Tuesday, 30 June 2015

How five directors helmed Bin Roye

In the mid-90s Stanley Kubrick sought the help of several writers and directors in an attempt to bring his dream project, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, to life. Unfortunately for the legendary filmmaker none of them were able to materialise his project and it lay dormant in development hell for a while until Steven Spielberg, Kubrick’s blue-eyed boy, entered the picture. He was handed over the project that many believed to have been done-and-dusted. The way Spielberg executed Kubrick’s vision can only be described as a cinematic miracle.
Shehzad Kashmiri, one of the five directors to have worked on Bin Roye, says that he found himself in a similar situation when he walked into the film after Haissam Hussain left the director’s chair for unknown reasons. “Almost five per cent of the film had been shot and I remember receiving a call from Momina Duraid asking me to come on board for the project,” he told The Express Tribune.
Having worked extensively with Momina on television serials, he shared an excellent rapport with her and didn’t have any second thoughts about joining the film. He took the next flight to California to be a part of the crew — and the rest as they say is history. “Obviously there were a few nerves in becoming a part of such a major project but all of those were settled down once I started filming,” he said.
Apart from Momina and Haissam, Kashmiri, was also accompanied by Asim Raza, Sarmad Sultan Khoosat as directors at particular points in the film. He said that despite his late entry, he eased into the role of the director quite smoothly. “I’ve previously worked alongside Momina on many projects. Even with Humayun Saeed and Mahira Khan. We share a brilliant relationship. I know Mahira from Humsafar for which I was a director of photography (DP) and I’ve also worked extensively with Humayun throughout my career,” he said.
With the contributions of the host of directors in the film, it’s likely to end up becoming a creative hotchpotch. But Kashmiri believes otherwise; noting how two heads (in this case five) are better than one, “At no point, the audience would feel that more than one director has worked on it. That’s the beauty of it.”
He said that both of the directors, Asim Raza and Sarmad Sultan Khoosat, have added value to the film by translating their visions through the songs so seamlessly that it wouldn’t seem out-of-sync at all.

Similarly, the director praised Momina, who is also the producer, for simplifying his task as soon as he joined the crew. “Momina had already worked on the characterisation and other aspects of the production. So, when I became a part of the team, things were already easier for me as I knew the plan of execution.”
Kashmiri has also worked as a cinematographer for almost a decade-and-a-half. His experience working as a DP seems to have helped in capturing some of the most scenic landscapes on celluloid. “My background did help me as I already knew what sort of visuals I wanted from my DoP. I also had one of the best and most qualified cinematographers of Pakistan, Farhan Alam as part of my team,” he said.
Like many other cast and crew members of Bin Roye, the film also marks Kashmiri’s feature film directorial debut after years of experience in television. Despite the change of the medium, he didn’t feel he had to make any changes to his directorial flair whatsoever. “The serials I’ve previously directed have all been shot like films, so it helped me. Obviously I had to adjust my style a little because we had a larger canvas this time and the scale of things were much bigger. Apart from that it was pretty much the same.”
Despite of all his hard work on the film, only time will tell whether Kashmiri’s late arrival will have the same impact that Spielberg’s had on Kubrick’s A I Artificial Intelligence.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Sajid Hasan: The best is yet to come

KARACHI: While acknowledging the growth of the local film industry, veteran actor, Sajid Hasan spoke about the importance of quality scripts and adapting latest production technology to help the local film industry grow further, reported the Roznama Express.
“The reason why drama serials have been so successful on television is because of their unique storylines. Similarly, we need to start writing better scripts and stories for our movies as the concept formula films doesn’t exist anymore,” said Hasan.
He added that if we are unable to keep pace with the changing times, there’s a strong possibility of the Pakistani film industry being left behind. “Making use of new and improved technology is a major demand in the current era of filmmaking,” he said.
Hasan, who recently appeared in the crime-caper Jalaibee, told the publication that the films which are currently being made are excellent and because of them, our audience is showing a keen interest in the local cinema once again. “But this is only the beginning, we still have a long way to go and for that we need to do a lot of hard work,” he added.
The actor is slated to star in another Pakistani film, director Jami Mahmood’s spy-thriller Downward Dog, in which he will be playing a major role.
“Jami started working on the project about two years ago. It’s presently in limbo. He is the reason why I did [the film]. The way it has been shot… it’s sure to be another feather in my cap,” he said. The actor has previously been lauded for his roles in films, such as Salakhain and A Mighty Heart which featured Angelina Jolie.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Hassan Waqas Rana setting new trends with ‘Yalghaar’

Had stealing someone else’s data not been a crime, I wouldn’t have had spared a second getting hold of the pulse-racing visuals of Dr. Hassan Waqas Rana’s directorial debut 'Yalghaar’s' first look.

The Islamabad based director was recently in Karachi to ink important deals with Oscar-winning UK visual effects house Peerless Camera Company for his film post-production. Additionally, he has also signed up a man who did ‘grading’ for space odyssey ‘Gravity' to facilitate him with the process.

 HIP contacted Rana for an exclusive interview where he decided to talk briefly about ‘Yalghaar’ and also share with us the raw trailer of the film.

 A few-minute long trailer opens with meticulously approached action sequences- aggressive men in army uniform and armored cavalry bursting through the scenes with fire, guns and shots. One scene which we simply couldn’t let go of was epic sky diving scene. Captured from above 10,000 feet, it was enough to send a chill down our spines. As a matter of fact, the visuals were so fascinating that we couldn’t stop ourselves from muttering words like ‘wow’ and ‘thoroughly captivating’ which brought a humble smile on the face of the director.

Wearing a casual T-shirt and jeans the towering director was adamant in setting new records with his upcoming patriotic flick, ‘Yalghaar’. Here are few excerpts from his interview:

 A risk taker: Challenging the cinematic norms, Rana produced a mega-budget movie ‘Waar’ at a time when nobody wanted to invest their money in entertainment sector. Apart from being the highest grossing movie of the year the film also proved to be a corner stone in the revival of Pakistani cinema.

“When I floated the idea of making a patriotic movie with a high budget, people used to make mock me. At that time, the total market of Pakistani box office was around Rs four to five crores – but Waar has altogether changed the scenario by making a business of over Rs 23 crores.

” Rana added that the release of a movie like ‘Waar’ also greatly helped in lesser production of anti-Pakistan content across the border.

“ "Anti-Pakistani content has gradually decreased with time. This is because the filmmakers have realized that their movie will fail to work in Pakistan if it is based on hatred.

” He also said that recently Amir Khan starrer ‘PK’ made a whopping amount of US$ two millions in Pakistan which undoubtedly is a staggering amount and no producer would want to lose it whatsoever.

‘Yalghaar’ is no ‘Waar’ Rana emphasizes that although made on the same theme of patriotism, the content of both movies is entirely different from each other. Yalghaar is high on emotional quotient as it narrates the tragic tales of the grief stricken souls who left their loved ones in Swat Operation.

 “It was an amazing soldierly maneuver which received worldwide coverage. The operation is so influencing that students at military schools around the globe are given lessons regarding it,” he revealed.

Equally touched by the heroic tales of the soldiers, Rana who also penned down the script of the movie simply couldn’t resist not basing a movie on this theme. “Nearly every corner of our country has tasted blood –terrorism has badly engulfed our land and being a filmmaker it is my responsibility to share the stories that needed to be told,” he asserted. Read: 'Yalghaar' director collaborates with Oscar-winning visual effects company On characterization of roles Rana said that he hasn’t tailored any character keeping actors in mind.

Instead, he chose people who fit the script like gloves. The director said that when he first contacted Humayun Saeed for a negative role, the superstar was initially reluctant as it could cause a great loss to his heroic image on cinema but after Rana’s assurance he agreed to do it. “It was indeed a tough decision for Saeed to make but after working in this movie I am sure he will call it the best performance of his career so far,” he said. The Bulbulay girl Ayesha Omer is also making her acting debut through Rana’s movie and the director mentioned that she hasn’t done something like that in her years’ long career.

 “Ayesha Omer is probably the most hardworking girl of our industry,” he said. On casting a slew of female debutants in movie While film male lead is composed of established and renowned names of our film industry including Shaan Shahid, Humayun Saeed and Adnan Siddiqui, the film director has chosen relatively new female. And there is an interesting reason behind it. “There is a dearth of female artists in our industry and those who are working are over exposed. This situation prompted me to look for fresh people.” This is why Rana ended up casting Dubai based actress Alizeh Nasir and journalist turned actress Sana Bucha in in his movie. The director sees a lot of potential in his latest discovery Alizeh Nasir – a New York Film Academy graduate who is also making her debut through this movie.

 “I met Alizeh in Dubai and she immediately grabbed my attention with her immense talent and beautiful look. She is a full package and I am sure she will be a good addition to our industry,” he said. Rana prospects a bright future for Sana Bucha too. “Sana is a first timer. However, she is a fast learner and a brilliant actress. She has also worked really hard on her character.” Action versus comedy The former Dean of Bahria University who was the action director of blockbuster movie ‘Waar’ has stepped ahead in honing his skills for his upcoming film. He went abroad to enroll in special courses for cinematography, editing, VFX , action direction and special effects before taking on this project. Rana stated that making a social or comedy film in Pakistan is a lot easier because the production team is already used to this set-up plus there is a Bollywood inspiration too which makes the process quite stress-free. However, being the captain of an action flick is not an easy decision. “It is the most difficult thing to make an action movie because you don’t have equipment required is not easily available. A huge investment goes in the buying equipment.” “For commercial film, the equipment budget is just Rs2 to 2.5 crore but to make an action flick I needed Rs 8 to 9 crore just to start off the project.

” Rana added that it’s a mentally exhausting experience because to give a reality touch to his movie, his team made use of live ammunition which required the crew to be extra cautious - accident could happen anytime if proper precautions had not been taken. 'Yalghaar' is expected to release after Eid, sometime in September, whereas its first look will be made public by the end of month. The film features eight songs with prominent names of our music industry lending their voice which include Rahet Fateh Ali Khan, Abida Parveen and Shafqat Amanat Ali to name three. Music composed by Rana along with Zulfiqar Jabbar (Xulfi) of Call band who has also done background score of the film. Rana hopes that ‘Yalghaar’ will make people fall in love with Pakistan once again. “I don’t want people to go watch it considering it a patriotic film. Rather, I want them to get a good experience. It has drama, thrill,romance, action, comedy, suspense and emotional elements well blended into and I am sure it will be really well spent two hours for audience,” he said in the end.

Friday, 26 June 2015

Ishq Positive's first look finally out and it's appealing

On the back burner for the past two years, 'Ishq Positive' is being anticipated by fans since mid 2015 and with its first look finally out, things finally seem to shaping up for the much awaited movie.

Starring the very beautiful Noor Bukhari opposite Wali Hamid Ali (RagaBoyz fame singer), 'Ishq Positive' is a romcom which will mark the Bukhari's comeback on the silver screen after marriage and motherhood.

Bukhari has has previously starred in movies like Darr and Bhai Log and currently hosts a morning show on ATV.

Atiqa Odho returns to silver screen with Mehreen Jabbar’s film

While film revival in Pakistan has attracted a lot of young filmmakers towards it there are many veteran artists who have also shown interests in working movies again – and the latest addition to it is ace actress Atiqa Odho.

Nearly after fifteen years Odho is all set to grace the silver screen with yet another fab performance in top-notch filmmaker Mehreen Jabbar’s next directorial debut, reported Roznama Dunya.
“I have never left showbiz in fact whenever any good project comes my way I have always opted for it,” she said.
The actress added if she feels her film industry needs her then she will definitely come to play her part.
“I have recently signed Mehreen Jabbar’s film of which shooting is likely to kick start by the end of this year in America,” she stated.
Making her television debut in Anwar Maqsood’s play ‘Sitara Aur Mehrunissa’ Odho has so far worked in over 50 dramas and a string of successful movies including’ Jo Darr Gya Woh Marr Gaya’, ‘Mummy’ and ‘Mujhe Chand Chahiye’
In 2013, she did a comic role in Tarang telefilm 'Abhi Tau Main Jawan Hun' opposite Meekal Zulfiqar.
The veteran actress has recently collaborated with Khara Such host Mubashir Lucman to raise funds for cancer patients through his campaign sing a song – save a life.
According to Media Bites for charity purposes, the actress will turn into a crooner and release a song on Eid along with Lucman.
“I am very keen and excited about this project as I have previously worked for breast cancer awareness program for almost eight years and this cause too is very close to my heart”, she said.
Apart from showbiz career, Odho has always put a step forward for social causes. She has been working for Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital and Fatmeed Foundation and as a social worker in "Hamara Mulk, Hamaray Log". She is also the ambassador for the campaign on awareness of breast cancer in Pakistan.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Watch Lollywood this Eid, 'Wrong number', 'Bin Roye' coming your way

LAHORE (Web Desk) – Pakistani film industry is improving in both technique and quality. In 2014, Pakistan Cinema had around 4 movies which could be compared to bollywood but most of the Pakistani movies released in 2014 were those formula Punjabi movies, we are seeing coming out of a mould every month named after this or that tribe or caste. Some years ago the situation was so bad that it was the biggest news of the entertainment industry that there is a Pakistani movie worth watching it was ‘Khuda Ke Liye’ by Shoaib Mansoor. That film proved to be the first drop of rain.
Though the movies are not yet able to compete Bollywood but after watching a Pakistani movie, we feel that the comparison is not justified either because Pakistani movies have their own flavor which is very different from Indian movies. Mainstream Bollywood movies are not socially realistic (we are talking about mainstream movies) while Pakistani movies are not all about superficial love stories or a cold-blooded rivalry between two family members or so. Pakistani films carry the flavor of social realities, issues and the culture of a city or area it is based on.
Lollywood promised us around 16 of quality movies in 2015. Two of the movies being released on Eid-ul-Fitr are ‘WrongNumber’ and ‘Bin Roye’. Both of the movies have fair chances of winning people’s hearts on this Eid.
Wrong Number is a romantic comedy directed by the senior tv actor Yasir Nawaz and produced by Yasir Nawaz, Nida Yasir and Hassan Zia under the banner of YNH Films. The first film directed by Yasir Nawaz is starring Javed Sheikh, Shafqat Cheema, Danish Taimoor, Nadeem Jafferi, Danish Nawaz, Sohai Ali Abro and Janita Asma.
Wrong Number so far seems a bit of a bold step by the ARY Films. Film’s posters and songs released before Ramzan are being criticized by people for being ‘too bold’ for Pakistan. Yasir Nawaz is not a bit upset because of the criticism, he says that he will take public opinion as a guideline for his next projects so let them speak. We have our fingers crossed and wishes all the best to the whole team of the film.
Bin Roye is the other movie being released on Eid-ul-Fitr. This film is a romantic drama starring Humayoon Saeed and Mahira khan in lead roles. Movie critics are not expecting this film to be a big success as the movie looks like a 2 hours version of a 200 episodes tv soap.
The film is directed by Momina Duraid and Shahzad Kashmiri while the producer of the movie is also Momina Duraid. Momina Duraid has directed many serials or Hum Tv and the distributer of the movie is also Hum Tv.
Like all romantic dramas, ‘Bin Roye’ also has so many sound tracks, sung by both Pakistani and Indian singers.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Here's how you can be part of Dekh Magar Pyaar Say team's London adventures

KARACHI: Gone are the days when news from film sets and locations were kept under wraps until the release of the film. With filming for Dekh Magar Pyaar Say having wrapped up a few days back, the cast and crew for the upcoming romantic film have made their way to London to film a ‘bonus’ sequence for the movie.

According to a press release fans of the film got a taste of the behind-the-scenes action through the Periscope application on Monday 9 PM, Pakistani time.

There is a considerable amount of hype surrounding the release of the movie. Not only does it mark the debut of Sikander Rizvi, the grandson of Noor Jehan, opposite Humaima Malick but also the first outing for Asad-ul-Haq as a director for a feature film.
Dekh Magar Pyaar Say which is slated to release on Independence Day this year faces tough competition at the box office as it will be releasing opposite Jami Mahmood’s highly-anticipated Moor and sports biopic,Shah.
Over the years several filmmakers have tried and improved interactivity with their fans prior to its release by sharing exclusive images and clips from the making of the film. Hollywood directors, Marc Webb and Bryan Singer regularly posted updates from filming of their movies, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and X-Men: Days of Future Past respectively, regularly on social media


Sunday, 21 June 2015

Not Bollywood, Lollywood Is My Priority: Humaima Malik

KARACHI – Humaima Malik has said that the quality of Pakistani film making has been augmented, and now lollywood is my priority.
She said that elevation of Pakistani films’ standard is a great cause of Pakistani actors’ interest in lollywood.
The betterment in the standard of lollywood movies has increased their demand worldwide, specially in America, England and Emirates.
Now the modern technology is being used in Pakistani film making and because of this initiative, joint venture of film making has been offered by many countries.
She further added that my upcoming movie ‘Dekh Magar Pyar Sae’ is a musical romantic movie.
In this movie, my leading co-star is Sikandar Rizvi, grandson of Madam Noor Jahan.
He is very cooperative and talented actor.
She said that I have offers of many Bollywood movies but my priority is Pakistani movies.
She denied this statement spread by different people that she is performing vulgar characters to increase her demand in Bollywood.
‘I never picturized any dishonorable scenes’ she said.
Imran Hashmi is amongst the best actors. He recorded the scenes of movie with my consensus, she added.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Box office khichri: Is ‘Bhaijaan’s’ arrival being delayed to accommodate ‘Bin Roye’?

Pakistani cinema shares an interesting equation with Bollywood films. While the latter are appreciated for helping revive the cinema-going culture in Pakistan, Indian films also face criticism for overshadowing Pakistani films at the local box office. A closer look at the figures though would suggest otherwise.
In 2013, Pakistani film Waar was released opposite the Akshay Kumar-starrer Boss, whereas in 2014 Na Maloom Afraad faced an uphill task at the start of its remarkable blockbuster journey when released in Pakistan just a few days after Hrithik Roshan’s Bang Bang. The result – both of these Pakistani films outlasted their Bollywood counterparts. Can it be the same for Bin Roye? Maybe not.
With the Humayun Saeed and Mahira Khan-starrer Bin Roye slated to release on Eid-ul-Fitr, there seems to be clouds of uncertainty surrounding Salman Khan’s Bajrangi Bhaijaan’s timely release in Pakistan which too is expected to release on the same date.
Sources revealed to The Express Tribune that Eveready Pictures, the company which holds the distribution rights to both Bin Roye andBajrangi Bhaijaan has decided to delay the release of the latter in an attempt to provide the Pakistani romantic-drama with more mileage. Acknowledging that his company is distributing both films, Zain Wali, the vice president of Eveready Pictures, is uncertain about delaying the film. “Bajrangi Bhaijaan has been granted a No Objection Certificate (NOC) by the government but the film is yet to be censored and only after that will we be able to make a final decision regarding the fate of its release in Pakistan,” Wali told The Express Tribune.
He added that although nothing has been finalised right now, exhibitors too have agreed to provide Pakistani films Wrong No. and Bin Roye with a greater number of shows.

Speaking to The Express Tribune, Badar Ikram, the president of Hum Films, a company that distributes films in collaboration with Eveready Pictures, refuted these rumours, saying, “This is not the case. The release of Bajrangi Bhaijaan will proceed as planned and the movie is going to release on Eid-ul-Fitr.” Ikram further asserted that box office collections reveal that since Pakistani films tend to outdo Indian films at the box office, they are not very concerned about Bajrangi Bhaijaan’s box office pull.
Confident of their product, Wali explained why he expects Pakistani movies to out-perform Indian films, “Indian films do major business only on the first three days and are readily available on CDs and on TV on the second day of their release whereas Pakistani films can only be seen in cinemas as they are not pirated,” said Wali.
The managing director of Super Cinemas, Khurram Gultasab, believes otherwise. He notes that considering the scale of the Salman Khan-movie, it was bound to do well in the Pakistani cinema circuit. “Bajrangi [Bhaijaan] is a film with mass appeal and it will do well in single-screen cinemas whereas Bin Roye and Wrong No. are films which are meant to be for multiplexs only.” Aware of the inner workings of the local film industry, Gultasab rued how unlike Bollywood films which tend to release throughout the year, Pakistani films only come out on special occasions like Eid, which as a distributor is increasingly difficult to do justice to.
“Pakistani films are not released throughout the year and then producers go ahead and release two or three movies simultaneously. Because of this Pakistani movies are unable to get a clean run of at least two weeks.”
Dabangg banned on Eid in Pakistan.
If Bajrangi Bhaijaan is held back for a delayed release in Pakistan, than this would not be the first case of its kind. In 2010, a group of filmmakers had gone to the cultural ministry and requested them to ban Indian film releases on Eid, as a result of which, Dabangg was not released on Eid. Where the film changed box office history everywhere else in the world, it released after Eid in Pakistan and had below-par running at the box office. That is because the film had run on cable TV multiple times during the three days of Eid holidays. As a result of this, cinema owners were not able to record the business which would help them compensate for the Ramazan break.
Operation 021 bartered for Bang Bang
Much like Bin Roye, last year, the Pakistani spy-thriller, Operation 021, shared the same distributor as the Bollywood film Bang Bang. IMGC Entertainment, now known as Distribution Club, was the distributing company responsible for both the films. Since Operation 021 couldn’t perform as per expectations on the box office, the exhibitors opted to replace it with Bang Bang. It turned out to be a win-win situation for the distributing company as the loss was neutralised by Bang Bang and the producers were the ones who ended up suffering. In hindsight, it may not be sensible for a distributor to release a Bollywood and Pakistani film on a major weekend.

Friday, 19 June 2015

In pictures: Cast of 'Sawaal 700 crore Dollar ka' having a blast in Thailand

The shooting of an upcoming Pakistani film 'Sawaal 700 crore Dollar ka' is going on in Thailand and Sri Lanka. Directed by Jamshaid Jan Mohammad and produce by Shahid Qureshi the film leading cast included veteran actors Shamoon Abbasi, Quratulain, Javaid Sheikh and Ismail Tara. Check out behind the scene activity in these pictures.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Watch out for Halla Gulla releasing August 20, 2015

After a series of Lollywood blockbusters, IMGC proudly announce that the romantic comdey ‘Halla Gulla’ is to be released on August 20, 2015.
The film, written by Raheela Mushtaq and directed by Kamran Akbar Khan has a stellar cast starring Javed Shaikh, Ismail Tara, Sidra Batool, Asim Mehmood, Muneed, and Ghazala Javed. Kamran Akbar Khan is not unknown to the masses due to his hits like Aatish-e-Ishq for Urdu 1, Yeh Zindagi on Geo TV Dil Ka Darwaza on Hum TV. Halla Gulla is produced under the banner of SE Films, & will be released by IMGC/Distribution Club.

The music is by Sahir Ali Bagga with legendary singers like Rahet Fateh Ali Khan and a few leading Indian singers like Kunal Gunjawala on-board.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

It’s a wrap for ‘Jawani Phir Nahi Ani’

KARACHI: An adventure comedy flick, Jawani Phir Nahi Ani has finished filming and entered the post-production phase. The film, produced by Humayun Saeed, has been shot extensively in different parts of Thailand and Karachi, stated a press release.
“The final day of the shoot was quite tough as it was very hot in Karachi so it was a relief that it went smoothly,”said  Saeed in a press statement. The team had previously shot most portions in Thailand, which were very enjoyable. “Hamza Ali Abbasi , Ahmed Butt, Vasay C haudhry and I also got our faces clean-shaved for the final portion which was quite fun. The entire team including cast members, the crew and myself are very happy with the final results and excited to see the feedback from audiences now”.
The film, that is Saeed’s latest production after Main Hoon Shahid Afridi, also stars Hamza Ali Abbasi, Vasay Chaudhry, Mehwish Hayat and Ahmed Ali Butt. Speaking to The Express Tribune earlier, Chaudhry, who is also the writer of the film revealed, “I had the idea for Jawani Phir Nahi Ani even before Main Hoon Shahid Afridi happened. But then we put the project on the backseat and started working on MHSA. After we completed that, we decided to revisit this project.”
According to Butt, the film is about “friendship, marriage and life.” A common misperception, comedy films are often predetermined to be no-brainers, but Chaudhry clarified that his film isn’t one of those run-of-the-mill comedies and has a meaty storyline. “It isn’t just a slapstick comedy. It has a proper story arc to it,” he noted.
It will also mark the feature-film directorial debut of Nadeem Baig, who has previously directed sitcoms such as Family Front and Dolly Ki Ayegi Baraat, in addition to directing the popular TV serial Pyaray Afzal. The film is slated to be released on Eidul Azha. The posters and teaser ofJawani Phir Nahi Ani have already created quite a stir.

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Lahore meets ‘Bin Roye’

LAHORE: Members of the media fraternity had the opportunity to meet and greet the cast and crew of Bin Roye in Lahore. While Karachi got a sneak peek of the film’s soundtrack in the form of a medley, comprising of four songs Ballay Ballay, Chan Chariya, Teray Bina Jeenaand Maula Maula at the recent Bridal Couture Week, Lahore got a chance to view exclusive videos of Tera Bina Jeena and Ballay Ballay.
Ballay Ballay is penned by Shakeel Sohail and composed and sung by Shiraz Uppal, featuring Indian playback singer Harshdeep Kaur, while Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Saleema Jawwad lent vocals for Teray Bina Jeena, composed by Sahir Ali Bagga and penned by Sabir Zafar. The official music launch will take place in Dubai on June 13.
Humayun Saeed, seated  between Armeena Rana Khan and Mahira Khan, said, “I didn’t understand why there had to be a press conference in Lahore since we already had one in Karachi. But after coming down here, I’ve realised I was wrong. The excitement and the audience here have proved me wrong.”
Mahira, who was interrupted by a man pleading her to wait for his relative who was travelling from a distance to see her, said cinema owners need to promote films because that’s how they will be able to become profitable like those across the border. To a question about bringing playback singers from India, Mahira said that music transcends boundaries.
Sahir Ali Bhagga was pleasantly surprised with the way the video of the songs had turned out to be. He said, “Mahira and Humayun made the song like how it should be.” Revealing further details  about Bin Roye, producer Momina Duraid said, “This is purely a Pakistani film meant to entertain Pakistani audiences.” However, the videos unveiled at the press conference were slightly reminiscent of Bollywood dance numbers.

Friday, 12 June 2015

No guts, no gory

It’s often said that adventure may hurt but monotony may kill a person. This holds true for those part of the entertainment industry, for whom experimenting is often requisite in the race for relevance.
But only a few wilfully step out of their comfort zone and even fewer explore a polarised genre, especially when they’ve already earned their spurs in one. For Jawad Bashir, who has long been known to leave his fans in stitches with his stints as an actor, a musician and a director, exploring the horror genre speaks volumes of his daring approach to his career. As the ‘Dr’ of the Dr Aur Billa act gears up for his feature-film directorial debut with the horror film Maya, The Express Tribune explores the reason for this unanticipated detour.
“Nowadays, everybody’s making a comedy film. There’s nothing wrong with that, but there’s nothing new in that either,” says Bashir. Emphasising the need to experiment in the film industry, which is still in its infancy, he admits that he is risking his reputation as a filmmaker to inspire the generations to come. “People call me a trendsetter because, instead of following people, I prefer to create my own path. There’s a chance this film may not do well, but it’ll also encourage the new lot of filmmakers to not shy away from doing something new,” he adds.
Those who have followed Bashir’s career won’t be surprised by his desire to experiment as nearly 21 years ago, he single-handedly pioneered the genre of comedy-pop with his band Dr Aur Billa. Bored of the then trending lovesick concept, he wrote a song about a person, who isn’t in love and is at peace with himself. When all other bands refused to sing the song, he took up the challenge himself and the rest is history.
On the untapped potential in the film industry to experiment with the genre, Bashir says only two major horror films, Zinda Laash and Sar Kata Insaan, have been made so far. “Both the movies were made during my childhood,” he states. A self-proclaimed horror-movie buff, he first stumbled upon the idea of Maya when his wife, who spent a majority of her life in Europe, narrated a true story about how a few people visiting Denmark had a supernatural experience.
Initially conceptualised as a short film, Bashir was forced to shelve the project due to other commitments, but decided to return to the project a few years later. Despite adding a few fictitious elements to transform it into a feature film, he shares that he has kept the story as ‘true’ as possible. “I wanted to keep it as true as I could as it was my responsibility to document these events properly through my film,” he explains.
Although horror films Zibahkhana and Siyaah have surfaced in recent times, Bashir insists that Maya is the first horror film of new-age Pakistani cinema. “Both of these were essentially short films, which had a brief run in the cinema. Maya, on the other hand, has specifically been made for the big screen,” he argues.
Unlike other present-day horror movies, Bashir hasn’t relied on visual effects to send chills down the spine and has resorted to good old-fashioned storytelling and focused more on his characters. “I’m a big fan of Japanese horror movies. They don’t rely too much on VFX. Similarly, I’ve also kept a raw feel to the movie and, like traditional horror films, my movie will play with the audience’s anticipation,” he explains. Despite that, he has laid importance on sound design and even roped in a US-based company for the task, with the film’s sound being recorded in the US and mixed in Pakistan.
Aiming for release by the end of May, Bashir feels now is the time to capitalise on the hype generated by the trailer of the film. “If I delay it now, the publicity and promotion would lose their impact. You’ve probably seen many Pakistani directors announce they are making a film even before they begin working on it. There’s no point in doing that. It’s the two weeks prior to the release of a film that are the most crucial.”