, but Hamza really kept at it. He’d come to the sets of Maula, even when he didn’t have scenes."

With Mahira having enjoyed playing Makho tremendously as she called her character cute but a bad ass, we cant wait to see both Mahira and Hamza shine bright once The Legend of Maula Jatt releases on Eid ul Fitr this year.

Monday, 7 January 2019

"My heart is in it," Mahira Khan on her upcoming film 'Superstar'

One of the most loved star of our industry is Mahira Khan whose fame is not just limited to Pakistan but world wide. People across the border loved Mahira the moment they saw her in drama Humsafar and then of course in Raeesopposite Shahrukh Khan. With the past year having been super busy for her with the release of Verna and 7 Din Mohabbat In as well as having attended the prestigious Cannes festival , this year we are more than excited to see her in upcoming films The Legend of Maula Jatt opposite Fawad Khan as well as in Paray Hut Love. But what is more is that another movie is also in the pipeline for Khan, titled Superstar with Bilal Ashraf, written by Azaan Sami Khan.

Talking to Instep recently, Mahira chatted about the film where we will see her play an actress on screen. "It’s a romance in its essence, but it’s a story about faith, failure, success and two people who meet each other at a strange time, basically wanting the same thing out of life, but how they want it is very different."

Talking further, the much loved actress said, "It’s a passion project. People ask me why I’ve taken it up, but I can’t help it, my heart is in it.

Before Superstar was announced officially Mahira has always been on board for it and never backed out despite many alterations having taken place in the project since the day she said yes to it.

Mahira strives to be part of films which allow her to perform to the maximum and not really focus on how much money would the film generate as she recently revealed, "Maybe I should do one of the big films, everybody tells me that day in and day out. But to be fair, at the end of the day, I’m an artist. I don’t think in terms of numbers, sometimes I wish I did because I would’ve done them and enjoyed them."

With Mahira content with the kind of films she has signed till now as she goes by her instinct, she is still open to working with the makers of Punjab Nahi Jaongi and Load Wedding. So will we see her romance Humayun Saeed once again and Fahad Mustafa on the big screen soon ? Well we certainly hope so.

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Sarmad Khoosat wraps up shooting for Punjabi Film Zindagi Tamasha

Every Sarmad Khoosat project offers something unique to the audiences. Be it a drama like Humsafar or the movie Manto, he always tries to entertain the audiences with quality content. Recently, he has been directing his Punjabi film Zindagi Tamasha. As per Entertainment Pakistan, the shooting phase of the film has been completed.

The movie was shot in various locations of Lahore as we have been seeing on Sarmad Khoosat's Instagram. The film focuses on the ways of Lahore and how this city shapes the lives of its residents.

Zindagi Tamasha stars Eman Suleman as the lead, alongside veteran television actress Samia Mumtaz. Arif Hasan and Ali Kureishi will also feature in pivotal roles.

Kanwal Khoosat has taken producer's seat and the screenplay was done by newcomer Nirmal Bano, a NCA graduate. Debutant band Sakin, has been given an opportunity to do the music for the film.

This will be the first film to release under the banner of "Khoosat Film."

Friday, 4 January 2019

2018 has been great for Pakistani films, says director Nabeel Qureshi

While the Pakistani film industry saw some big releases through 2018, local film-makers are already hoping for a better 2019.

 “The year 2018 has been great for Pakistani films altogether,” Load Wedding director Nabeel Qureshi tweeted. “Cinema has earned more from Pakistani films than Bollywood or Hollywood imports this time! It’s a big achievement. May it do great in 2019 as well.”

Ali Zafar, Maya Ali-starrer Teefa In Trouble also made it big at the box-office and emerged as one of the biggest hits of the year. Then there were Jawani Phir Nahi Ani 2 and Parwaaz Hai Junoon as well.

 Previously, Hamza Ali Abbasi lauded the multiple releases of 2018. Abbasi wrote, “Anxiously looking forward to Teefa In Trouble, JPNA 2, Load Wedding and Parwaaz Hai Junoon releasing this year.

Because of these films, I can happily and confidently say that 2018 will be a great year for the Pakistani film industry.”Throughout 2018, local distributors enjoyed ample revenue from the local films. They are more than satisfied and no longer see the presence of Indian releases as a threat. Pakistani film business is booming and has done pretty well throughout the year. Super Cinemas general manager Khorem Gultasab told The Express Tribune, “All movies attracted reasonable crowd, except Na Band Na Baraati.”

“The local audience has started believing in our films and realised that we can also produce good ones,” a senior official of Distribution Club stated. “Those who still don’t believe in Pakistani’s film industry should really start watching our films. After such a long time, we have managed to do so well.”

Thursday, 3 January 2019

'Gumm' to be the first film to hit local cinemas in 2019

LAHORE: Upcoming feature film Gumm is all set to kick the year off, releasing on January 11, 2019, at cinemas all around the country. In this connection, the film’s production team is elbows deep in running various promotional campaigns.

“The Distribution Club will be sending in an application to the Central Board of Film Censors (CBFC), Punjab Film Censor Board (PFCB) and Sindh Film Censor Board (SFCB) soon for a censor certificate,” a senior member of the Distribution Club told The Express Tribune. “We think there will be should be no reason for them not to issue a clearance certificate as Gumm is a complete family film,” he shared.

According to the official, Gumm will be the first local film of the year to be released in cinemas nationwide. There will be around 90 cinemas showcasing this film. “Gumm is important for us as it is the first Pakistani film to be releasing this year,” the member stated. “This will serve as a great opportunity for us in terms of the film’s success and from a business point of view. Currently, Bollywood film Zero is being played but we believe it has run its course and now people are demanding another film to be shown. To our luck, the next one to be showcased is a local one.”

Gumm’s story features action, crime and thriller. The film has been produced by Shakeel Anjum and directed by Ammar Lasani and Kanza Zia, who have also written it. The cast features actors Shamoon Abbasi, Shameen Khan, Sami Khan and others. The film revolves around a wanted criminal and a desperate father who are connected to one another by way of some unfortunate events. According to the writers, besides the crime and thriller aspect, Gumm also offers elements of light comedy.

It is also pertinent to mention here that the film has already been presented at international film festivals and received over 15 nominations and 7 awards: three for Best Screenplay, two for Best Actor (Sami), one for Best Director and another for Best Editor.

Zia shared the reasons of its success and hopes to see a similar response in Pakistan. “Ammar and I have created various short films in the past as part of our project at university. However, Gumm is our first feature film and we are very lucky to have had such a great response at these international film festivals,” she expressed. “It is a complete feature film and we did our best to produce a film of quality. Most of the positive feedback was on script and screenplay though.”

Zia shared that majority of Gumm‘s shooting was done in Margalla, Islamabad and the surrounding areas. She also stated that the film’s production was done following international demands and standards, using modern technology. “We are very hopeful and eager to see this film succeed. The team truly believes that Gumm can compete with any Indian film and thus, we are expecting a warm response from Pakistani cinema-goers.”

Speaking of the finances, the film-maker shared that Gumm did not have a big budget. “The budget wasn’t anything like that of a Bollywood film but it was good enough for us to prepare a complete film.” She added that Gumm is a film for all ages.

Monday, 31 December 2018

Have Urdu films taken over Lollywood? Insiders weigh in

LAHORE: Last year witnessed the release of many Pakistani films, a lot of which fared well at the box office and went on to become super hits. However, majority of them were in Urdu.

2018 did not prove great for the Punjabi film industry as only six Punjabi films were released and not a single one of those did too well at the box office. Due to this, producers have been suffering a great deal.

2017 had a total of 10 Punjabi films release while 2016 saw 11. Although this year wasn’t too great for Lollywood, stakeholders are looking to revive Punjabi cinema in 2019. “Pakistan’s film industry is at a very important stage at the moment. A few years ago, both the Punjabi and Urdu film industries were in crises but luckily, the Urdu film business has managed to pick itself up,” senior film director Altaf Hussain told The Express Tribune.

“The development within Lollywood is gradual and is happening at its own pace. However, I can assure you that we are moving towards success,” he added. “The proof of this is the young talent that is entering the industry as actors, directors and producers.”

 Hussain further stated that Lahore is still the center of Punjabi film as it still has countless talented directors and producers that can create blockbuster films. “We are not disappointed in this regard… we are just waiting for the good times to come back.”

 Ishq Di Jang, Faisla Gujjar Da, Peshi Gujjran Di, Suhaag Diyan Choorian, Jawaria and Rab Waris were the films that made it to the silver screen this year. However, they did not even fall in the ‘average’ category and flopped. Cinema owners have therefore been releasing old Punjabi films to run their businesses.

“In the past, there was a big market associated with Punjabi films within our country. Even though there haven’t been many produced this year, there are still many traditional cinemas in Punjab that play Punjabi films,” said Chaudhry Ejaz Kamran, chairman of the Film Distributors Association of Pakistan. “We admit that there are only a few Punjabi films released this year but you also have to consider that Punjabi film producers are willing to invest and are ready to start projects in 2019. I am hopeful that next year will be fruitful.”

The lack of success in the industry has come as a surprise to many. Stakeholders are very disappointed as they had high hopes, following the government’s support. Punjabi film stakeholders, who were united under the banner of Pakistan Film Producers Association of Pakistan, had demanded that the government of Pakistan put a ban on Indian films during the festivals of Eid. This year saw this demand materialise and for the first time ever, the government implemented a two week ban on Bollywood releases during Eidul Fitr and Eidul Azha. But even after these steps were taken, cinemas had no Punjabi films playing.

Senior film director Iqbal Kashmiri believes the problem lies in the lack of investment from producers. “All those willing to invest in the film business prefer to invest in Urdu films. Investors have started moving out of Lahore and into Karachi for this very reason, which has left us with no old producers wanting to invest in Punjabi films.”

 He continued, “Being a senior film director, I expect a bright future for Punjabi films. I hope to see great progress in the coming years. I know these investors will return to Punjabi cinema some day.”

Kashmiri went on to add that Punjab has a big viewership and investors will soon come back to this realisation. The director states that the golden period for Punjabi cinema is not too far away; everyone is just waiting for the right time.

Thursday, 27 December 2018

FIA takes action against Sarwar Bhatti, maker of original Maula Jatt

Bilal Lashari's coveted and much awaited film The Legend Of Maula Jatt, has been making rounds of news, ever since it was announced. However, as much as there has been good news, there have been some controversies attached to the film as well.

Recently, Sarwar Bhatti, maker of the original Maula Jatt, back in the 1981, commented and lodged a complaint against makers of The Legend Of Maula Jatt for copyrights violations. Bilal Lashari was accused of how he was using his father's influence to institutions like intellectual Property Organisation and Censor Board to bypass the whole legal system, for the release of his film.

Following allegations, producer The Legend Of Maula Jatt, Ammara Hikmat, lodged a compliant with the Federal Investigation Agency, citing that her film had all required approvals.

"The film The Legend of Maula Jatt has all the necessary approvals from the concerned government departments which are required for their trailer’s release. Ammara Hikmat and Bilal Lashari are legally well within their rights to release the movie at the time of their choice. Therefore, FIA has responded to producer Ammara Hikmat’s compliant against Bahoo Corporation for committing online defamation through cyber stalking and incitement by issuing summons to Bahoo Corporation CEO for appearance before FIA," read a press statement released by the makers of The Legend Of Maula Jatt.

The Legend Of Maula Jatt is all set to release on Eid ul Fitr next year.

The film stars Fawad Khan, Hamza Ali Abbasi, Mahira Khan and Humaima Malick in pivotal roles.

Bilal Lashari's 'Maula Jatt' trailer lives up to the gore, glory and gandasa

KARACHI: Ever since Bilal Lashari announced a Maula Jatt film, fans have been eagerly waiting for it. The Legend of Maula Jatt trailer finally dropped last night and it completely justifies why Lashari took his sweet time to cut the trailer.

The two-minute clip kicks off with the folklore of Maula Jatt and his gandasa. It then introduces Noori Nath – Jatt’s arch nemesis – and how the entire village fears his existence. Describing the rivalry between them, the trailer then cuts to a fierce Fawad Khan who essays Maula Jatt, followed by Hamza Ali Abbasi as the cunning Noori Nath.

Mahira Khan, who fans have been waiting to reunite with Fawad, also makes an appearance. Sporting long hair with multiple braids, she plays Maula’s love interest in the film, Mukkho Jatti. Humaima Malick, Gohar Rasheed along with Ali Azmat and Shafqat Cheema also make their presence felt.

The cinematography and production design speak volumes as to why Lashari, once again, took ages to edit the trailer of the film – he wanted it to be perfect and it is. The lighting, sound design and most importantly, picking the perfect snippets for an edgy and captivating first memory is something the young director has aced over the years. Here’s one director who actually knows how to put together a trailer you’d want to watch again and again. The sets look larger than life – a cross over of Padmaavat, Troy, 300 and Game of Thrones. And it goes with the concept of Maula Jatt dystopia.

Many may argue that it is a lot like Hollywood films or TV shows but when the audience demands it, the film-makers job is to deliver – which Lashari does full justice to in the trailer. Whether the same perfection will be delivered on screen when the film releases next year, is yet to be seen. But the trailer can be crowned as one of Pakistan’s finest.

While the visuals were jaw-dropping, the characters didn’t seem to stay as true to what the books or earlier films had – unless the upcoming film is a modern take on Maula Jatt. Fawad sports long hair with a long beard and has buffed up his physique as well; albeit it could have been a little more rough. Even Hamza didn’t look as terrifying as one would expect Noori Nath to look. After watching the trailer, some trolls even called him a “discounted version of Khal Drogo” from Game of Thrones.

Overall, none of the characters look bad. In fact, Humaima looked breathtaking in the few clips that she was shown in. Nonetheless, if The Legend of Maula Jatt is actually supposed to be a modern version of the folklore, then it does full justice.

However, it was surely missing Noori Nath’s iconic dialogue: Nawa aaya ae soneyaa? The Legend of Maula Jatt is set to hit screens on June 2019. The Maula Jatt films are based on a short story by Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi titled Gandasa, which essentially borrows characters from the folk tales of Punjab.

Monday, 24 December 2018

Bollywood is All Praise for The Legend of Maula Jatt

The Legend of Maula Jatt has been in the news for one reason or another. Now, with the 1st look of the film out, everyone has just positive things to say about it. It looks like, Bilal Lashari has created something unique for Pakistani cinema and we haven't seen our superstars play such characters ever before.

Not only us, but the Bollywood fraternity is also signing praising of the film.

Karan Johar liked the trailer and congratulated Fawad Khan.

Anurag Kashyap, showed his excitement and shared the trailer.

Trade analyst Taran Adarsh, highlighted that Fawad Khan and Salman Khan films are now set to clash on Eid at least in Pakistan.

Film critic Rohit Jaiswal, had his own peculiar way of showing his appreciation.

The Legend of Maula Jatt is all set to release on Eid-ul-Fitr 2019; the film stars Mahira Khan, Humaima Malick, Fawad Khan and Hamza Ali Abbasi in leads and will also become the first film from Pakistan which will release in China the same day.

Saturday, 15 December 2018

Director Shoaib Khan Reveals Why Film "Jackpot" Is Re-Releasing on 11th January 2019

One of the oldest debate related to our film industry is whether Indian films be allowed to release alongside local Pakistani films or not, as they greatly affect the box office numbers.

We saw the same happen with the Noor Hassan starrer Jackpot which, as per the filmmakers, got limited screens as Ranbir Kapoors Sanju released alongside it and bagged majority of the screens due to its demand. So recently when we heard the news that jackpot was re - releasing we got a bit curious and decided to find out more about the issue from the director.

With us having contacted the director of the movie, Shoaib Khan, following is what he shared with us as he said, "You see the first time we released it in July 2018 at that time Jackpot did not get proper shows due to Sanju and because of that after 5 / 6 days we decided to take the film down." Read :

 Adding further he said, "We were waiting for a time where we would get a chance to have a meeting with the cinemas in order to get proper shows and now with that problem resolved hence Jackpot is re - releasing on 11th January 2019."

'The Legend of Maula Jatt' becomes first Pakistani film to get same release date in China

KARACHI: Talks of the release of Bilal Lashari’s Maula Jatt has been making rounds for quite a few years, but the team finally made the announcement last weekend that the film will be hitting screens in 2019. While that’s huge news, The Legend of Maula Jatt will also be the first film from the subcontinent to get the same date release in China with its domestic release in Pakistan, stated a press release.

Only a handful of big studio backed projects from Hollywood have been able to achieve such mainstream release in China. The most commercially successful Bollywood films from India like Dangal, Secret Super Star, Hindi Medium and Bahubali, all have been released in China after months or a year later after their domestic and international screening.

It’s no mean feat as China has a limited quota for foreign films to be released each year. Therefore, annually a small number of films are selected among myriad of them released globally, after thorough scrutiny by the Chinese regulatory authorities. Till date only a handful of Hollywood movies belonging to the league of Spider Man 2, Captain America and X Men recently have been the chosen ones to secure the Chinese theatrical release overlapping with US domestic and worldwide release.

The rest of the foreign films from the most lucrative markets, primarily Hollywood and Bollywood, see a later date release in China, which is now the go-to market for Hollywood blockbusters theatrical revenue wise.

This breakthrough for a local film is all set to give Pakistan a global footing in the world of cinematic craft. A film from an infant industry like Pakistan has set benchmarks for even the most commercially viable neighbouring cinema in the subcontinent, Bollywood. Not only is this groundbreaking but also a hope for all other Pakistani movies to make it big internationally by not following Bollywood trends but by setting few for them.

Fawad Khan v Salman Khan: Who will break box office records on Eid 2019?

KARACHI: Fans have been waiting for Bilal Lashari’s Maula Jatt for a while now. While the principle cast of the upcoming film – Fawad Khan, Mahira Khan and Hamza Ali Abbasi – was announced long ago, it’s release date was kept under wraps until very recently.

But we now know that The Legend of Maula Jatt will hit screens on Eidul Fitr 2019. That’s great news, of course. But the festival brings with itself a bevy of other big releases. For instance, last Eid saw Parwaaz Hai Junoon, Load Wedding and Jawani Phir Nahi Ani 2 clash big time at the box office.

While no other Pakistani film has been announced just yet, it looks like The Legend of Maula Jatt will be battling it out with Salman Khan’s upcoming period drama Bharat upon release. It’s no big news that the Dabangg actor always releases his films during the Eid season. Needless to say, it will be one Khan battling out against another and film enthusiasts are already prepping for it.

Bollywood critic Taran Adarsh addressed the same concern tweeting, “Salman Khan versus Fawad Khan…Pakistan is all set to release its most ambitious film Maula Jatt on Eid 2019, in their country and overseas. Salman’s Bharat is also confirmed for Eid 2019 so it will be Khan vs Khan at the Pakistani box office.

Actor Gohar Rasheed, who plays an essential role in The Legend of Maula Jatt, also took to Twitter to share his two cents. Replying to Taran, he wrote, “Sir, we all love Sallu bhai but saada piece – Fawad – vi bada tight hai (We love Salman too but our Fawad is no less either).

Discussing the clash of the two films, The Legend of Maula Jatt executive producer Ammara Hikmat told The Express Tribune, “We are positioning our film as an international one overseas, it won’t be a regional language movie limited to desi audiences.”

 It will be interesting to see how our producers and exhibitors work around the clash. Earlier this year, when Race 3 was due for release, the authorities moved all international film releases one week further so that local productions could hold their own too.

The Ministry of Information, Broadcasting, National History and Literary Heritage had released a statement back then that read, “Keeping the importance of the local film industry and exhibition facilities in mind, the government has decided that screening of Bollywood movies shall be restricted for a period of one week in total, starting from the Eid day. The decision has been taken to promote the Pakistani film industry.”

Let’s see what happens when Bharat and The Legend of Maula Jatt come face to face. Even Twitterati remained divided on the matter. A Salman fan, Pawan Thakur wrote, “Aaja Fawad, apni maut ka tamasha dekhne (Come forward to your own death Fawad).”

Or perhaps both films won’t even end up clashing at all. Pakistani censor boards are notorious for banning Bollywood films that promote Indian nationalism. Bharat – as the title suggests – will be very patriotic as well. In fact, rumour has it that the film features a scene involving Salman and his leading lady Katrina Kaif at Wagah Border too. Katrina’s presence brings the Chikni Chameli star up against Pakistan’s very own Mahira Khan as well.

The Legend of Maula Jatt will be the first film from the subcontinent to get the same release date in China – a market that film industries from across the world are currently hoping to make the most of. Even the likes of Dangal and Hindi Medium were released there after months of their releases in Pakistan. Will this be a game changer for Pakistani films or The Legend of Maula Jatt? Only time will tell. But for now, let’s just say we’re rooting for Fawad. But also for Salman just a little…

Which film will you be watching on Eidul Fitr 2019?

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Load Wedding Nominated For Best Feature At Jaipur International Film Festival, India

Ever since the Pakistani film industry revived itself we noticed that the audiences prefer to watch light hearted comedies here. However, on the international level this formula does not work all the time as the story content is of utmost importance when talking about film festivals abroad. With short films like Rani and then Gumm winning accolades all over we were also thrilled to see Load Wedding getting the recognition it deserved as it got nominated for best feature in Jaipur Film Festival, India.

Thrilled actress Mehwish Hayat and director Nabeel Qureshi, took to Twitter to announce the news.

"Very proud to share that our film "Load Wedding" has been nominated at the Jaipur International Film Festival. Amazing achievement when we can hold our own with the best of them," wrote the starlet.

 Load wedding is a romantic social comedy film, written mutually by the director Nabeel Qureshi and the producer, Fizza Ali Meerza under the banner of Filmwala Pictures. With Fahad Mustafa and Mehwish Hayat in lead roles, the film had released on Eid ul Azha this year .

The Jaipur Film Festival is all set to begin from 18th till 22nd January 2019 and we couldn't be more thrilled for the entire team as this is a platform where people get a chance to view best films from all over the world.

Mansha Pasha, Ahmed Ali Akbar's 'Laal Kabootar' teaser is intriguing

KARACHI: “Ek chor hi chor ko dhundta hai.”

This is the only dialogue uttered in the minute-long teaser of Kamal Khan’s upcoming film Laal Kabootar. But the fact that it has only one line doesn’t make the teaser any less intriguing.

Set in Karachi, Laal Kabootar promises to be a roller coaster ride. We see Mansha Pasha and Ahmed Ali Akbar rubbing shoulders in the clip. However, it’s not clear how they meet. From the looks of it, Pasha will be playing the love interest of another pivotal character, played by Ali Kazmi, in the film.

Kazmi told The Express Tribune and revealed, “It will be a rocking thriller based in Karachi. In fact, Karachi will be seen in a never-seen- before avatar.”

 He continued, “My role in the film is of a quirky journalist. The character has shades of intensity and cleverness to it. He is care free and fun loving at his workplace. He is also very loyal to his wife, more than life itself.

” Apart from Pasha, Kazmi and Akbar, the cast includes Saleem Mairaj and Rashid Faroqui.

The film is produced by two young Pakistani Harvard graduates Kamil and Hania Chima, who happen to be brother-sister in real life.

 On the professional front, debutante director Khan has produced music videos earlier. Laal Kabootar will release in 2019.

Watch full teaser here: