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:

'Sorry' is a complete entertainer with lots of romance, song and dance in it: Faysal Qureshi

Films are a director-driven medium. Film-making requires an unshakeable amount of dedication and with millions of rupees – not to mention the efforts of hundreds – at stake, the pressure to deliver is immense.

And so, naturally, every debutante director dreams of a making a commercially and critically successful watch. In Pakistan, the latest to join the crop is Sohail Javed who – after directing music videos and commercials for the likes of Ali Haider, Sajjad Ali, Hadiqa Kiani, Junoon, Vital Signs, Fuzon and more – is now gearing up for his first full-length feature film Sorry.

The upcoming film goes on floors in January next year. “I have always wanted to do a feature film and I’m glad that it’s finally happening!” Javed told The Express Tribune. “The story of Sorry isn’t just close to my heart but I have lived through it myself. It’s 100% original – not a remake of any other film.”

The idea behind the films is to stress upon the importance of apologies. “The word ‘sorry’ is the most difficult word to say. If we only realise its importance and use it at the right times, our lives would become so much easier and there would be nothing left repent,” explained Javed.

“The plot of my film is a square of sorts. There are four people, four desires, four losses and four closures. It’s a commercial pot-boiler with all the right ingredients for a masala film.”

According to Javed, Sorry will be shot in various locations across Pakistan with musician Abbas Ali Khan composing its six main songs. The film is slated for release in July or August 2019 and also stars actor Faysal Qureshi in the lead.

 “It’s been 18 years since I did my last film,” said Qureshi when asked about Sorry. “The actor inside me has been looking for a wholesome, intelligent script. My fans trust me and whenever I chose to star in a film, it had to be something really big.” he added.

“One fine day, Sohail randomly narrated a script to me while dropping me home and by the end of the ride, I was sold. That script was Sorry. It’s a complete entertainer with lots of romance, song and dance in it.

” Also in the film are actors Aamina Sheikh, Sonya Hussyn and Zahid Ahmed. Sharing her experience of working with Qureshi, Sheikh said, “He was my first hero when I started acting in dramas. Honestly, I have no hesitations in saying that Faisal actually brought my game up.

” The Cake star confessed that she was crying by the time Javed finished had narrating the script to her. “I feel so lucky that film-makers approach me for such multi-layered and complex roles. I’ve always maintained that if a script excites me enough to laugh or cry, it’s a yes for me,” said Sheikh. “With Sorry, we will revive the charm of the 70s on a 70mm screen.”

Hussyn stated, “I feel Sorry has the potential to bring out my best as a performer. My character has shades of grey…it’s dark and crazy at times” while Ahmed added, “I signed on for Sorry before I even knew veterans like Faysal Qureshi and Aamina Sheikh were going to be in it too. I couldn’t have asked for a better debut!”

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

Fawad Khan's 'Maula Jatt' release date announced

Bilal Lashari and Ammara Hikmat’s multi-starrer, Maula Jatt finally has a release date. The film, marred by controversy over the last year, is finally making progress as a teaser is soon to be dropped as well.

The makers of the 1979 hit rendition took to social media and shared that the film is all set to release on Eidul Fitr next year.

The Legend of Maula Jatt stars Mahira Khan, Fawad Khan, Hamza Ali Abbasi and Humaima Malick in pivotal roles. Ali Azmat and Gohar Rasheed will also be seen in the film.

 The film will see Fawad and Hamza take on the iconic characters of Maula Jatt and Noori Natt, respectively. Mahira will play Mukkho Jatti – the love interest of Maula Jatt.

The film was set to be a reboot version of the iconic Maula Jatt (1979), however, turns out it is a continuation of Nasir Adeeb’s series instead.

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

Friday, 7 December 2018

Shaan’s confidence in me was what made me sign 'Zarrar': Kiran Malik

KARACHI: You know how they say some people are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them? Well, from the looks of it, Kiran Malik seems to be one from the third category.

The world of showbiz is eye-catching to say the least. Every year, thousands attempt to become part of all the glitz and glam, whether it is by starring in a film or simply setting their Instagram profiles on ‘public.’

Many of them succeed, some fail, but in Malik’s case, it’s almost like stardom was served to her on a silver platter. The HR-professional and part time, Dubai-based model is all set to star alongside Shaan Shahid in Zarrar, after being spotted by him in Karachi.

Zarrar claims to be an action-thriller of sorts, written and directed by Shahid himself, set to release on Eidul Azha in 2019. Other than him and Malik, the upcoming film also stars big names such as Nadeem Baig, Adnan Butt and Nayyer Ejaz. Talk about lucky!

“I was in Karachi, visiting a friend of mine. We were enjoying a quick meal at a local cafĂ© when all of a sudden, I saw Shaan Shahid sitting beside my friend!” Malik told The Express Tribune. “I was star-struck to say the least! This was my moment and I immediately took a selfie with him to record it.”

The trio ended up eating together and having a long chat over food. “He made me extremely comfortable. I got a call from my friend the very next day and was told that Shaan wanted to approach me for his next film. At first I laughed when I heard that,” Malik recalled.

“Anyway, then when we met again, I clearly told him that I am not an actor and have no idea how to act at all! But Shaan turned around and said, ‘Mujhe actress nahin chahiye. Mujhe aik aam larki chahiye [I don’t need an actor. I need a regular girl]’.”

 The budding starlet continued, “I had actually never thought of being an actor before. Therefore, I was naturally a bit hesitant and unsure if I would be able to pull it off. Shaan’s confidence in me was what made me sign the dotted line. I surrendered myself to him and let him take me forward.

” Malik plays a journalist in Zarrar, which she says is contemporary love story with female characters that represent today’s modern women. She had nothing but good things to say about her experience of working with Shahid.

“Initially, I used to feel the pressure of having to debut opposite an actor par excellence. Across a span of more than 500 films in two decades, Shaan has essayed diverse roles and the opportunity to reach out of different sections of the audience,” she said.

“But more than that, he is a great human being. Before the shoots began, we’d spend a lot of time together and became good friends, which kind of helped the shooting process. He is very well-versed in all aspects of film-making. He really knows his craft and exactly what he wants from his actors,” Malik added. “We share an amazing chemistry in the film which, I’m sure, the audience will appreciate. Fingers crossed!”

 As luck would have it, Malik has already started being approached for subsequent films. “I’ve got a couple of offers but I don’t want to accept anything till I feel I have been accepted by the audience myself,” she said. “Modelling is easy but acting can’t be taken for granted. You can’t fool the masses in today’s digital world. Have something to add to the story? Share it in the comments below.

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Fawad Khan to do a special appearance in Parey Hut Love

While we wait for our favorite star Fawad Khan, to make an appearance on the big screen in Pakistan with his reboot of Maula Jatt, we have another news for his fans. The star is all set to make another special appearance in Asim Raza's upcoming film, Parey Hut Love.

Fawad Khan was spotted in serious discussion with Asim Raza and Sheheryar Munawar on the sets of Paray Hut Love.

Fawad Khan recently did a cameo in Nadeem Baig's Jawani Phir Nahi Ani 2 but sadly, the cameo disappointed his fans rather than pleasing them. Khan was seen as a rockstar who struggled with a stutter. The role was rather irrelevant and did not add any value to the film.

With Mahira Khan already appearing in a special appearance in Paray Hut Love, completing the third angle of a love triangle, we're hoping Fawad Khan's character would add value to the film's story line and perhaps give us a chance of seeing the iconic Humsafar duo together on screen, after a long time.

Paray Hut Love, directed by Asim Raza stars Sheheryar Munawar and Maya Ali in lead roles alongside Ahmed Ali Butt and Zara Noor Abbas in pivotal roles. The film, a modern day take on love, has been shot in beautiful locations of Northern Pakistan and in Turkey.

Ali Zafar starrer Teefa In Trouble now available on Netflix except Pakistan and China

Ali Zafar, with the release of his film Teefa In Trouble, set multiple records for Pakistan. An action, romantic-comedy, Teefa In Trouble, was the first Pakistani film to be distributed worldwide in collaboration with Bollywood bigwigs, Yash Raj Films. The film, also released in 25 different countries in multiple language.

Last week, Teefa In Trouble was also brought back into cinema houses in Islamabad on popular demand, another first for Pakistani films. And now, adding another credit to its name, Teefa In Trouble has now been released on Netflix around the world, except China (where the film is looking for a theatrical release) and in Pakistan.

"ANNOUNCEMENT: #Teefaintrouble now available in India and around the world (minus Pakistan/China) on Netflix. Enjoy!" wrote the star himself on Twitter.

Ali Zafar has already made a name for himself in Bollywood, starring in major films across the border. Zafar starred in Tere Bin Laden, Mere Brother Ki Dulhan opposite Katrina Kaif and Imran Khan, Kill Dill alongside Ranveer Singh and Parineeti Chopra and also had a cameo in the Shahrukh Khan and Alia Bhatt starrer Dear Zindagi. Zafar's fans across the border are now rejoicing as they have finally gotten a chance to see their favorite actor in action, once again.

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Three Fahad Mustafa films to be screened at Indian film festival

Pakistani films are starting to gain recognition all around the world. From Kami Sid’s Rani being screened at international film festivals to Bollywood film-maker Mahesh Bhatt lauding Punjab Nahi Jaungi, it’s safe to say that our films are getting up there, slowly but surely.

After all this, three of Fahad Mustafa’s films have been shortlisted to be screened at the Festival South Asia Forum for Art & Creative Heritage (SAFACH) in India.

The Jawani Phir Nahi Ani 2 star took to Twitter to share his joy. Posting a picture of the news article with a headline that read ‘Indian Festival To Screen Three Pakistani Movies In December,’ Mustafa wrote, “Wah Wah.”

The festival will show 2014’s Na Maloom Afraad, 2016’s Actor in Law and last year’s Na Maloom
Afraad 2, all of which feature Mustafa and have been directed by Nabeel Qureshi.

Actor in Law was previously screened in Mumbai in honour of late Indian actor Om Puri as well. It was one of Puri’s last films and was showcased at a private screening by the Harkisan Mehta Institute for its students. Produced by Fizza Ali Meerza, the film also starred Mehwish Hayat alongside Mustafa. Actor in Law was also premiered at a film festival in Rajasthan.

SAFACH will run from December 10 to December 16, 2018 in New Delhi, featuring the best of Asian cinema.

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Sarmad Khoosat's next to be Punjabi film based in Lahore

KARACHI: When it comes to what works with audiences, it’s a gamble. While most directors like to play it safe, Sarmad Khoosat is all for challenging himself.

His contemporary style of film-making may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but undoubtedly, the star’s narrating style is very unique and different.

While Khoosat’s projects such as Manto and Akhri Station did fairly well, others like Mor Mahal failed to leave a mark. However, it didn’t stop him from going back to his roots.

The actor is gearing up to take over the director’s seat once again for his upcoming Punjabi flick. The Ek Thi Marium helmer has been sharing pictures of his next ‘untitled’ project on his Instagram handle.

Talking about it, the 39-year-old film-maker told The Express Tribune, “The plot of the film is very close to my heart. I am Lahori, therefore, I can relate to the subject in a much more relatable manner.” Khoosat added, “What regional language does really well is to tell stories rooted in its culture.

I will show in all it glory in my next project. The idea is to unveil its sheer beauty that will surely captivate the audience.”

The film is the first production under Khoosat Films. His sister, Kanwal Khoosat, will be producing the film while Khizer Idrees is onboard as DOP. The script is penned by the actor himself. It stars Samiya Mumtaz, Eman Suleiman, Ali Kureishi and Arif Hasan. The yesteryear Pakistani film industry was essentially all about the Punjabi genre. So, when the number of such films being made was reduced drastically, it caused uproar among producers. Films such as Maula Jatt, Majajan, Gandasa, Gunda Raaj ruled cinemas some two decades ago.

Although Pakistani cinema has turned over a new leaf in the last couple of years, the revival somehow missed out on Punjabi films. Due to the fear of failure, producers refrained from taking up any new ventures.

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

Sunday, 25 November 2018

'Shooting for Laal Kabootar was one of the best experience I have had' says Ahmed Ali Akbar

We have some very exciting news for Pakistani cinephiles. Laal Kabootar, starring Ali Kazmi, Mansha Pasha and Ahmed Ali Akbari is all set to release next year. Ali Kazmi, revealed to us that the film will be an engrossing thriller. The film is directed by Kamaal Khan. The teaser preview was released in a festival arranged by Lums students, at Al Hamra. The film promises to be high on suspense with a focus on cinematography and of course some stellar performances.

The teaser of Laal Kabootar will be officially released in a week. We also got in touch with Ahmed Ali Akbari and asked him about the shooting process.

'I have done theatre as well as films. The process of this movie was very close to theatre when it comes to training as Kamal had started talking about the character six months before it went on floor'.

Talking further Ahmed detailed on how this film was a different experience. 'I would often discover new things about the character during rehearsals and we did those quite often even with cinematographer Mo Azmi. One thing which I have to say is that shooting for the film was one of the best experience I have had' .

The actor revealed that the film is about four characters whose lives change due to a certain incident. With the script having been in the works for two years, Laal Kabootar is not going to be your typical masala flick. Instead its main focus is a strong story which would leave the audiences mesmerized. Mansha Pasha will play a female protagonist, Aliya who is struggling in this period of her life.

Laal Kabootar is all set to release in 2019 and it promises to be a thriller which will keep you on the edge of your seat for sure!

Punjab Film Censor Board suspended amid corruption reports

LAHORE: In a recent turn of events, the Punjab government has suspended the Punjab Film Certification Board. According to sources, the decision was made due to the government no longer being able to afford its members.

The board’s chairman, vice chairman along with all its other members were removed in an attempt to reevaluate the budget of the censor board. “After receiving several reports of financial corruption, the ministry has decided to conduct an audit of the board,” a senior official of the Punjab Information and Culture Ministry official told The Express Tribune.

According to sources, former film actor and censor board chairperson Zeba’s monthly salary of whopping Rs1.2 million per was the centre of the issue. Other board members were also receiving quite a hefty monthly sum, including the newly appointed chairperson Shoaib bin Aziz.

“It was beyond our understanding why such huge sums were being paid to the members, in comparison to the amount of work they were doing. Only a few films are produced every year so I would like to know what work this committee has been doing, other than receiving big salaries?” questioned the official.

Zeba was assigned as chairperson on October 1, 2013 by the previous government, due to her wonderful contributions to Pakistan’s film industry during the 70s and 80s. She was married to late legendary actor Muhammad Ali who was also a superstar of his era.

“I completed my tenure with great commitment and I do not know why the committee has been suspended,” stated Zayba. “I will not comment on the issues of corruption and auditing. All I know is that I completed all the work that was assigned to me by the government with honesty.

” The next couple of weeks will see the Punjab Information and Culture Minister Fayazul Hasan Chouhan set up a new committee after appointing a new chairman. The insider went on to provide that the salaries for the new members will be based on merit. Rs150,000 will be paid to the new chairman instead of Rs1.2 million while the vice president will receive Rs100,000.

The ministry is trying to improve the industry’s situation and lessen its burden by taking such cost-cutting measures.”We believe that basing the payments on merit is fair and thus, the amount of Rs8000 has been decided for the committee members responsible for reviewing and censoring films.”

The source further stated that there is a possibility of introducing health insurance for the members and regular meetings with showbiz personalities will be held for the healthy functioning of the board.