Its All About Lollywood Films

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

'Verna' update: Censors awaiting official request for second review from Shoaib Mansoor

LAHORE : The Islamabad Film and Censor Board is currently awaiting an official application from Verna’s director Shoaib Mansoor as they require him to submit a formal request to go ahead with a second review of his upcoming film.

The administrators believe this to be necessary according to the Board’s policies. As of yet, no one has been in touch with them regarding a second screening process and until this is done, they have refused to issue a censor certificate – even though the Lahore and Karachi Boards have allowed its display.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Lahore premier of the film was also cancelled due to the non-issue of the certificate. There was great uproar from the public, especially non-government organisations who support women in the society.

 “We are not concerned with what other censor boards are doing with this film. If they want the film to release in Punjab, its producer will need to get a censor certificate from us by way of a written application,” stated an official of the board.

 They continued, “We have not received any such application. There are many reasons as to why the objections have ascended. Firstly, it shows a governor’s son involved in a rape case – which was the biggest objection. Secondly, it includes many bold dialogues and scenes. The general plot of the movie revolves around rape, which we consider to be unacceptable.”

“However, we have not announced a ban. We are ready to review the film in the presence of Chairman Madam Zarqa and all the members,” said a senior board member. The film’s cast members, mainly Mahira Khan and Haroon Shahid, have been very busy promoting Verna around Pakistan.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Jami's 'Moor' now available on Netflix!

Jami's Moor released on 14th August 2015 and proved to be a true treat for all cinema lovers, and if you haven't watched it yet, this is your chance to watch it now on Netflix.

Yep, you heard that right. Moor now joins the official list of Pakistani movies available on Netflix after the likes of Na Maloom Afraad, Ho Mann Jahan, Waar and others. Moor, an amazing story that revolves around around a headmaster, his dead wife and a son and talks about the era of decline of railway in Balochistan, is an interesting watch and has garnered appreciation from all over the world.

Breathing life into the reviving film industry, Moor captured the beauty of Balochistan amongst a roller coaster ride of emotions. The film with its powerhouse performers Shaz Khan, Sonya Hussyn, Samiya Mumtaz and Ayaz Samoo impressed critics and viewers alike, not only in Pakistan but around the globe, making the film a recipient of international recognition awards at various film festivals.

Moor’s producer Nadeem Mandviwalla announced the news on his social media, followed by Shaz Khan, the lead actor in the movie.

So all those who have missed watching Moor in the cinemas, here is your chance to watch one of the perfect’s by Jami.

Shaan Shahid takes the final spell of Zarrar to Turkey

While Arth- the destination is all set for a December release, Shaan Shahid is busy shooting for the final spell of his next movie Zarrar in the gorgeous locations of Turkey.

Zarrar- The Lone Shadow, is an action packed, fast paced thriller based on the life of a spy and the constant contributions of our intelligence agencies for the safety of the homeland. According to sources, Zarrar will focus on a conspiracy not just action and thrills.

Zarrar, with its fair share of action to rival any high end Hollywood flick, is wrapping up its final spell in Turkey. The film has been shot in extreme locations across Pakistan, London, Afghan border and now Turkey.

With the amount of dedication and hardwork that has gone into Zarrar, the film will surely live up to expectations of Pakistan's first real action movie and will perhaps give Hollywood action flicks a run for their money as well.

‘Power Di Game’: Mahira Khan looks angry – and we love it

KARACHI: Verna’s official rap music video, Power Di Game, just came out and we’re falling more in love with Mahira Khan in the angry, young woman avatar (and yes, she is also changing the derogative of only men being allowed to be young and angry). The video was released by Patari Music and let’s just start by saying that Mahira looks like she could beat anyone in a fight.

The video teases us a little more about Verna’s story and it looks like Mahira and Haroon Shahid’s romance, as seen in the trailer, is short lived. The on-screen couple is seen playing the classic game of chess and it looks like Haroon might just be getting owned by Mahira, the invincible.

Seems like X Polymer Dar, the mastermind behind this rap song, has truly captured the emotions of the film’s characters in this song. The lyrics, the beat and the visuals are on par with each other.

Whether you’re a character in a film or a Twitterati, this video surely proves that you don’t want to mess with Mahira.

The film will be released worldwide on November 17. Watch the latest music video here:

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Day one on the sets of ‘Jawani Phir Nahi Ani 2’

KARACHI: Cast members of Jawani Phir Nahi Ani 2 (JPNA2), which include Ahmed Ali Butt and Humayun Saeed, have marked the film’s first day of shoot. Replacing Hamza Ali Abbasi in the movie, Fahad Mustafa also shared on Instagram that he’s filming for JPNA2 in Istanbul.

The current cast of JPNA2 comprises Humayun Saeed, Vasay Chaudhry, Ahmed Ali Butt, Uzma Khan, Sarwat Gilani from the first installment, with new additions: Fahad Mustafa, Mawra Hocane and Kubra Khan.

Parts of the movie will be shot in Turkey while some portions will also be filmed in Dubai.

There were earlier reports that Rishi Kapoor was offered a role in the movie which he politely turned down. Syra Shehroz was also offered a part in JPNA2 – however, she also refused saying that her role wasn’t “substantial” enough.

The first chapter of the movie was adored by Pakistani audiences worldwide while some movie-goers also criticised it for its vulgarity – as did Hamza Ali Abbasi who stated that the movie would’ve done well without an item number too so there wasn’t a need to include it.

The movie is set to release sometime next year and we’re anxious to see what this star-studded cast has in store for us this time around.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Revival of Pakistani film industry leaving veteran actors behind

LAHORE: The revival of Lollywood has been underway for a while and those within the industry are eager to invest in its future. Due to this, numerous modern cinemas are also being constructed across Pakistan. However, regardless of this, some veteran actors are unable still to find work anywhere.

Big names such as Babar Ali, Meera, Saud, Ajab Gul, Afzal Khan aka Rambo, Jia Ali, Madiha Shah, Laila and Nirma have not had any opportunities for work in months and are suffering due to this. Although many of them have managed to bag short roles in theatres and dramas, it seems like there is no space for them in the newfangled Pakistani film industry.

“It’s true that single screen and traditional cinemas are suffering because of the Pakistani film industry but it’s the old actors who seem to have the most grief. Two decades ago, no one would have ever thought that such big stars would find themselves to be out of work like this.” Senior Lyricist Altaf Bajwa told The Express Tribune.

“For the last six years, the film industry has seen a massive improvement. With modern technology, new faces and apprehending subjects, the tastes and priorities of our audience seem to have changed completely. When viewers have the likes of Fawad Khan, Hamza Ali Abbasi, Fahad Mustafa, Mahira Khan and Mehwish Hayat, who would want to see older faces?” Bajwa questioned.

Director Sarwer Shah went on to speak about the lack of actual film actors within the modern day film industry. “Although Pakistan is enriched with talent and there are many new faces emerging on the big screen, the actors that are currently dominating the film industry are not purely film actors. Most of them are stars from TV shows.

 He continued, “This is why a lot of the new films have a tele film aspect. We have numerous film actors currently waiting for the right opportunity and soon, the time will come when these artists will get back into the film industry. It will be the era of feature films in Pakistan.” Nazar actor Meera went on to elaborate on the current situation for older actors even further. “These jobless artists are our country’s assets. It’s because of them that we have been able to dominate in the past and it’s not right for them to suffer. I hope to see them flourish in the near future.”

She went on to speak about the lack of opportunities. “They are trying to make ends meet by doing small, private gigs but I know they are waiting for better opportunities. This kind of thing doesn’t happen in other film industries – older artists are not ignored,” Meera stated.

 “Many great actors of the past still appear in Hollywood and Bollywood movies because people of those industries obviously understand their importance; they still have respect for their seniors. It’s such a shame that we don’t see the same kind of admiration here in Lollywood,” she concluded.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Ayesha Omer and Hina Dilpazeer officially join the cast of Saat Din Mohabbat In

Dawn Film and IMGC’s upcoming movie, Saat Din Mohabbat In has proudly added to its star studded cast Ayesha Omer, renowned actress and host, and Hina Dilpazeer, famous actress and comedian are the recent additions.
SDMI is scripted by Fasih Bari Khan, directed by Meenu Gaur and Farjad Nabi, is the story of a young man on the quest for his true love. The movie stars Mahira Khan, Sheheryar Munawar are in lead roles while the rest of the cast includes Javed Sheikh, Amna Ilyas, Mira Sethi, Aamir Qureshi and Adnan ShahTipu.
“I said yes to the movie as soon as I read the script. I absolutely loved the concept of the movie as it is a complete entertainer with a pinch of both comedy and romance” said Ayesha Omer.
Hina Dilpazeer also shared her enthusiasm in her role in Saat Din Mohabbat In “I have always believed in taking up roles that can connect with the masses whether it is comedy or some other genre. This is my second film with Meenu and Farjad, I feel the audiences will love its unique storyline.”
The movie is being distributed by IMGC Global.

Monday, 30 October 2017

Khuda Kay Liye Bol Verna… Shoaib sahab ajayenge: Mahira Khan

KARACHI: November 17 marks the release date of one of the most anticipated Pakistani films in 2017, Verna. Along with it having Mahira Khan’s star power, Verna also marks the return of the showman Shoaib Mansoor in the director’s chair after six years. With so many expectations from the film, The Express Tribune sat down with its two leads, singer-actor debutant Haroon Shahid and Mahira.

Interestingly, Mahira shared she has always been nervous, whether it’s before a shot, or when her film’s poster and trailer are released. “I always find something wrong and think it could’ve been better. I think this film particularly has a lot of expectations because of me,” she said. “They are not calling it just a Shoaib Mansoor film, they’re calling it a Mahira Khan film too. And after the first poster and teaser, I freaked out. I will be disappointed if people are a bit lukewarm about Verna.”

While we wait to see how the film fares, it’s important to consider how the local film industry has evolved since Mansoor last made a film. Nowadays, film-makers and the audience alike incline toward social messages wrapped in an entertainment package. Verna, for many, would be a full-blown intense thriller.

Mahira believes whatever the genre or the mood, good content wins. “There have been films which have great content and didn’t work on the box office, but only because the audience wasn’t ready for them. Yet, they later on become cult classics. And then there are expensive films with mediocre content and they have flopped too. So, I believe Verna is still a relatively commercial film, and people are definitely ready for it.

” In Verna, Khan joins two new actors Shahid, and Naimal Khawar. As a debutant, Shahid praised Mahira for the energy she brought to the set. “You, as an actor, always bring an energy with you on set. And there was a set without Mahira and there was a set with Mahira. And with Mahira, I felt there was somebody for me to get feedback from. For now, I learned it was all about being in the moment in acting.”

The Symt frontman also compared acting to being in a band. “Acting is like being in a band, you know. Every time you’re on the set, you’re with your band and you have to be comfortable and be able to talk to that other person so that you can create something. And I am lucky that I get along with Mahira and everyone and can talk to them about anything.”

When asked as to why he thought Mansoor cast him instead of going for a trained actor, he said, “I have learned that Shoaib Mansoor feels if a person is good to talk to, he can act well too because he wants to keep it natural. Basically, he picks up personalities, he doesn’t choose actors.”

 Adding on the point, Khan said, “Shoaib sahab likes musicians and he very strongly believed that the character Aami looked just like Haroon. Secondly, he likes people very rarely and I think he likes Haroon. I also like to believe he likes me too.”

Mansoor’s previous films, Khuda Ke Liye and Bol, were a major catalyst in giving birth to the modern Pakistani cinema. Asked how she would complete the sentence ‘Khuda Ke Liye Bol Verna…”, Mahira said, “Khuda Ke Liye Bol Verna… Shoaib sahab ajayenge. I think this would be the title of his next film ‘Shoaib sahab ajayenge’, because you know, he’s like Mr India. He’s good at disguise. You never know where he is.”

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Verna's latest track 'Khushi Ki Baat' shows a distraught Mahira Khan

Tragedy has struck and the couple is estranged - Verna's latest song is out and it's giving us the jitters.

A far cry from the previous track, 'Khushi Ki Baat' follows the bad blood between Mahira Khan and Haroon Shahid as they cope with their (troubled) situation. Though we don't know what it is that leads to their fallout, but it's grave and it's haunting.

Mahira seems visibly shaken and distressed and you can sense her emotions in the powerful scenes in the music video. Haroon, on the other hand, is seen as more pensive and mournful.

 'Khushi Ki Baat' has been written and composed by Shoaib Mansoor and sung by Richie Robinson and Zeb.

Verna comes out on November 17.

Saturday, 28 October 2017

2nd teaser alert: 'Allahyar and the Legend of Markhor' is undoubtedly Disney/Pixar level

Allahyar and the Legend of Markhor is Pakistan’s answer to all Pixar and Disney animated movies in Hollywood. The upcoming Pakistani animated film just released its second teaser and we are just as impressed as we were with the first one – if not more!

The 22-second teaser comprises fine quality animation anchoraged in an indigenised story-line and localised characters, making it a definite seller.

The movie surely seems to promise a new bench mark for films in this genre in terms of quality and aesthetics.

Whether the plot and the characters are just as gripping as the visuals of the teaser is something only time will tell.

Previously talking to The Express Tribune, the director of the movie, Uzair Zaheer Khan explained the idea of the film.

Khan didn’t quite go into specifics, thus building more curiosity for the film. “Allahyar is a young Pakistani boy from the north, who has ideals and ambitions that get challenged when he’s thrown into an adventure where he discovers a world he never knew existed.”

We can’t wait for this movie to hit the screens!

Friday, 27 October 2017

Upcoming film Maula Jatt's cast and crew accused of copyright violations

Waar director Bilal Lashari's Maula Jatt is one film that has kept everyone on their toes; the latest twist being that the makers of the original 1979 Maula Jatt have accused Lashari and his team of copyrights violations.

Speaking to Images, director and producer Muhammad Sarwer Bhatti accused Lashari and veteran writer Nasir Adeeb of "misleading" him, saying the rights to recreate Maula Jatt were never sold.

In the notice, Bhatti warns the star cast, which includes Mahira Khan, Fawad Khan, Hamza Ali Abbasi and Humaima Malik to "stay away from this project and announce [their] dissociation with illegal film [in the] making as soon as possible.

"You are blessed with a good reputation in the respective field and the team who is reproducing this film illegally is not concerned about your reputation but we believe you must take care of your own reputation if no one else is doing so," the letters further read.

Bhatti further claimed that when he heard the news about Lashari "remaking Maula Jatt", he approached the Waar director who reassured him that his next venture isn't a Maula Jatt recreation.

The veteran producer quoted Lashari's social media post where he had said his upcoming feature is neither Maula Jatt 2, nor a sequel of the cult classic, nor a remake of it either.

 "So in good faith, I decided to let the matter go," Bhatti told Images.

However, the veteran filmmaker then came across an interview of the accused on a news channel in which Bilal says he is working on his second film, "titled Maula Jatt".

Bhatti then took up the matter with Kamran Lashari, Bilal Lashari's father and prominent civil servant, informing him of the alleged copyright violations and asking him to guide the budding filmmaker in the matter.

"They were supposed to meet me on the issue. But that meeting never happened," Bhatti said. "Instead, I see an article in The Express Tribune that said Maula Jatt rights have been sold to Bilal Lashari and Ammara Hikmat."

"This is blatant violation of the copyright law," Bhatti claimed, adding the veteran writer of Maula Jatt Nasir Adeeb doesn't own the rights so he cannot sell them either.

"It is my legacy, my pride. I will do everything to punish him," Bhatti added, saying the producer has the complete ownership of copyrights.

Bhatti's son, Mohammed Muttaqi and CEO of Bahoo Films Corporation, said, "It is just a way of falsely satisfying themselves and the people who are working with them."

 When asked about copyrights certificates proving his claim, Bhatti said he will share them as and when needed, especially once the legal proceedings advance.

On the other hand, sources close to the film told Images none of the actors or crew have received any legal notices. If and when they do, they will act accordingly.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Rape is one of the ugliest forms of crimes against women in Pakistan: 'Verna' director Shoaib Mansoor

Mahira Khan is all set to play the protagonist in Shoaib Mansoor’s upcoming venture, Verna, where she will likely play the victim of sexual abuse. Mansoor has also helmed Khuda Kay Liye and Bol – and all of them impart a social message.

The critically acclaimed director has always raised his voice against the injustice in the society, and his films are living, breathing proof of it. Talking about his latest movie, Verna, which deals with the issue of sexual abuse and rape, the director took to social media to give his two cents on the matter – and we are moved.

Shoaib recently penned down a note on Facebook and wrote, “Rape is one of the most prevalent and ugly forms of crimes against women in Pakistan.”

“Although the women’s movement has tried to grapple with this scourge and worked with the law makers as well as the law enforcing agencies, the mindset of the society remains the biggest challenge that needs to be tackled,” he wrote.

 Stating the statistics, Shoaib said, “According to Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, one woman is raped in Pakistan every two hours. Globally Pakistan has been ranked third from the bottom as the most dangerous country for women in the world.

” He went on to write, “A substantive push is needed to show clearly how rape is used as a tool by powerful in the society to humiliate and invoke fear among the vulnerable. All this happens in the context of patriarchy where the bodies of women have become the battle ground for men to fight their battles of honor, power and revenge.”

Talking about the Mahira starrer, “With the thought that a feature film on this sensitive issue can make more impact than years of struggle through smaller interventions on TV or by NGOs, I have made this effort and named it Verna.

“I have chained all my three films together since all deal with women empowerment… ‘Khuda Kay Liye Bol Verna’. I sincerely hope it will not only spark off the process of shifting people’s patriarchal mindsets but will rejuvenate the movement against this crime,” he wrote.

“Most of all I hope that it will at least make women reflect that rape does not rob them of ‘honor’, it is something they earn and no one can snatch it away from them,” added the director.

“Things happening around me bother and hence I am forced by my conscience to take them on. My films reflect the anger that I feel on social injustice of all forms. So every time I am about to embark on a film it is my anger that drives my movement of thoughts not the hunger for success and money,” he further said.

“It doesn’t mean that I have a thing against films based on pure entertainment. Not at all. By all means they should be made and succeed and I have all the due respect for their makers. I am happy at the recent success of Punjab Nahi Jaungi and Na Maloom Afraad 2 and wish success to all other that are in line to hit the screen. We need these films to rejuvenate the industry in our country. But we also need some to say something thought provoking. I hope I am provoking some thought,” he concluded.

Verna is all set to hit the screens on November 17. The movie also stars Haroon Shahid and Zarrar Khan in titular roles.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

I rejected 'Jawani Phir Nahi Aani 2' because my role was not substantial: Syra Shehroz

Jawani Phir Nahi Ani 2 (JPNA2) is expected to be the Pakistani blockbuster film of 2018, following the steps of its prequel. The film has been in the news because of its star-studded cast. Humayun Saeed, Vasay Chaudhry and Ahmed Ali Butt will continue on with their roles in the upcoming sequel while Fahad Mustafa will replace Hamza Ali Abbasi.

Earlier this month, the news of Syra Shehroz pairing up with the Actor In Law sensation Fahad Mustafa made headlines, but according to the latest buzz, Mawra Hocane has now signed up to essay a role in the much-awaited sequel – and there’s no sign of Syra.

 This obviously created some curiosity and The Express Tribune exclusively spoke to Syra to get to the bottom of the matter.

The Mere Naseeb starlet also stated, “Nadeem Baig is one of the finest directors we have in the Pakistani film industry, but the role I was offered didn’t amount to what I had in mind, so I politely declined and told Nadeem bhai that I won’t be doing this role in JPNA2″

But Syra was quick to add, “Nadeem bhai and I will definitely be working together in the near future.

” Syra made her film debut this year with Chalay Thay Saath. Although the film did not fare well at the box office, her strong performance and superior acting prowess were critically acclaimed.

On the other hand, Syra’s film Project Ghazi has been put on hold due to technical faults.

JPNA2 will mark the Pakistani film debut of Mawra Hocane. She was previously in the news for a film alongside Umair Jaswal, but it got delayed or shelved due to unknow reasons.

The Sammi star will be pairing up with Fahad Mustafa for the first time in this upcoming flick. She made her film debut in Bollywood in 2016 with the movie Sanam Teri Kasam alongside Harshvardhan Rane, who also marked his debut with the film. Mawra was praised for her heartwarming performance in the emotional romance drama.

Earlier this month, Humayun Saeed and director Nadeem Baig visited Turkey for the recce of their upcoming film. It has now been decided that JPNA2 will be shot in Turkey for the most part and bits of it will be shot in Dubai.

Jawani Phir Nahi Ani released in Eidul Azha 2015. The movie featured an ensemble cast which comprised Humayun Saeed, Hamza Ali Abbasi, Vasay Chaudhry, Ahmed Ali Butt, Javed Sheikh, Ismail Tara, Ayesha Khan and Bushra Ansari.

Friday, 20 October 2017

Mawra Hocane joins cast of 'Jawani Phir Nahi Aani 2'

KARACHI : Mawra Hocane is on a roll!

The Sammi starlet is all set to join the cast of the sequel of Humayun Saeed starrer Jawani Phir Nahi Aani.

The movie also stars Fahad Mustafa in a titular role. Previously, talking to Fifi Haroon, Saeed revealed that the shooting of the movie will start from next month in Turkey. The cast will also be shooting a portion of the movie in Dubai.

The news come after Mawra signed a pre-partition drama Aangan. Ahsan Khan has also reportedly been roped in for the same show.

A little birdie also tells us that this upcoming venture will be made on a massive scale, deeming it one of the most expensive TV productions to date. Expect a larger-than-life set that will make the project all the more believable.

Previously, it was reported that Rishi Kapoor was also offered a role in the movie. The actor later turned down an offer to star in Jawani Phir Nahi Ani sequel. Rishi revealed the main reason behind his refusal.

The Kapoor & Sons actor said he wouldn’t work in Pakistani films because his “country won’t like him to do it.”

“Recently, I was approached for a Pakistani film; it was the sequel to one of their biggest hits. I heard the story and found it interesting. Now, of course, it is not possible to act in it. The situation was ironic,” Rishi was quoted as saying by the Hindustan Times.

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Rangreza's first poster is finally out and it's brimming with romance and mischief

Strongly moving towards its release at the end of this year, the highly anticipated movie Rangreza finally released its aesthetically powerful poster. The poster shows the main cast of the movie, Bilal Ashraf, Urwa Hocane and Gohar Rasheed as depicted in their roles. It’s a portrayal of various emotions displayed by the actors – love, hurt and even mischief. And it definitely has us excited!

Following Janaan’s widest release for a Pakistani film internationally, Rangreza is now set to break a new record number of countries as part of its worldwide distribution strategy, establishing a whole new benchmark for Pakistani cinema on a global platform, stated a press release.

Making one of the most expensive Pakistani film productions to date, Rangreza is a musical romance directed by Aamir Mohiuddin, featuring Gohar Rasheed, Bilal Ashraf, Urwa Hocane and Saleem Miraj in the principal cast.

Musical legend, Abida Parveen, features prominently on the sound tracks, composed by the film’s writer, Akhtar Qayyum. The film is presented by Vision Art Films, Usman Malkani Films, Distribution Club (PVT) Ltd, Munir Hussain Films UK and Pepe’s Piri Piri and will be distributed worldwide by B4U Motion Pictures.

Munir Hussain, Head of Munir Hussain Film UK says, “I’m very excited to bring another highly anticipated film, which will showcase the growing strength of Pakistani cinema. We have some creative plans in place for the release and we are grateful to Mr. Sunil Shah and B4U for their excellent support and guidance.

” Director Aamir Mohiuddin also shared his thoughts, “Rangreza is a movie that will touch millions of hearts. The entire team has put in their best and this will be another significant milestone for the Pakistani cinema.”

Sunil Shah, Head of Film Division, B4U Motion Pictures expressed, “ We are delighted to be further commenting our great partnership with Munir Hussain Films UK with the release of Rangreza, following unprecedented success of our previous outing together, Janaan.

” He continued, “Munir Hussain has such a pioneering and passionate vision for Pakistani cinema on a global platform and we are honoured to be jointly taking Pakistani cinema to another level with Rangreza, across a record number of international territories.

Pakistan goes Pixar-esque with ‘Allahyar and the Legend of Markhor’

A couple of months ago, the teaser of a Pakistani animated film Allahyar and the Legend of Markhor went viral. With picturesque views and the eventual “Pixar-esque” introduction of our character Allahyar caught everyone’s attention as to how much Pakistani animation has progressed and whether Allahyar will break any new grounds at all.

A couple of months ago, the teaser of a Pakistani animated film Allahyar and the Legend of Markhor went viral. With picturesque views and the eventual “Pixar-esque” introduction of our character Allahyar caught everyone’s attention as to how much Pakistani animation has progressed and whether Allahyar will break any new grounds at all.

The Express Tribune spoke with director Uzair Zaheer Khan about the upcoming film, which is intended for winter release. What many may not know is Khan was also involved with the acclaimed Burka Avenger series as well. And it’ll interesting to see how his visual language and style has evolved with Allahyar and the Legend of Markhor.

Explaining the idea of the film, Khan didn’t quite go into specifics, thus building more curiosity for the film. “Allahyar is a young Pakistani boy from the north, who has ideals and ambitions that get challenged when he’s thrown into an adventure where he discovers a world he never knew existed,” he said, adding that Allahyar and the Legend of Markhor is a coming-of-age story with a wildlife conservation theme.

He said that the aim was to make a film that’s entertaining, meaningful, and caters to the local audiences in terms of language, culture and values.

 The cast of the film includes Ali Noor, Natasha Humaira Ejaz, Anam Zaidi and Azfar Jafri. With a ‘very-musical’ cast, the film is bound to have multiple songs. Khan confirmed, saying “The songs in the film have been composed and produced through partnerships between Ahmed Ali and artists like (Ali) Noor and (Natasha Humaira) Ejaz. We make sure that the message is embedded within the entertainment and not delivered on the nose.

Khan’s previous outing Burka Avenger had a distinct visual style with striking color palettes. As to how Allahyar will be different from that, when it comes to world building and treatment, Khan said, the tv series was very stylised and designed with requirements and constraints of the project in mind. “With Burka Avenger I wanted to set a local benchmark for animated series. Allahyar and the Legend of Markhor is a feature film and therefore requires a much higher production value,” he said. “As we aspire to eventually compete in the international market with our consecutive films, we’ve tried to deliver top quality, while keeping the cost of production at par with local live action films.

” While giving importance to style, the team hasn’t forgotten about the substance either. Where Burka Avenger had a social message about women’s rights and education, (as Khan mentioned earlier) Allahyar will highlight with wildlife conservation. The director believes animation is the perfect medium for that. “Animation is a powerful medium. We feel it is incumbent on us that through our film, along with a full dose of entertainment, we try to bring about positive change.

” Whether Allahyar is going to set a new benchmark when it comes to Pakistani animated films or not remains to be seen, but for now, Khan is clearly confident about the film. “We are looking forward to making Pakistanis proud of what we’ve achieved here with this film,” he said.

Friday, 6 October 2017

'Na Maloom Afraad 2' banned in Punjab due to 'inappropriate content'

After five weeks and collecting more than Rs100 million at the box office, the Fahad Mustafa-starrer Na Maloom Afraad 2 has been banned in Punjab.

The reason has been cited as the film’s inappropriate and ‘obscene’ content.

 None of the stakeholders were available to comment on the situation, except the film’s producer Fizza Ali Meerza.

 “I don’t understand why they came up with an excuse to ban the film five weeks after its release,” Meerza told The Express Tribune.

As to how the issue was triggered, she stated, “Some random newspaper in Lahore with no credibility or readership wrote that the film has vulgar and inappropriate scenes. It’s sad because now this isn’t just about this film. Now if anyone thinks there is something wrong with any film, will they pull it off the screens just like that?”

She continued, “I find it difficult because they have done it before too and I think we are in the wrong business now.”

While she was disappointed with the sudden ban, Meerza said they will not back down. “Yes, we will fight back. We are not going to stay quiet because this affects our industry as a whole too. We will get the Na Maloom Afraad 2 back in the cinemas.”

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Praises pour in for Mahira Khan after Verna's teaser release

Mahira Khan has been completely mum about the entire Ranbir Kapoor and the viral pictures fiasco. The lady seemed to have vanished off social media for good. But yesterday she made a powerful comeback with her Power Di Game.

Mahira Khan's upcoming film Verna, saw its teaser released yesterday and what a powerful re-entry on the mainstream it marked for Mahira. The teaser came across as a message that Mahira Khan was indestructive and not to be messed with at all.

The teaser showed a fierce side of the actress, something which we have never seen before. And we're very much glad we'll get to see Mahira in an avatar the lady has not taken up ever before.

With us in awe of the thirty second teaser; what was heartening, was to see was Mahira's friends and of course the industry taking to social media to compliment the star on such an impressive glimpse in to her upcoming movie, directed by Shoaib Mansoor.

Now that the teaser of Verna has been released, we cant wait to see the movie on November 17th 2017 where Mahira Khan is essaying a role she has never done before. We loved it, but what did you think of Mahira Khan in the teaser?

Do share your thoughts with us in the comment box below.

Monday, 2 October 2017

"Main tou Punjab hoker aagai" The Punjab Nahi Jaungi fever hits Shaniera Akram!

The Punjab Nahi Jaungi fever refuses to die. The film has become the highest grosser of the year domestically and has still been earning crazy revenues overseas. The craze is far from dying out just yet and the latest celebrity to have been bit by the Punjab Nahi Jaungi bug happens to be none other than our National Bhabhi, Shaniera Akram.

On a recent trip to Punjab, Shaniera Akram shared a beautiful picture of hers amongst green fields and tweeted, "Main tou Punjab hoker aagai"

What made the picture even more likable was the fact that Bhabhi used Urdu to express her feelings with #PunjabNahiJaungi. And of course Khagga sahab picked up the tweet and gave an adorable reply.

So, as sweet as he is, Humayun Saeed, our very own Khagga Sahab, promised he'll be having them over soon for a special screening perhaps.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

'Azaadi' is all set to hit the big screen this November

With the revival of cinema, it is good to see people be enthusiastic for our local movies exactly as they would be for a Hollywood or a Bollywood release. This is exactly how we felt when we saw the trailer of Sonya Hussyn and Moammer Rana starrer movie Azaadi. Since then we've been eagerly waiting for its release date. Well guys the wait on that is finally over and we couldn't be more thrilled!

A Pervez Malik Film and an ARY Films product, Azaadi is all set to release this year in November, and with the poster looking quite sleek, we got in touch with Sonya Hussyn, to ask how proud she is of the movie.

"I have invested a lot of myself for Azaadi and it's been a worthwhile journey. Like I have said repeatedly, I am very proud of the message of the film and what it tries to convey. It is a very honest homage to Pakistan and its armed forces but what excites me the most is how inspirational my character is going to be for the young girls".

"It was only natural for a film as huge as Azaadi to delay slightly as there are a lot of aspects that come into consideration since a lot of action is involved. Also the post-production needed due attention and I have dubbed for most of the film and it looks amazing. Our cinematographer, Ben (Jasper) is truly gifted."

With Sonya quite content and looking forward to Azaadi, we also got in touch with the producer of the movie, Irfan Malik and asked him what took him so long to set a release date, considering the teaser came out back in February.

"Normally it takes almost a year to complete a film like this one as the team had to travel to the remotest areas to capture authentic locations, but it surely was worth the effort. I didn't want to give out an official release date and then change it later like many films have done as It takes away from the credibility of the film I feel. So I waited to complete sequences that had 'difficult' written all over them and Alhamdulillah we are on track now with one song and some action sequences remaining to be shot in August/September and post production running parallel."

With the final touches being added in full swing, Azaadi has our full attention as it is about a man, played by the legendary actor Nadeem Baig, who has dreamt his entire life for the freedom of Kashmiris. The film is commemorating the struggle for Kashmir.

With Moammer Rana bringing with him that cinematic appeal and Bang Bang famed Ben Jasper behind cinematography, we look forward to watching the movie soon. We will also see Javed Sheikh, Maryam Ansari, Ali Fateh, Samama, Waseem, Erum and Ali Bilal to name a few.

Saturday, 30 September 2017

'Chalay Thay Saath' is all set for its US debut on October 5th!

Chalay Thay Saath features a road trip, taking your through the beautiful landscapes of northern Pakistan and then it introduces us to 4 friends, travelling together. The journey through the mountains is one that leads all of them to finding themselves, discovering love and the true meaning of friendship and relations.

The romantic-drama directed by Umer Adil, written by Atiya Zaidi and produced by Beenish Umer and Umer Adil features Kent S Leung, Syra Shahroz, Behroz Sabzwari, Zhalay Sarhadi, Mansha Pasha, Osama Tahir, Faris Khalid, Shamim Hilaly and Sherbaz Kaleem in prominent roles.

From aesthetically pleasing visuals to the crackling chemistry between Syra and Lent, CTS has a lot to offer. It's not only a story about a road trip but involves a lot of emotions, drama and a lifetime of life altering decisions all in one.

Chalay Thay Saath was a coming of age film and it captured the essence of Pakistan's natural beauty perfectly. The film did well in the country and is now all set for its overseas premiere in the US. In collaboration with Radio Azaad, Chalay Thay Saath will be screened in Chicago on the 5th of October. The film will be shown at the at the Venetian Cinemas in Carrollton, Texas and have screenings in Edison NJ, San Jose CA, and Niles, Illinois from the 5th to the 11th of October.

Friday, 29 September 2017

Here's why the Mahira Khan starrer 'Verna' got delayed

Seems like there might be a reason altogether for Shoaib Mansoor's Mahira Khan starrer Verna getting delayed.
According to Gulf News, a local weekly in Pakistan was responsible behind the leaked plot line and one liner for the movie due to which the makers decided to re-shoot certain aspects for Verna, causing the delay.
Adding more to the story, Gulf News claims Shoaib Mansoor was rather upset with the entire team and made sure he gave everyone a piece of his mind, forbidding further discussions about the film directly to the media.
Speculations are being made about Shoaib Mansoor thinking about redoing Verna's climax as well; confirmation for which hasn't been received from the showman himself.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Milestone Accomplished: Punjab Nahi Jaungi becomes the highest grossing film of the year

The beginning of this year for Pakistani movies was not exactly a great. None of the movies which released managed to make a strong impact on the viewers. But things certainly changed with Eid releases. Punjab Nahi Jaungi, a Nadeem Baig directorial, that released, just four weeks back, has finally given the audience a reason to flock to the cinemas.

It's been almost a month since Punjab Nahi Jaungi released and the craze doesn't seem to simmer down. As of now, Punjab Nahi Jaungi has officially become the highest grossing film of the year!

Having ourselves watched the movie, one cant blame the audiences for falling in love with it. With its extra-ordinary setting, a good script, engaging performances and an overall good feel, Punjab Nahi Jaungi is a true family entertainer, with some great music and brilliant cinematography.

According to Box Office Detail, PNJ has managed to make 26.8 crore in 24 days which puts it ahead of Fast and Furious 8 which had collected 26.7 crore approximately. And if that was not enough, Punjab Nahi Jaungi has also superseded Actor in Law which makes it the 3rd highest grosser of all time just behind Jaawani Phir Nahi Aani and Salman Khan starrer Sultan.

And if that was not enough, Punjab Nahi Jaungi has also superseded Actor in Law which makes it the 3rd highest grosser of all time just behind Jaawani Phir Nahi Aani and Salman Khan starrer Sultan.

Here's the weekly breakdown of Punjab Nahi Jaungi

Week One.. 12.25 crore
Week Two.. 7.5 crore
Week Three.. 5.1 crore
 4th Weekend.. 2 crore
Total.. 26.85 crore

Not only domestically but also overseas, the PNJ buzz refuses to die down. In the UK the movie is enjoying a good run as it has beaten the life time record of Humayun Saeed and Mahira Khan starrer Bin Roye. As per Box Office Detail PN crossed £550K in 20 days whereas Bin Roye had made £546K in 19 weeks back in 2015.

So still going strong Punjab Nahi Jaungi has restored everyone's faith in Pakistani cinema. We now believe that filmmakers here in Pakistan are much capable of making good quality films that can give any movie, Bollywood or Hollywood a run for its money.

Monday, 25 September 2017

Shooting begins for Sohai Ali Abro's " The Motorcycle Girl"

Remember how vibrant Sohai Ali Abro looked in Jawani Phir Nahi Ani? But the gorgeous diva has been missing since from the big screen and doing dramas for television. These days she looks absolutely beautiful in Hum TV's Aadhi Gawahi but we really do want to see her on the big screen.

And now, it seems like our wish will be granted soon. We recently brought the news about Sohai starring as the motorcycle girl Zenith Irfan in her biopic by Adnan Sarwar. The shooting of the film has now begun, as officially confirmed by Sarwar himself on his social media and to HIP, when we contacted him to ask where are they shooting at the moment and where they plan to go next?

"We are in Lahore at the moment and will go up to Hunza for two weeks and by the 20th of October or so will be back in Lahore " said Sarwar.

The Motorcycle Girl will be the real life story of the boundary breaking Zenith Irfan who set off on her motorcycle at the age of 20 to conquer the highlands of northern Pakistan. And with Sohai in the lead, it'll be exciting to see how the lady shuns off all the glamour and play a real life hero on her solo journey on a motorbike.

In an earlier statement, about essaying the character of Zenith, Abro had shared her excitement and honor to be playing the part. "It is an absolute honor to play Zenith in his film. The role of this incredible, empowering female is one thing I can relate to and is close to my heart. I have always believed in the power of liberating women, especially considering the taboos we face in our society. I am really happy that a lot of young girls will be able to look up to me for doing something positive and inspiring," Sohai had said.

Besides directing the movie Adnan Sarwar has also written The Motorcycle Girl. And Sohai to fit in to her role, had to learn to ride a motorcycle, to undertake the same journey Zenith began from Lahore to the majestic Khunjarab Pass. With the shooting having begun we look forward to bringing you guys many more updates as far as The Motorcycle Girl is concerned so do stay hooked to HIP until then.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Saat Din Mohabbat In is the coming of age story of Tipu and his search for true love," Sheheryar Munawar

Saat Din Mohabbat In, starring Mahira Khan and Sheheryar Munawar in the lead roles has been the talk of the town lately. The film has hit the floors and yet details are being kept hushed up for this romantic comedy.

HIP, however, had the chance to spot Mahira Khan and Sheheryar Munawar shooting for the film recently and of course we had our journalist instincts triggered high to bring you exclusive scoop right from the sets where the team was shooting an action sequence at a wedding, complete with the baratis in tow and Amna Ilyas on top of a minivan with Hina Dilpazeer in a wheel chair.

While Mahira Khan was busy getting all decked up for the wedding sequence in the film and looked absolutely gorgeous in red, HIP got hold of the man of the hour, Sheheryar Munawar and dug out details about Saat Din Mohabbat In.

Talking about his character, the actor mentioned that he wasn't allowed to reveal much but he'd tell us that SDMI was a fun film, different from what he has done before. "Saat Din Mohabbat In is a fun story, a rom-com with a fantasy twist to it. It's very 'filmi' film, a true cinematic entertainer. There have been certain things that I had always wanted to try as an actor and I've gotten the chance in SDMI. The story revolves around coming of age of my character, Tipu and how he goes out looking for true love. There is action, there is humor, there is comedy, there is romance and a lot of fun in Saat Din Mohabbat In," Sheheryar adds.

Adding further, Sheheryar stated, "The mention of seven days (saat din) in the title has a lot of relevance. The story is built around these seven days and what happens during them."

While talking about the film and his reason for signing up Saat Din Mohabbat In, Sheheryar told us that the film had given him a chance to explore a lot of things, "Saat Din Mohabbat In is completely different from what I have done before. Ho Mann Jahan was different but this this film has a lot more to it. As an actor I have always wanted to pick different projects and that's why I'm very excited about it. The energy on the sets is great, there's vibrancy and a whole lot of fun which will definitely translate on the screen."

On working with Mahira once again after Ho Mann Jahan, Shehryar quipped that Mahira was working with him, (he gets the star credits). But on a serious note, the actor added, "Working alongside Mahira is always just too much fun. We're good friends in a personal capacity and the bonding reflects onscreen. If you're friends off screen and you share jokes, the chemistry translates onscreen. The job becomes easier when you work with someone you're comfortable with. With Mahira around there is always fun and games on the sets. We share a great camaraderie and that will reflect on the screen."

Talking about Project Ghazi being delayed on its premiere night, Sheheryar tells us that the makers are working tirelessly to perfect the glitches that occurred during the premiere and hopefully the film will release with full force in December this year.

Listening up to all these details, we're quite eager for Saat Din Mohabbat In. This one surely sounds like a fun movie, and of course we can't wait to review it. But until then, stay hooked to this space to find out more about SDMI and its cast.

How we react defines our own character; Ali Zafar and others speak in support of Mahira Khan!

Almost everyone has an opinion regarding Mahira Khan’s latest picture with Ranbir Kapoor, where the two are spotted smoking together.

From the length of her dress, to the cigarette in her hand, people have been quick to judge Mahira Khan and bash her with their opinions.

While the slut shaming isn't stopping anytime soon, the film fraternity has decided to take a stand for Mahira khan and show their support for the actress. Many of our celebs took to their social media today to shun people’s opinion and show the society the double standards it has.

Ali Zafar won hearts all over with his beautiful yet deep words on Instagram to show his support for Mahira khan

We love how united the industry stands for their fellow star. Regardless of what Mahira was up to, its none of anybody's business to comment on what she does as an individual.

Will Mahira Khan reply to these hateful comments? The star is yet to break her silence on this matter, till then peace out guys. Live and let live!

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Mohay Rung De from Abu Aleeha's 'Arifa' is out now

Mohay Rung De from Abu Aleeha's directorial debut Arifa just came out and the song reminds us of something we've heard before. Tapping somewhat into the soulful genre, Mohay Rung De, will click with listeners who like listening to slow music that's not entirely classic.

Sajid Abbas seems like a potential singer but we'd like to listen to him trying more mainstream songs before we can form a decision as to whether he does soul classic better or if rock, pop or folk are his forte.

The music arrangement by Ali Allahditta has come out as rather plain; not easy but plain. We've heard and liked songs with simple arrangements before but this one comes off as something that's entirely flat and therefore does not gel well with Sajid Abbas's voice at all. The music-vocal chemistry is somewhat amiss in Mohay Rung De and that's what holds us back from immediately falling for the track.

The problem with Mohay Rung De is the fact that this song does not have a good recall value. With lyrics that run deep and hard, recalling the song will be a bit difficult for everybody. For a song to be able to hit the listeners right in the feels, it needs to be easy, with a good recall value. Even Makkay Gaya from the film Saawan taps the classic genre, and yet has a recall value that rings well with the listeners.

All in all, Mohay Rung De from Arifa is a fine listen, if one enjoys slow soulful music. Sajid Abbas stands out with his voice but its the composition that drowns his voice.

Xpolymer Dar does a rap track 'Power Di Game' for Mahira Khan's Verna

Shoaib Mansoor, has set a benchmark for the revival of Pakistani cinema with blockbusters like Khuda Ke Liye and Bol and now he's all geared up to question the society with his upcoming film Verna.
Starring Mahira Khan in the lead who'll be playing a rape victim, Verna is a film that will tackle tabooed subjects circling around a woman's honor in the society. With the powerful poster just unveiled, expectations have risen tenfold for Verna. And now, with the news of Islamabad based musician Xpolymer Dar, doing a rap track "Power Di Game" for the film, one is eagerly looking forward to the film is going to be all about.
According to sources Power Di Game is going to be one absolutely powerful track with meaningful lyrics and a strong message to give out. 
Dar is a Punjabi rapper and it was Shoaib Mansoor himself who called him over and together they worked on the song. Xpolymer Dar and Shoaib Mansoor together have written the lyrics for Power Di Game and are intending to create a storm with the song.
Dar is the crew member of the band Rap Engineers who are a signature hip-hop crew of South Asia based in Islamabad, Pakistan since 2005. Rap Engineers are one of the pioneers of hip hop and the sufi rap genre in the sub continent. We also got in touch with the rapper to ask his view on the inclusion of this track in the movie and this is what he said, 
"I am glad Pakistani cinema will get introduced to rap in its real form instead of the usual sexist rap that we get to hear in movies". 
Mansoor a veteran writer, producer, director and the recipient of Pride of Performance, while announcing Verna had mentioned why he had designed the film. 
“This film has been written and directed by a man of Pakistan for the men of the world to listen to women. It is to encourage women to speak up," Shoaib had announced. Khuda ke liye, Bol, Verna is how the film is being predicted by those who love creative genius works by Shoaib Mansoor.
Whether Power Di Game is a satire or takes a political dig at the system in Pakistan and this society, remains to be known. But we for one, are excited to review the song and of course the film for you, as soon as it hits the screens.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

‘Maula Jatt’ rights have been sold to Bilal Lashari and Ammara Hikmat: original writer Nasir Adeeb

ISLAMABAD .: Who knew that a small-town boy, hailing from a poverty-stricken family, travelled to Lahore, and tarried outside the very film-studio he wasn’t allowed to enter then, but comfortably seats himself now at, before speaking to me of his much-awaited return. Veteran writer Nasir Adeeb, who completes his 412th film in the coming year, happens to hold the record of being the only scriptwriter in the world to have so many releases to his credit.

Adeeb dreamt of becoming famous, and after having joined the armed forces, he was told that only a shaheed (martyr) is honoured with the ‘Nishaan-e-Haider’ (highest military award), and that’s not the kind of notability he had in mind. And so he very dramatically ran away, and after much struggle, applied to PTV and was accepted as the Assistant Programme Producer. But just then a film by his name was announced in Lahore, so he filed a court case, won and stepped foot in what was then, the magnificent Lollywood. In conversation with The Express Tribune, Nasir Adeeb dishes out his inspiring voyage into films and revisits his classic.

Most recently, Adeeb launched his autobiography titled Tareekhi Jumlay and already has two sold-out editions. He sees his documentation as a piece of writing that he owed to himself. “I spent three years reading and finding myself, and that’s when I came to know that there’re only four things that God has made Himself, the first being a pen,” he delineates, adding, “I literally had tears in my eyes when I read this because I consider myself very lucky, to have been blessed with the strength to write. On the Last Day, when I’m asked of what I made use of this ‘pen’ for myself, I’ll have my book.”

Rewind to 1975: The release of his first Punjabi film, Wehshi Jatt, Adeeb gave rebirth to regional cinema in Pakistan; swiftly replacing Urdu-language-films with the much clamorous, yet booming Punjabi features. It is pertinent to mention that Wehshi Jatt, produced by Azeem Malik and directed by Hassan Askari was the first film to introduce Adeeb’s character ‘Maula Jatt’. Over the course of the next few years, Adeeb wrote a handful of movies for various film-makers, around his iconic characters, ‘Maula’ and ‘Noori’. While the doom of local cinema is often attributed to the violent and vulgar content that replaced quality and refinement, that was brought about in the decades before, Nasir believes otherwise – and refreshingly, acknowledges the new crop of talent for reanimating the fraternity.

“In 1988, I had predicted the downfall of our film industry because I saw the lack of respect. In our society, it was a taboo to be associated to cinema. Till now, no father would ever, proudly speak of his daughter being a great dancer or an artist, or his son, a choreographer or actor,” he exclaimed. “And so when nobody ends up leading a settled life, the industry naturally declines. Today, our society has owned cinema and that’s because actors are coming from respectable backgrounds. Actresses no longer belong to red-light districts.”

After a decade, according to the Registration Act in Pakistan, the rights of characters in a film return to the writer, and Nasir Adeeb makes the most out of that, officially handing over the rights of his iconic dramatis personae, ‘Maula Jatt’ and ‘Noori Natt’ amongst others to director Bilal Lashari and Executive Producer Ammara Hikmat, CEO Encyclomedia, for its anticipated reboot.

“Bilal is the one who came to me with this idea and I was very shocked, because he doesn’t speak in Punjabi at all, but wants to reboot the original film – but in Punjabi, and the film is set during an era he, himself hasn’t witnessed,” he began of his early encounter with the Waar director. “And it’s all the more interesting to know that our producer, Ammara and none of Bilal’s assistants converse in Punjabi either. Knowing Bilal, one can expect him to set trends and break norms. Any ordinary film-maker wouldn’t dare putting his stakes on a Punjabi language film after directing a blockbuster hit. His regard for our language and culture is what brought me into this project.”

However, Adeeb was all praises for the makers and their devotion towards helming a classic that he promises to be “logical” yet doesn’t lose its gandaasa essence, something he found missing back in the day. “It is after working on Maula Jatt that I’ve realised what film-makers actually do. It would’ve been amazing to have started off with Bilal and Ammara; they’re so passionate about the film,” he shares.

“Dair ayad, durust ayad (it’s taken a bit of time to reach there, but I have arrived), and that will hopefully reflect by the numbers it generates at the Box Office.” 

It’s surprising to see Adeeb evolve and adapt to the new wave of a cinema that is equal parts conventional entertainment and modern sensibilities. Despite having a career spanning over four decades, Adeeb’s humility and progress is laudable. However, he is also well aware of Maula Jatt’s cult-position in films and sees the transformation of his characters in collaboration with Lashari as an opportunity to introduce himself to the younger and more contemporary audience.

“I think I’m starting from zero, I feel it’s my first film and maybe that’s why I look up to Bilal and his vision. In a way, it’s my entry to new-age cinema and this is my chance to prove myself,” he maintains. “When you first visit the Taj Mahal, you look at it as a building, but it’s once you’ve seen it that you realise what it symbolises and how it was Shah Jehan’s token of love for his most beloved wife. Maybe after watching Maula Jatt, people would want to know what I hold.”

He continued of the franchise’s epic run at the movies and the Punjabi accent that returns to the fore with Lashari’s directorial. “There are five Bollywood adaptations of Maula Jatt as well. Four of which failed, so Dharmendra, who starred in them, eventually called me and I wrote Ghayal. He then asked me why the earlier films had tanked, even though they had excellent production values – but the truth is that it’s actually the dialect that makes a film like this a hit.”

Starring, the most celebrated actors in the country, Fawad Khan takes the lead as Maula Jatt, whilst Hamza Ali Abbasi wears the antagonist, Noori Natt’s hat with aplomb; Mahira Khan and Humaima Malick also feature as the film’s leading ladies and we can barely wait to see what the renowned quartet have in store. Unlike other writers, Adeeb seems well-engaged in the film’s production stage as well, allowing its team to grasp from the story innovator himself.

“I remember this one scene where the late Sultan Rahi delivered a very powerful dialogue, which was followed by Noori Natt’s in the original, where he says, ‘Oye Jatta’, which Mustafa Qureshi never got right,” Adeeb chuckled. “So Hamza does speak in Punjabi, but Fawad, Mahira and Humaima don’t, but they understand that and are very easy to work with. They pick up the accent I narrate to them very well and are extremely hard-working. That’s all that matters.”

He very fondly recalls the good ol’-days of the gandaasa glory, but has evidently gelled in well with the juvenile crowd of the fraternity. He draws parallels between Maula Jatt and James Bond, and hopes its forthcoming installment crosses the 100 Crore mark, setting new records. Rational, seemingly pragmatic and clearly vehement about cinema, Maula Jatt is one film that we anticipate; it goes without saying.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

HIP Reviews: Saawan aims for the moon but lands amongst the stars

For the makers of Saawan, the vital part was delivering their message. Their heart is in the right place, which makes it a praise worthy effort. Directed by Farhan Alam, the movie looks at the life of a disabled boy named Saawan (Karam Hussain), left behind in his village when his parents and all village dwellers leave for the city due to famine. The story revolves around the survival of the boy and the friends he makes along the way. Will he survive or the extremely challenging environment and other forces take his life?

Shot in the high terrains of Baluchistan, there are many scenes in Saawan, which will leave you in awe. The mountains, the deserts and the lakes are captured stunningly and the DOP has done a brilliant job. Pakistani filmmakers are not only highlighting, social issues but also showcasing how beautiful some of the neglected areas of Pakistan are. Laadak's (India) was one such example, where a film (3 Idiots) changed the fortunes of the local population as tourism shot up.

Coming back to the story of the film, it tries to highlight many varied grave issues. The treatment of a differently-abled person in the film is quite reflective of how our society treats them. So is the very apparent sexism and misogyny. Its borders on child and women abuse. How sardars, in rural areas rule without impunity and the state bends to their wishes. It touches on the polio epidemic and how polio eradication teams have been targeted in our country. Child trafficking is also under the microscope as Saleem Mairaj playing a child trafficker, gives the role the necessary impetus. Despite only being in the quarter of the film, this character is most developed and I am pretty sure audiences will come out of the cinema hating him.

In the backdrop, but a key part of the plot is a man, who has been cast aside from the village, tied down to a bed away from the settlements because of his mental disability. The villagers call him ‘Bala’. It illustrates how difficult it is for refugees to become part of their new home and lead a normal life. Moreover, the heartless attitude of the public as well as authorities towards those in need is also a stark reminder of the society we have developed. The role of media and censorship issues also get a mention. Lastly, there is the film touching base of the very real threat of terrorism.

As one might think these are very many issues to divulge into in two and half hours. This is a bit of a problem with the film. As it aims to discuss so much, it goes dull especially in the 2nd half. There are roles and sequences which could be cut out entirely i.e. Media personnel and the power struggle between children at one point of the movie. With better editing, and more focused direction, Saawan could have been a bit shorter and delivered a more powerful message. In its current form, it can leave the audiences a bit overwhelmed with the sheer number of plots.

Nevertheless, all performers, Arif Bahalim, Najeeba Faiz, Imran Aslam, Tipu Yorguc, Hafeez Ali and Shahid Nizam play their roles aptly. To sum up, Saawan I presume was very challenging to shoot and on a topic which isn't very commercial. The makers of the movie wanted to deliver important messages & they have managed to do it. It’s a praiseworthy effort which could have been better. Good couple of weeks for Pakistani cinema followers.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Jawani Phir Nahi Aani 2: Fahad Mustafa to romance the beautiful Syra Shahroz in Europe!

Jawani Phir Nahi Ani, the Pakistani film that shattered records on the box office right from the word Go! Starring Humayun Saeed, Hamza Ali Abbasi, Ahmad Ali Butt and Vasay Chaudhry alongside Sarwat Gillani, Aisha Khan, Uzma Khan, Sohai Ali Abro and Mehwish Hayat, not missing Bushra Ansari and Javed Sheikh, JPNA made history owing to its brilliant script, flawless direction and perfect execution by the stellar cast.

JPNA was an ultimate joyride, a movie that left you with fits of laughter and gave you cramps with its humor. The film, an original Pakistani movie, was simply amazing and set cash registers rolling for the makers. And ever since Nadeem Baig, the director, hinted at a sequel for Jawani Phir Nahi Ani, we were on the lookout. And so here it comes, everything you ever wanted to know about Jawani Phir Nahi Ani, straight from the man, the captain of the ship Nadeem Baig himself.

Jawani Phir Nahi Ani sequel has very much entered its pre-production stage. Nadeem Baig tells us the script has been planned and pre-production is going on at the moment. The film is all set to hit the floors next month, until which the casting will be completed.

According to Nadeem, "Humayun Saeed, Vasay Chaudhry and Ahmad Ali Butt alongside Sarwat Gillani and Uzma Khan are part of the film. Newest addition to the cast include Fahad Mustafa, opposite whom Syra Shahroz has been finalized."

Baig further added how a potential actor was being considered for the role opposite Humayun Saeed. Speculations and sources tell us any one from Mawra Hocane, Maya Ali or Humaima Malick might make it to the sequel opposite Humayun this time.

Hamza Ali Abbasi will not be seen in the sequel of Jawani Phir Nahi Ani, but as Nadeem adds, "you never know, Hamza might make a surprise entry perhaps."

Revealing further, Baig also told us that majority of the shooting for Jawani Phir Nahi Ani 2 would be done outside Pakistan. But wait, its not Bangkok this time. As Nadeem puts it, the team is flying off for a European adventure this time.

Imagine Humayun, Fahad, Ahmad and Vasay romancing some slick European beauties and you'll be more eager to watch the sequel just like us. Will the boys have learnt their lesson? Will they be heading off for more fun, landing in trouble or getting away with it? Watch out for the sequel of our much loved Jawani Phir Nahi Ani.

Until then stay hooked to this space to find out more about JPNA 2.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Lollywood experiences major boost after Punjab Nahi Jaungi’s triumph

LAHORE : After the massive success of the recent Eid releases, seven new Pakistani films are all set to hit screens this year and gruelling work has commenced in local film studios to make this possible.

Local distributors are avoiding the release of new films in October due to the holy month of Muharram. Therefore, Sayed Atif Ali’s film Pari, Producer Sohail Khan’s Shor Sharaba and Director Sangeeta’s film Tum Hi To Ho will all be releasing in November, while December is reserved for the release of Arth 2, Rangreza, Chupan Chupai and Maula Jutt 2.

Following the success of Punjab Nahi Jaungi and Na Maloom Afraad 2, local film distributors have shared that they are planning to strengthen the Pakistani film industry. They hope that the public will see local films dominating cinemas within the coming months too. Cinema owners were chuffed with the positive response that both these films garnered and the industry’s stake holders experienced a well-deserved boost.

It is pertinent to mention that this year witnessed the release of many films. These include Mehrunisa V Lub U, Yalghaar, Balu Mahi, Whistle and Thora Jee Le. However, all of them proved to be disappointing at the box office. Due to this, film producers were hesitant to release films fearing heavier losses. However, the recent successes have provided the confidence that the Pakistani film industry’s insiders required, leading to the announcements of the release of seven new films.

“I am releasing my film in November as I think that it will be the right time to release Shor Sharaba. There were many factors involved for not releasing films due to the political and business situations, and no one will appreciate to bear losses after spending millions,” shared senior film producer Sohail Khan.

“The release of Pakistani films has been kept to a minimum this year as compared to last year. A total of 53 movies released last year whereas this year only held 28, including Urdu, Punjabi and Pashto,” revealed Director Altaf Hussain.

He added, “We are hopeful though, as we finally had profitable films on the big screens this Eid. We are expecting good results and many people in the film industry are making decisions on launching future projects due to these profits.”

The Chairman of the Pakistan Film Distributor’s Association, Ch Ejaz Kamran also articulated his thoughts on the situation. “No one was willing to start new film projects due to the losses incurred by the film industry. However, the stake holders are now optimistic and ready to invest in more films as it seems like the last two months only saw Pakistani films dominating the cinemas,” he stated.

He continued, “We have struggled a lot for our local films to excel. The whole industry has shown endless efforts to promote our films within the last five years and this year, we will reap the rewards.”

Monday, 11 September 2017

Na Maloom Afraad 2 10 Days Boxoffice Numbers - Massive - BoxOfficeDetails

Na Maloom Afraad 2 has delivered massive numbers at domestic market in it's first 10 days.. Film recorded superb first Extended Weekend of 7.49cr approx.

Held exceedingly well on Tuesday but there came falls on Wednesday and Thursday.. Film managed close to 11.5cr approx it it's first Week and now it has recorded very good numbers in second Weekend also.

Film has collected 15.25cr approx in 10 days with second Weekend falling around 50%.. Hold is pretty good considering tough competition it is having from Punjab Nahi Jaungi plus massive first Week it had.

 Film is having dream run in Karachi where Nueplex has collected over 2cr approx in 10 days which is almost double of Punjab Nahi Jaungi

Film is having excellent run in Hyderabad also.. In Punjab films is doing good too but it not at record levels. In Karachi film has already become second highest grosser of year behind Fast 8 in just 10 days.

 Below is film's breakdown:

Extended Weekend.. 7.49cr
Week One.. 11.5cr
Second Weekend.. 3.85cr
Total.. 15.35cr

Film had a release in UK where it has added 40lacs approx taking 10 days total to around 15.75cr approx..