Saturday, 28 February 2015

Bilal Ashraf geared up for romantic comedy ‘Jhol’

The newest heartthrob in town Bilal Ashraf has revealed his third film, after action-thriller 021 and the soon to be released Yalghaar,
The film is a tentatively titled ‘Jhol’ and is a romantic comedy.
Besides the hunky Ashraf the film sees akistani Rock-Star, Ali Azmat returning to  the big screen for the first time since mea-hit Waar opposite Shoaib Mansoor’s favorite actress Iman Ali. 
In a recent interview with a blog, Ashraf said the film will have  twists and turns and will be a treat for all cinema goers.ists
The film went on floors last week and is expected to release later this year.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Watch Jalaibee, win gold!

KARACHI: Distributors of the highly anticipated Pakistani film Jalaibee have come up with perhaps the most unique promotional campaign for a movie in the country’s history. ARY Films, in collaboration with real estate tycoon Malik Riaz, is offering gold worth the price of a ticket to anyone who will watch Jalaibee
“Everyone who buys the ticket will be eligible to get jewellery of the same value,” CEO ARY Digital Jerjees Seja told The Express Tribune.
There is however a catch. Only those who will watch the film in Bahria Town cinemas will be eligible for the prize. “So far it’s only cinemas in Bahria Town but we are hoping to add more,” Seja said.
“The basic idea is to make people buy more tickets. This is about supporting a ‘Made in Pakistan’ campaign and Jalaibee is a Pakistani film.”
Read: Jalaibee ‘very different’ from other movies being made in Pakistan, says Ali Safina
The film’s director Yasir Jaswal also confirmed this to The Express Tribune.
“I am not entirely sure about how it works but I do know that ARY and Malik Riaz will be offering people gold equal to the price of the ticket,” he said.
Jalaibee is set to release on March 20. The movie has already created a lot of buzz on social media all thanks to its ensemble cast and high-octane trailer.
Jaswal also revealed that the film’s music will be launched in Karachi on March 10. Apart from being the writer and director of the film, Jaswal is also its music director. He described the soundtrack of the film as ‘extreme’ due to the diverse range of artistes featuring in it. His brothers Umair Jaswal and Uzair Jaswal along with others such as Shizzio, Zohaib Kazi and an underground band Lahu, have contributed to the film’s soundtrack.
Jalaibee stars Danish Taimoor, Ali Safina, Adnan Jaffar, Zhalay Sarhadi, Umair Jaswal, Sajid Hasan and Wiqar Ali Khan.
“It is a film about eight people and how their lives are intertwined after a sequence of events,” Jaswal had earlier told The Express Tribune. “Two of the major characters in the film are Billu (Danish Taimoor) and Bugga (Ali Safina), friends who get entangled in a debt with the local mafia called The Unit,” he added, specifying that a central theme of the film is greed and how it wields its sledgehammer on those involved.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Lashari’s Maula Jatt to release in 2017

The Film has entered the final stages of pre-production and is set to hit the floors this fall. PHOTO: PUBLICITY
KARACHI: It seems like Bilal Lashari remains undeterred by the controversy surroundingMaula Jatt’s copyrights, with the filmmaker’s latest venture going strong. The film has entered the final stages of pre-production and is set to hit the floors this fall. Judging by earlier reports, the film should have been shot by now with a 2016 release, but it was a conscious decision on Lashari’s part to delay the film’s release till 2017.
Waar was appreciated for its stylistic elements, but was criticised for its script, which is why I want to spend more time on Maula Jatt’s script,” Lashari told The Express Tribune. Although Nasir Adeeb, writer of the original film franchise, has written the screenplay of Lashari’sMaula Jatt, the film cannot be termed as a remake.
“My film is certainly not a remake of Maula Jatt. It is a lot more than that. It’s a new story with an entirely different take on the screenplay, certainly nothing like what happened in the case of the new Devdas,” said Lashari, adding that a few plot points have been retained from the older films. This is to ensure that audience members responsible for granting Maula Jattcult status can also enjoy the film.
Foreign action choreography crew has also been hired for the multimillion-dollar project, details of which remain undisclosed. The producers are also in talks with a few well-known names from Pakistani cinema and Bollywood to play key roles in the film.
Another much-anticipated feature film that will make it to Pakistani cinemas in 2017 isBloody Nasreen. In an earlier interview, Faisal Rafi, senior producer at Crew Motion Pictures, the company behind Bloody Nasreen, said, “We aim to release Bloody Nasreen in 2017, but will be presenting another film before that.”

Monday, 23 February 2015

Zhalay Sarhadi’s filmy moment

The actor is very excited about her big screen debut. PHOTO: PUBLICITY
KARACHI: Zhalay Sarhadi, who will soon be seen in the crime-caper film Jalaibee, believes that the future of the Pakistani film industry is very bright, reported Roznama Express.
“It is not necessary for our industry to compete with the Bollywood and Hollywood. We should remain within our limits and try to bring forward as much new talent as possible,” she said.
The actor was happy about the fact that the new wave of filmmakers is featuring different cast, quality scripts and touching upon a variety of themes.
Since the inception of multiplexes in Pakistan, there has been an increase in the number of movies being made by independent media enterprises as compared to ones being by TV channels. Yasir Jaswal’s Jalaibee is one such film.
Sarhadi, who will be seen essaying the role of a bar dancer in the movie, said that the switch from television to film was not a major change for her and neither was the task of acting in a film very difficult one.
“Acting in a film is like an addiction; after that working on any other medium becomes very difficult. Films have a greater reach to larger audiences as it is only two-hours long and people can re-watch the movie multiple times,” Sarhadi said.
Regarding her favorite dialogue in the movie Sarhadi replied, “Doctor nahi bani toh kya hua,Biology toh puri aati hai.”
Jalaibee features an ensemble cast and has multiple storylines all of which are intertwined into one plot. Several renowned television actors will be seen in the film such as Danish Taimoor, Ali Safina, Sajid Hasan, Ali Safina and Adnan Jafar.
The movie, which is slated to release on March 20 this year, also holds the distinction of being the first Pakistani film to be shot using Arri Alexa cameras. The soundtrack for the movie includes songs by various artists including Uzair Jaswal, Umair Jaswal and Humera Arshad.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Jalaibee ‘very different’ from other movies being made in Pakistan, says Ali Safina

The actor speaks at length about his debut film. PHOTO: IANS
KARACHI: It seems anything that Ali Safina touches turns to gold. Whether it’s his work as an RJ or his multiple hosting gigs as a VJ on various television channels, this supremely talented has tried his hand on everything except films. And now he is all set to cross the final frontier as well with the release of his upcoming crime-caper Jalaibee.
In an interview with The Express Tribune the RJ-turned-VJ-turned-actor spoke at lengths about his career trajectory, body of work and his expectations from Jalaibee.
Safina will be seen essaying the role of a car thief in the movie who gets entangled into a major problem with his friend Billu after one of their plans goes awry. One of the remarkable things about his character Bugga is that the director and writer of the film, Yasir Jaswal has written the part with only Ali Safina in mind.
“A lot of directors tell actors that, ‘this role has been written for you’ but when you turn up on sets you realize that this is not the case. But over here I felt nothing like this whatsoever and enjoyed my time,” he said.
Describing his character in the film as an archetypical “street smart guy” Safina said that it is different from his previous roles on television dramas like Kaneez, Takkay Ki Ayegi Baraat,Aik Pal and Daagh-e-Nadamat.
“The character is not Punjabi as his name Bugga may suggest. And is like every other street smart guy you may encounter,” he said.
The actor reiterated that although he has become famous for his Punjabi avatars onscreen he has avoided being typecast by taking up different roles and constantly pushing the envelope.
“I have played vibrant Punjabi characters which have been appreciated by the audience. But the truth of the matter remains I have also undertaken challenging roles in dramas likeJaanam where I play the role of a writer with multiple layers to his personality and the audience is unable to figure out his real motive far into the serial,” Safina said.
He termed Jalaibee his “baby” saying the project is very close to his heart partly because he has been involved with the movie for three years.
For an artist who has spent most of his career plying his trade on television, Ali Safina described his transition from the smaller screen to the silver screen as a “very smooth process.”
The movie which features an ensemble cast has several renowned television actors starring in it such as Sajid Hasan, Danish Taimoor, Zhalay Sarhadi and Adnan Jaffar all of whom, according to Safina, are committed to the success of the “new wave” of Pakistani cinema.
To a question about the expectations he has from the film he answered, “I expect people to come to cinemas to enjoy the movie as we are confident that our movie is very different from the other films being made in the country.”
He added that the response the team had received so far had only accentuated their expectations. “We released the teaser for the movie in late-2013 and people became curious about it. Everybody started asking questions about the film. And the feedback we got after the release of the trailer earlier this year was tremendous. I’m hoping the film does well.”
Though the actor has received multiple offers since the release of Jalaibee’s trailer he is yet to decide whether he his next move is going to be in the world of cinema or television.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Makers of ‘Zinda Bhaag’ to release a comedy film

If you absolutely loved Zinda Bhaag then you’re going to love this news!
Meenu Gaur, the co-director of the insightful Zinda Bhaag has finished work on a new satire-based film on Pakistan’s media.
She described the upcoming film as full-on comedy. “It’s very entertaining and I’m sure the audience will enjoy it a lot.”
“The title of the film has not been decided yet,” Gaur told us at the recently held Karachi Literature Festival (KLF). She further added. “You know this happened with Zinda Bhaag as well. We decided the title in the end when everything was done.”
Promotions for the film are due to begin later this year
meenu munizae 1
Director of the acclaimed film Zinda Bhaag was one of the panelist at the session titled ‘Can local cinema travel globally’ held on day one of KLF.
Apart from her, Munizae Jehangir and Sanjay Iyer from India were also part of the panel while Mazher Zaidi – producer of Zinda Bhaag and maker of popular docudrama Nar Nareman – hosted the session.
The discussion started with the point that although Pakistan doesn’t have a regulated body which recommends Pakistani movies to international festivals; social media has made it easier for Pakistani filmmakers to promote their work globally.
Munizae’s opinion on the matter was that Pakistani films should definitely go abroad because that’s one of the most effective ways to change the negative perception that the west holds about us. “Pakistan is usually shown from the prism of terrorism and our documentaries that have made it big globally, usually show negative image of Pakistan.”
She insisted that there should be more ‘fun’ movie made in Pakistan as well.
“At the end of a tiring day I’d like to watch an entertaining film.” She further said that this doesn’t mean that they focus only on formula films but try to balance both serious and entertaining cinema.
The Pakistan’s representatives Meenu and Munizae insisted that the audience and any other authorities in Pakistan should stop pressurizing the makers to show positive image of Pakistan. “Instead they should be encouraged to make the film on whatever subject they feel like and tell true stories [in an entertaining way] which people can relate to,” Meenu said.
meenu munizae mazhar 1
She also said, “We’re always told that Pakistanis love action films.  I contest that because the audience is only being shown action films. For Zinda Bhaag we were told [by the distributors] that it won’t do well becasue it’s in a vernacular language [Punjabi]. You’ve restricted it. But its longest run of 8 weeks was in Karachi [which is not a Punjabi-speaking area].”
Meenu insisted that, “Make the film you want to make. Find the audience and market it accordingly. Clever marketing is all it takes. Parveen Bilal went to DVD stores, that sell pirated DVDs, and asked them to sell her film’s DVD legally. So she ended up selling legal DVDs through an illegal channel!”
The session ended on a positive note as the Indian guest Sanjay Iyer said, “I’ve a gut feeling that Pakistan’s time has come.”
The panelists concluded that more movies should be made in Pakistan and as a result the audience will have more variety – comedy, romance, thriller, action, sci-fi – and then they can choose whatever film they want to watch according to their mood or preference.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

‘Driven’ will show positive side of Pakistan


A bilingual film Driven, is an upcoming Pakistani film with a western-European theme, directed by Michael Hudson which will portray a positive image of Pakistan, according to Dawn.
The cast includes Javaid Sheikh, Amna Illyas, Adnan Shah Tipu, Rehan Shiekh, Omair Rana, Najia Baig and Wahab Shah. Produced by Naveed Mehmood and Kamran Faiq, is an action film based on the life of actor-director Kamran Faiq’s life. Faiq will also play a lead role in the film.
Image courtesy
“The unique thing about this film is the narrative. When I was approached by Michael to participate in this project as an actor and a producer, what struck me most about the film was the way it was written. It indulges the audience with the action on-screen,” said Faiq.
“I don’t perceive them as stereotypically violent and aggressive,” Hudson was speaking to a press conference held at Faletti’s Hotel on Tuesday. This is the primary reason why he is making Driven, to break the stereotype that Pakistanis are violent beings.
The film will be shot in Pakistan because he wanted to capture the true essence of the country. It is essentially in English sprinkled with a few Urdu dialogues. When asked if it will be able to do well in Pakistan because of the predominantly English script but the director said that the film is targeted towards the educated audience.
Amna Ilyas also spoke on the occasion, “It was a fantastic experience— being able to work with Michael and such a talented international cast and crew on home ground. Being part of this unique collaborative experience has been immensely rewarding and I hope that DRIVEN marks the start of many more good things to come for the Pakistani film industry.”

Monday, 16 February 2015

Release date for ‘3 Bahadur’ announced

3 Bahadur follows the story of three 11-year-old friends who try to protect their community from various evils. PHOTO: FILE
KARACHI: Waadi Animations announced the release date and unveiled the official poster for their upcoming film 3 Bahadur. The movie is slated to release on May 22 across Pakistani cinemas, stated a press release.
Apart from announcing the release date for the movie, Waadi Animations also revealed that they would be releasing a comic strip series later this month which showcases the adventures of the movie’s primary characters.
The movie which has been made entirely in Pakistan follows the story of three 11 year-old friends Amna, Saadi and Kamil who aim to save their community in the fictional town of Roshan Basti (town of light) from several evils. The movie has been described as “A journey of fighting back, taking charge and finding support and love in the most improbable of places.”
Academy Award-winning filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, the CEO of Waadi Animations, is also the Creative Director of 3 Bahadur with ARY Films extending its expertise in distribution and marketing for the film. Additionally, the original soundtrack for the movie has been composed and produced by accomplished musician Shiraz Uppal.
The animation studio also plans on launching a website dedicated to the movie which would not only provide visitors with information about the movie but also give them access to downloadable content such as images, music and behind-the-scenes videos.
The company is also working on a smartphone video game application for multiple platforms such as Android and iOS.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Yasir Nawaz’s debut ‘Dekh Magar Pyar Se’ to release in March

The novice filmmaker also seems to be following Nabeel Qureshi’s and Umair Jaswal’s footsteps and says his film will emphasize greatly on entertainment, as reported by The Express Tribune.
“Naach gaana hona chahiye…We have already dealt with mainstream issues and serious subjects in our movies. Now, it’s time to stress on entertainment”
Hence, the film is going to be romantic comedy infused with dance and excitement. Nawaz also adds that although Pakistani cinema is definitely reviving, a lot improvement is still needed.
“I think it will take six more years to declare that we are on to the road to revival”. Our cinema must make a place for itself internationally. I would earnestly urge the crowds to support local movies.”
Another movie to be exhibited on the cinema screen in the near future is Sidra Batool and Javeed Sheikh starrer Halla Gulla which claims to be Pakistan’s first solid entertainment movie and has certainly risen the audiences’ expectations who are hooked on to entertainment movies.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

‘Karachi Se Lahore’ stars Ayesha Omar in road trip romance

While we wait for mega starrer films like ‘Kambakht’, ‘Hijrat’, ‘Yalghaar’ and ‘Bin Roye Ansoo’ there is a new addition to our long list – ‘Karachi Se Lahore’ – a romantic comedy set in a road trip.
Produced and directed by Wajahat Rauf of Showcase Productions the film has been written by Yasir Hussain. The cast includes Pakistan’s recent export to Bollywood Rashid Naz, Javed Sheikh, Shehzad Sheikh, Ayesha Omer and Ahmed Ali.
Lead actor Shehzad Sheikh of ‘Main Hoon Shahid Afridi’ fame said “It’s basically a romantic-comedy which revolves around a bunch of friends who plan a journey from Karachi to Lahore in a jeep.”
“The adventurous voyage features interesting incidents all inter-connected with each other.” Talking about the characters Sheikh says “There is no supporting character, everyone has a specific role, although Ayesha and me are the main couple in the film,”.
The launching event of the movie was recently held at Marina Club, DHA Karachi where cast and crew of the film formally announced their association with the film.
What made the hunk and his legendary father sign the film?
“The script is quite good and we all are thrilled to work on it,” says Shehzad.
‘Bulbulay’ actress Ayesha Omar describes her character as  a young middle class girl who is brave and gutsy. “I live in Sheikh’s neighborhood in the movie and when he plans to go out on an adventurous road journey I join him and his friends. ”
Explaining the reason to sign this movie, Omar says that it was the wonderful script which attracted her attention.
“After reading the script I immediately fell in love with the character – it took me only a few seconds to convince myself that I wanted to be a part of it. Plus. Wajahat is an old friend, so it’s always great to work with people you know and are comfortable with”
Among the event attendees were legendary satirist Anwar Maqsood who gave the team members his best wishes. The shoot for the film will start next week.


Monday, 9 February 2015

‘Tamanna’ set for international release

Neo-noir Pakistani-British film Tamanna has been acquired by Britain-based independent distributor Mara pictures and will be released digitally worldwide in March.
Directed by Steven Moore and produced by Sarah Tareen of Concordia Productions, Tamanna is based on Anthony Shaffer’s 1970 play Sleuth. The cast includes Salman Shahid, Mehreen Raheel, Omair Rana and Feryal Gauhar.
Speaking to  The Hollywood Reporter  Sarah Tareen expressed her joy on the deal, “”Pakistan’s film industry and the art of storytelling has dwindled in the half century since partition from India [in 1947]. Tamanna is one of a handful of films released in the last few years, in a period hailed as ‘revival.’ We are excited to bring Tamanna to a global audience.”
The film was in the post production for quite some time before it finally saw a release in Pakistan in June 2014.
Set in the backdrop of the dying days of Lollywood industry, it is a story of a struggling actor Rizwan Ahmed (Omair Rana) who tries to persuade the once successful actor Mian Tariq Ali (Salman Shahid) to divorce his wife. But in the process one of them loses their life.
One of our earlier stories compared the Urdu adaptation to the British play Sleuth:
“Whilst some of the interactions between the two men are similar to the play Sleuth, the film has roles for not just the Wyke character’s wife, but also his second, younger wife, the Tindel character’s object of desire. The milieu is Pakistan’s film industry, Lollywood in its dying days. The outcome for the characters is dark, with more emphasis on being sacrificed than self sacrifice, and is used an allegory of wider issues. The dialogue, in Urdu, and the scenario are adapted in numerous ways for Pakistani culture.”
This is not the first time that Sleuth has been adapted to a film. Hollywood has done this twice; first in 1972 by Joseph L. Mankiewicz and then in 2007 by Kenneth Branagh. The former was nominated in the academy awards but the second version released to mixed reviews.
Tamanna’s music received positive feedback. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s Koi Dil mein, composed by Sahir Ali Bagga, also won the Best Music Talent in Film award at the 14th South Asian Film Festival. The film was also screened at the London Asian Film Festival (LAFF) last year along with Josh and Good Morning Karachi.
Mara Pictures has earlier released Mira Nair’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist and Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Maira Khan to star in horror film ‘Khwaab Aik Haqeeqat’

Claiming to be Pakistan’s first ever  thriller after the revival of Pakistani cinema, ‘Khwaab Aik Haqeeqat‘ is all set to hit the cinema screens of the country this year, according to their official Facebook page.
Written by Khurram Nizami and produced by Noman Baqi, the anticipated film stars Maria Khan as Roshni opposite Aamir Qureshi as Anas and the veteran actor Khalid Nizami as Khuda Baksh and is basically a fantasy based horror film.
With the tagline stating ‘Where there is a dream, there is fear‘, the film has released quite a few creepy looking posters.
The last time Pakistani audiences were treated to a local horror film was in 2013 when Hareem Farooq starrer Siyaah was exhibited in the theaters and surprising it did a pretty great job at the Pakistani box office bagging the best screenplay award at ARY awards.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Meera’s ‘Hotal’ to grace the cinema screens on March 13th

For all those movie buffs who had been thinking Yasir Jaswal’s Jalaibee’ is the only local movie they will get to watch in march, then you guys are in for a treat because Khalid Hassan’s Meera-starrer ‘Hotal‘ is also slated for a March 2015 release; March 13th precisely.
Claiming to be Pakistan’s first ever Hindi film, the highly anticipated movie is a psycho thriller. Its storyline revolves around a titular character Kashika (played by Meera) who comes across the border to Pakistan and stays in a hotel where she meets some creepy incidents that lead her to discover several hidden secrets about her life.
With his film releasing on March 13th not only in Paksitan but also in India, UAE and USA, the filmmaker Hasan is very optimistic about Hotal and is sure it’s going to make some big business at the box office, as reported by Instep Today.
 “We’re not worried about clashing in the domestic box office with another local production, because we have the biggest company handling the distribution of our film, which offers a litlle something extra.”
He also has a strong feeling that his film will definitely be liked and commended by the local audience owing to its Hindi novel appeal. As it is, the film has won Best film and Best Actress award at the Delhi international Film Festival (DIFF).
Hasan also thinks that Hindi being the language of the film shouldn’t be problematic at all as it will be immensely beneficial in promoting the movie and its cast in India.
 “Hindi is not very different from our mother tongue, Urdu, so local audeinces will have no problem in understanding the film.”
Furthermore Hasan believes that the film’s value has increased even more with an international singer, Jasmine Sandlas, known for her famous song ‘Yaar Na Miley‘ from Kick, lending her voice for one of the soundtracks of  ‘Hotal‘.
 “For the first time, we have international talent wanting to be a part of Pakistani productions, as opposed to the other way around. That makes Hotal a ground breaking film.”

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

3D cinema to open in Murree

Punjab government allocates Rs300 million for project, sets June as deadline for its completion. DESIGN : AAMIR KHAN
Tourists in Murree will now have another avenue to enjoy besides the hills. A 3D cinema is set to open in Murree, with the Punjab government allocating Rs300 million for its construction, officials told The Express Tribune.
Previously, the Punjab government had allotted Rs150 million for the project, but the cost has been revised and an added Rs150 million has been set aside for its completion. The Information and Culture Department has set the end of the financial year, June, as the deadline to complete the project. However, it may take till year -end to finish it, a department official said.
“The cinema will be constructed in the auditorium of Murree Arts Council. It will promote cultural activities at the tourist site. Local artistes will be encouraged to stage plays at the theatre, which will give tourists a better opportunity to understand local traditions and culture,” said an official.
With this added attraction for visitors, Murree will have more to offer. “People at the tourist site would definitely want to watch films in a 3D cinema. This will surely be a good project for the residents of Murree but also for the tourists, who come to visit the location from across the country,” added the official.
Another official disclosed that following government directives for the second time to complete the project, technical bids are now welcome. According to sources, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif sent the directive after being notified of the shortage of funds for the project. He also called for increase in funds and gave instructions that the cinema be set up by the end of the financial year.
The Information department has also engaged a company of Uni Cone for consultation and announced second-time technical bids, while the company has also been assigned to purchase technical equipment. However, officials, who are part of this project, said that although the government increased the funds, the department is not in a position to set up a cinema till June.
Khurram Bari, owner of Bari Studio, commended the decision of constructing a 3D cinema at Muree Hills and said that the move will encourage other cinema owners to convert traditional cinemas into digital. He also requested that the government help historic cinemas make the transition into digital ones.
Writer-director Rukhsana Noor sees the move as good news for tourists. She said that for the revival of cinema in Pakistan, we should follow India’s suit, as the Indian government has been offering full support to their cinema industry.