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Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Will the spy cross the Durand Line? #O21

10:23 By Lollywood Online No comments

Jami and his team have made a conscious effort to make a film that doesn’t draw inspiration from Bollywood. PHOTOS: HASAN ANSARI/EXPRESS
KARACHI: 
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.

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