Saturday, 27 September 2014

Saba Qamar stuns viewers in 8969 teaser

The teaser for upcoming Pakistani film 8969 featuring actress Saba Qamar has been released, ARY News reports.

The upcoming Lollywood film stars Saba Qamar, Hussain Tiwana, Sadaf Hamid, Azeem Sajjad and Anam Malik in lead roles. The film will be directed by Azeem Sajjad.
The teaser shows nothing much except for clips from the film. It can be said that the film can be categorized into an action/thriller genre.
It has been said that actress Saba Qamar will be performing an item number but the actor has denied the rumors. However, the teaser for the song tells a different story in this regard.
Item numbers have been a huge centre of controversy in the country.
It should be noted that 8969 will be releasing along with heavily anticipated films such as Na-Maloom Afraad and Operation 021. Only time will tell how successful the flick turns out.

Friday, 26 September 2014

The original maker of Arth wishes Shaan all the best.


Indian director and now popularly known as Highway star Alia Bhatt’s dad Mahesh Bhatt gave an interview to Dawn News where he spoke about Shaan Shahid’s movie Arth2 which is a remake of his movie Arth, the unusual person that Shoaib Mnasoor is, Waar and how he together with Shobha De introduced the culture of daily soaps in India.

I cannot really forgive him for doing the last bit but let’s focus on what he said about Arth 2, Shoaib Mansoor and Waar. Because let’s face it we love hearing what the Indian counterparts have to say about Pakistan’s film industry.
On the remake of Arth by Shaan, Bhatt said, “I’m really happy that Shaan is making Arth2. It was one of the first movies I made and rose to fame with. And I’m definitely not that person who furrows his brows when other remake his/her movie. In fact I feel proud that Shaan chose my movie for a re-make.”
When asked if he was afraid that Shaan might mishandle the movie and he (Bhatt) may not like the result; he replied calmly, “He [Shaan] has the freedom to interpret Arth however he wants. And changes are inevitable because the original Arth was made in the 80s. Times have changed since then and Shaan has to fulfill the requirements of this day and age.”
Bhatt was excited to see the modern interpretation of Arth and felt Shaan had respected him by choosing his film. But he also warned that makers of Arth2 may ge to hear comments like, “iss wali mein who baat nahi jo pehlai mein thi”. And I agree. Everyone prefers the classic over the remake but since Arth is a really old movie many might not have seen the original at all unless they grab hold of a copy just to compare the two.
Moving towards Pakistani cinema on the whole, Bhatt praised Shoaib Mansoor and his daring nature which allows him to highlight taboos in our (Pakistani, Indian and Bangladeshi) society.
He said, “Shoaib mansoor is an unusual and unique filmmaker. Even though India is a huge market, we don’t find such filmmakers there. Filmmakers who can make a film so fearlessly. Even the harshest critics in India accept that Mansoor’s cinema is worth watching and praising.”
Bhatt had seen Khuda ke liye so was all praises for it and acknowledged Bol as well but he hasn’t seen other Pakistani movies since they haven’t seen a release in India.
He said that other Pakistani movies (except Bol and Khuda ke liye) might take some time because our movies don’t enter India. Only Bol and Khuda ke Liye made it.
Bhatt said, “Even our films struggle for a release, hence, we announce the release date when start making the film. So Pakistan has to come up with a sensational movie to attract the exhibitor and get shown in India.”
Bhatt was positive about the future of Pakistan’s film industry,“I’ve heard about Waar and that it’s a well-made film and I wasn’t surprised because I believe Pakistan has the talent and with time they’ll also reach where we [Bollywood] are standing.”

First digital Sindhi feature film in the making

The first Sindhi film to be made digital after 17 long years, “Maarvi” is keeping its makers extremely occupied as the preparations have reached their peak.
The film is being directed by Saleem Karim Dad while Liaquat Golden is responsible for the cinematography. The script of the film is written by Umer Khitaab Khan.
Based on the popular romantic story of Umar Marvi, the film will make use of latest technology and the cast will include popular actors of the drama industry, names of whom are being kept a secret.

Dukhtar’ is just what Pakistani cinema needs

The phrase ‘revival of Pakistan’s film industry’ is one we keep hearing spouted at press conferences and media launches but I often wonder, does it really mean anything at all? Only three Urdu films were released afterWaar which says a lot about quantity of films being produced – and nothing about the quality.
But then I watch a film like Afia Nathaniel’s Dukhtar, and I feel hope for Pakistani cinema. Here is a winner. Refreshingly, the producer isn’t the leading man, there are no unnecesaary item numbers nor has Shaan been inducted to boost the star power In fact, Dukhtar comes out as an understated and socially important story.
Although not without its faults, the film succeeds as a suspenseful drama that is both sensitive and thrilling. The word means ‘Dukhtar’ means daughter and this is the journey of not one but two daughters as they attempt to escape the barbaric men in their life.

 The movie is about a young girl Zainab (Saleha Arif) who is on the run with her mother Allah Rakhi (Samiya Mumtaz) as it was her father Daulat Khan (Asif Khan) who agreed to give her hand in marriage (as a peace offering) to rival tribal leader Tor Gul (Abdullah Jan). Ghorzang Khan (TV actor Adnan Shah Tipu) and Allah Rakhi’s wannabe suitor Shehbaz Khan (Ajab Gul) are amongst the pursuers while the escapees befriend a truck driver from Karachi named Sohail (Mohib Mirza) who helps them in their hour of need.
The film is quite different from what local cinema has offered recently. It doesn’t have the action scenes of Waar, tense moments like those in Main Hoon Shahid Afridi and drama like Mohib Mirza’s other movies Lamha and Josh
Director Afia Nathaniel – in her first major motion picture – must be credited for casting the best bunch of actors who suit their roles perfectly, scavenging through the country to the most breath taking locations and then combine both with a story that hasn’t been addressed by filmmakers.
Acting is the high point of the movie – Samiya Mumtaz couldn’t have hoped for a better film debut as she is present in nearly every other frame alongside her on-screen daughter played by another debutante Saleha Arif. They both have perfected the Pushto accent. Unfortunately, while both actresses have screen time it would have been interesting to see more dialogue between the two actresses post-escape. The two share only one real meaningful exchange during the harrowing ordeal and since the film is called Dukhtar one would have wished for more mother-daughter bonding (rather then a sudden truck driver romance that bloomed in a matter of days.)
Veteran Asif Khan portrays a father who takes the easy way out by agreeing to swap his daughter for peace. TV actors Ajab Gul, Mohib Mirza and Adnan Shah Tipu play the men who are tired of the chase, but can’t quit as the end is near. Renowned TV actress Samina Ahmed finally gets a chance to act in a feature film, considering her late husband Farid Ahmed was one of the finest film directors produced by Pakistan. There is a cameo role for Omair Rana as well who doesn’t disappoint like the rest of the cast.o
While the plot has a few loose ends, the over-all film remains impactful.
What makes Dukhtar so special is the cinematography – the fact that it is set in the mountains of  Hunza and Gilgit the beauty of the locations make it a must watch. The story is gripping, the execution is near perfect while the background score by Peter Nashel, and songs by Sahir Ali Bagga make you want to visit the cinema and be part of Nathaniel’s revival.

Rising stars: Six faces to watch out for

Actors are a dime a dozen – but not every actor has what it takes to be a star.
So. what seperates the potential Fawads and Mahiras from the whozzits and whatsits? The rare combo of raw star power and acting talent..
Fortunately, the arrival of new breed of filmmakers has also brought in the debutante stars. These six actors have emerged as the ones to watch.

 Mohsin Abbas Haider 

Na Maloom Afraad
Mohsin Abbas Haider
An RJ at private radio station in Lahore and one of the geniuses behind political comedy show ‘Banana News Network’ on Geo, Abbas has that X-factor which makes him stand out. His deep masculine voice is a sign that he is a singer at heart and a passionate musician.
Since the promo of ‘Na Maloom Afrad’ was released Abass has been praised for his acting talent. His song ‘Sapno Ke Mala’ in the movie is a testiment to the fact that he is a brilliant singer too.  He is currently part of political satire show ‘Mazaq Raat’ on Dunya TV.

Omair Rana

Tamanna, Dukhtar, Chambaili
After sharing the screen with bigwigs like Salman Shahid the fact that Omair Rana managed to hold his own (and some say to steal the limelight) in ‘Tamanna’ is commendable. Although the film received a lukewarm response, Rana’s portrayal of struggling actor, Rizwan Ahmed was impressive.
A graduate of London School of Economics Rana is also an established theatre director and owns theatre company, Real Entertainment Productions which has produced more than 50 plays since its inception in 2000.

Saleha Aref

The child artist Saleha Aref is the highlight of Afia Nathaniel’s ‘Dukhtar’. Her character in the film was crucial as the whole film story revolves around her – a mediocre performance could mean disaster for the filmbut Aref ability to portray genuine innocence, wisdom and fear in the first ten made the audience connect with her character. We too wanted to protect her – just as Samiya Mumtaz did. Aref certainly has a knack for acting and in a year or two the young girl will be all set to give our leading actresses run for their money.

Ayaz Samoo

 021, Moor
Ayaz Samoo
Popularly known  for being a VJ/comedian Sajid Billa ARY Music  Samoo is now making for his big screen debut. We know him more as a stand-up comedian than actor – thanks to his participation in numerous comedy shows in India.
With big projects like Azaan Sami Khan’s spy thriller ‘021’ and Jami’s ‘Moor’ this guy is all set to make it big in the industry.

Armeena Rana Khan

Listed among the the top 10 most beautiful female models in the UK and top 50 most sexiest south Asian women in the world the dainty Armeena Rana Khan is making waves in the local industry with her subtle style statement and acting prowess. Although her Bollywood debut film ‘Huff, it’s too much’  was a dud on box office but the girl gets a lot of offers from the local industry – including a handful of endorsements and commercials. Currently her play‘Mohabbat ab nahi hogi’ is on air on Hum TV where she portrays a cute bhabhi.
Rana is will appear in Hassan Waqas Rana’s action thriller ‘Yalghaar’.

Hareem Farooq

Hareem Farooq
Islamabad based theatre actress Hareem Farooq came into limelight with Azfar Jafri’s horror flick Siyaah. In a role of young wife who cannot bear a child she impressed all and sundry – her perfect facial expressions gave a life to her on-screen character. Although currently she is busy in shooting for television serial but we want to see her on silver screen – as she possesses a glint of the perfect film heroine.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Will the spy cross the Durand Line? #O21

Jami and his team have made a conscious effort to make a film that doesn’t draw inspiration from Bollywood. PHOTOS: HASAN ANSARI/EXPRESS
If the schedule of Pakistani films operated like the Chinese calendar, then 2011 would have been called the year of Bol, 2013, the year of Waar, and 2014, expectedly set to be labelled as the year of Operation O21. The team behind Pakistan’s first-ever spy action thriller, 021, unveiled its new trailer and behind-the-scenes (BTS) at Nueplex Cinemas on Sunday.
021 revolves around the recent discovery of mineral reserves in Afghanistan, particularly lithium. A New York Times article published in 2010 and recently shared on the film’sFacebook page said, “The previously unknown deposits — including huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium — are so big and include so many minerals that are essential to modern industry that Afghanistan could eventually be transformed into one of the most important mining centres in the world, the United States officials believe.”
Jami and his team have made a conscious effort to make a film that doesn’t draw inspiration from Bollywood. PHOTOS: HASAN ANSARI/EXPRESS
“Since everything that happens in Afghanistan has direct implications for Pakistan, we are going to explore the discovery of these mineral reserves in a more global context,” shared Jami, the co-director, producer and writer of the film.
Actors Bilal Ashraf and Gohar Rasheed hosted the event, which kicked off with the screenings, after which the floor was opened for a question-and-answer session. Hesitating to disclose the budget of the film, its co-producer Azaan Sami Khan said, “I will hold the budget of the film till it is complete, but I can tell you that people in the film industry are gradually developing a business sense with regard to cinema.”
The event saw a decent turnout with several members of the Pakistani film fraternity, including Mahira Khan, Adnan Siddiqui, Mohib Mirza and Sheheryar Munawar Siddiqui, attending the event. Film exhibitor and managing director of Mandviwalla Entertainment, Nadeem Mandviwalla, commended the event’s organisers. He expects the film to do well at the box office, reasoning against upcoming releases such as Na Maloom Afraad and Bang Bang.
“We have two Pakistani releases on Eidul Azha this year; one of them is with a star and the other, without a star,” he said. Shaan Shahid, the ‘star’ Mandviwalla was referring to, was also present at the occasion and spoke about the challenges of pulling off the character of a spy in 021.
“I feel that finding the right character for yourself is the most difficult task and once you do that, it’s all hunky-dory,” he said. Two notable absentees from the event were the film’s co-director-writer Summer Nicks and actor Ayub Khoso.
Surprise: Seven minutes of something
The event’s schedule claimed that there will be a surprise for the attendees, which turned out to be the screening of the first seven minutes of 021. It didn’t give away much apart from the fact that it is set in the backdrop of the 2014 general elections in Afghanistan along with lithium reserves that have been discovered in the region.
The opening scene involves a group armed men led by Abdullah (Ayub Khoso), hijacking and blowing up a consignment of trucks, possibly containing extracted mineral reserves. Jami revealed that despite taking up the project after it was halfway through, he has tried to stay true to its preceding director Summer’s vision. “We had to reshoot a certain part of the film after rewriting it, turning it into more of a spy-action thriller along the lines of corporate espionage,” he said.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Hina Dilpazeer finally to grace the silver screen

Javed Sheikh has been occupied with his upcoming movie but what we are more excited about is Hina Dilpazeer being a part of it. After taking the small screen by the storm with her comical roles and getups in ‘Bulbulay’ and ‘Quddusi Sahab Ki Bewah’ Dilpazeer will be seen on the big screen. The movie will also star Ismael Tara, Behroz Subzwari, Moammar Rana and Saleem Sheikh. Also read: Ahsan Khan to produce ‘Chupke Se Bahar Aai’ The story of the film is being written by popular TV writer Sameera Fazal,  known for her scripts for ‘Daastan’, ‘Mera Naseeb’, ‘Mere Pass Pass’ and ‘Mera Saieen’ to name the famous few. While talking to Urdu newspaper Khabrein, Sheikh revealed that the script is on the verge of completion and shootings will start from December. He also denied the rumor of producing a drama and said that he is currently only concentrating on acting and his movie. 

Humayun Saeed changes name of his ‘Pakistani Hangover’

Heartthrob Humayun Saeed’s upcoming movie has a new working title. The film has gone from the short and cute ‘Afrah Tafreeh’ to more convoluted ‘Yeh Jawani Phir Nahi Aayegi’.
Howevr, it’s too early to decide if that will be the final title as the movie won’t be completed until next year in February.
Like Main Hoon Shahid Afridi, the comedy film is written by Vasay Chaudhry who is known for witty dialogues and clever characters. Veteran Nadeem Baig will be the director.
The actor turned producer lately told Instep the movie is a Pakistani version of Hangover.
He further elaborated:
“We are currently shooting and it stars Hamza Ali Abbasi, Ahmed Butt and Vasay alongside me.”
Saba Qamar, Ushna Shah, Mehwish Hayat, Ayesha Khan, Humaima Malik and Mawra Hocane are also said to appear in the film. These names remain unconfirmed.
Saeed also thinks that the stage our film industry stands at at present, one cannot expect any profits from their movies.
“Movies are only being made out of passion and not to recover investment. That’s how I made my first movie and that’s what the purpose is now.”

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Zhalay Sarhadi gets her ‘item girl’ on for Jalaibee

With Jalaibee’s violenty vibrant aesthetic and slick Guy Ritchie style editing the promo quickly made the captured the imaginations of film enthusiasts who often shy away from Pakistani films. But don’t be fooled by the international look, according to the makers the film is no Hollywood re-hash and a complete entertainer that  they hope will resonate with local audiences.
And what resonates with local audiences better than a sexy actress doing some jhatkas?
Lead actress of Jalaibee Zhalay Sarhadi is set to perform an ‘item song’ which has been composed by Shuja Haider.
A member of the Jalaibee team told HIP that the song has not been forced in to the film and is something that is suitable for the character in the story.
Sarhadi plays sensous Bano in Yasir Jaswal’s upcoming movie alongside Danish Taimoor, Adnan Jaffar, Waqar Ali Khan and Ali Saifina.
The song has been shot in Lahore on what is reportedly a ‘phenomenal’ set.
“Zhalay is not a trained dancer and yet she performed extremely well,” a Jalaibee team member told HIP.
Unlike many item numbers this song is a key part of the movie which is significant for the progression of the plot and not just there to entertain and generate publicity.
Mehwish Hayat’s special appearance as Namaloom Afraad’s Billi created quite a stir earlier this year. The stylish star appears in a backless ghagra choli. While fans appreciated the song she received criticism for being ‘too Bollywood’. 
She defended her ite, song sayomg that just because we keep hearing the term in India, we think it’s bad. “I don’t understand what’s so bad about it. If the song is entertaining, fun and has no vulgarity in it, then people should be absolutely fine with it,”
While the term’ item number’ is been associated with Bollywood, truth be told, the trend of raunchy dance numbers in our local cinema is not new at all.
Mathira, Mahnoor Baloch and Mehwish might be the contemporary item girls of Pakistan. But in older movies were often filled with catchy, sexually provocative dance sequences (now called the item numbers) showing actresses like Saima, Laila and Reema wearing revealing clothes and gyrating confidently.
The probing question though is will these item girls be accepted by the local audiences and be spoken positively about?
Gorgeous Hayat who is thoroughly excited about her number in NaMaalom Afraad  says “I don’t regret doing it at all.”

The atypical thriller marks a new type of Pakistani filmmaking

Last year, Pakistan re-entered the Oscar race — after a more than 50-year absence — in an effort to bring attention to the country’s cinematic output. Their best foreign-language submission, illegal immigration comedy Zinda Bhaag, failed to earn a nomination.
The country is hopeful once again, submitting Afia Nathaniel’sDukhtar to the foreign-language Oscar race. The Urdu-language film is a road-trip thriller looking at issues of child marriage in the country.
After her 10-year-old daughter is promised in marriage to a much older tribal chieftain, her mother takes the girl and flees her village, only to be chased by her own husband and the intended groom’s henchman. It’s set against stunning backdrops on the road to Lahore.
The film had its world premiere Sept. 5 at the Toronto International Film Festival this year in the Discovery section and is releasing theatrically in Pakistan Thursday.
The Pakistani selection committee is chaired by Academy Award-winning documentary filmmakerSharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, who said of the film, “Dukhtar has set a new precedent in filmmaking in Pakistan. The film's powerful narrative is met with equally strong visuals that collectively showcase what Pakistani talent is all about. I have no doubt that the story will resonate with people locally and internationally.”

Friday, 19 September 2014

An Evening with the Team Behind Kites Grounded

OLOMOPOLO Media invited the team behind Kites Grounded, a film highlighting what happens to a man when he loses his passion. The evening was graced with the director, Murtaza Ali, the producer Seema Hameed and the lead actor, Irfan Khoosat, who plays the character of a kite maker. Kites Grounded is a story of a Kite Maker and his dying passion as Lahore faces the ban of Basant.The team brought along two teasers and the theatrical trailer and showed the audience a scene from the film to give an idea of what they should be looking out for. After the small screening, there was also a talk session where audience members and the filmmakers talked about the process of making the film and the difficulties faced by them during the making. A passionate discussion on why filmmakers should be filmmakers was conducted by Murtaza Ali, Seema Hameed and Irfan Khoosat. Passion was the highlight of the night.

OLOMOPOLO Media is an unprecedented, cultural and social innovation organization that aims to enhance quality entertainment in the society – entertainment with a cause. Our activity center called OLO Junction hosts cultural and art activities weekly. Among these activities there are regular sessions of OLO

TATOLO that revolves around interacting with children between ages of 3-13 in arts and crafts, music and storytelling sessions everySunday. Under OLO Junction, we host sessions for theatrical, dance and cultural interactive performances like dramatic readings, film screenings, musical performances, gigs, games nights, social talks, standup comedy acts, open mic nights, reading circles etc.. The OLO Factree is for skill building workshops and classes for performing arts, and the OLO Art Jamaat is the regular fine art, multidisciplinary design, music and dance classes.

Waadi Animations launched

3 Bahadur aims at promoting the idea of empowering Pakistani youth. PHOTO: PUBLICITY
Karachi-based production house SOC Films has announced its latest collaborative effort with a local film production company titled Waadi Animations. The venture centralises producing animated feature films, short films, television series and commercials.
According to a press release, Waadi Animations’ first project, 3 Bahadur, is already in its production phase and is gearing up for a summer 2015 release. The film is credited with being the first Pakistani HD Urdu-language animated feature film.
Promoting the idea of motivating and empowering Pakistani youth, 3 Bahadur is an action-packed film with a dash of comedy and drama. Made in 3D-animation format, the film promises an engaging story.
“We have such a talented group of animators in Pakistan. I am excited to share their creativity with the rest of the world,” said Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, who is the Chief Executive of Waadi Animations.
“This partnership will allow us to create animated super heroes and heroines that will make us laugh and cry and, most importantly, entertain. We all have an inner child and we will attempt to nurture the imagination of that child at Waadi Animations.”