The Glam­our is Back

Slogan - - FRONT PAGE - By Sam­ina Wahid

Awards cer­e­monies were pre­vi­ously limited to the In­dian cinema but the foun­da­tion laid by the Lux Style Awards some years ago has turned things around. With the ad­vent of the Hum TV Awards, me­dia moguls fi­nally woke up to the idea that view­ers ac­tu­ally en­joy watch­ing such shows and that there is a great deal of money to be made from it. As a re­sult, the Tarang House­full Awards came into be­ing. The re­sult of a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween En­gro Foods and Geo Films, the awards hope to sup­port the lo­cal en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try, par­tic­u­larly Pak­istani cinema, which seemed to have been dy­ing a slow death till a few years ago. The aim here is to bring to the fore­front lo­cal tal­ent and talk about is­sues and themes rel­e­vant to Pak­istani so­ci­ety.

Prior to the awards, how­ever, Tarang in­tro­duced what is known as the ‘House­full’ project. The idea was to recre­ate the cinematic magic of the by­gone era via re­makes of clas­sic Pak­istani movies, some of which in­cluded ‘An­ju­man’, ‘Aina’, ‘Dil Mera Dhad­kan Teri’ and ‘Ar­maan’. Without de­vi­at­ing from the plot too much, new ac­tors played char­ac­ters that were pre­vi­ously en­acted by stars such as Nadeem, Shahid, Wa­heed Mu­rad, Shab­nam and Babra Sharif, to name a few. The mu­si­cal score re­mained the same but was re­done by con­tem­po­rary mu­si­cians such as Ra­hat Fateh Ali and Aamir Zaki along with some vo­cal­ists from Bol­ly­wood.

Need­less to say, the project was a re­sound­ing suc­cess, par­tic­u­larly with the cur­rent gen­er­a­tion that heav­ily re­lies on Bol­ly­wood and Hol­ly­wood as a source of en­ter­tain­ment. It in­tro­duced to them the Pak­istani film in­dus­try in a novel fash­ion, bring­ing into the lime­light sto­ry­lines and ac­tors that they had

pre­vi­ously not heard of. Fur­ther­more, it pro­vided a win­dow into the past, en­abling them to un­der­stand what the Pak­istani cinema was like in its days of glory. As for those who grew up on a sta­ple diet of lo­cal movies back then, it was great way to re­visit some of those clas­sics with a mod­ern feel. Be it the block­buster Ar­maan that had peo­ple go­ing down mem­ory lane as they en­joyed the on­screen chem­istry of Fawad Khan and Aam­ina Sheikh, the hi­lar­i­ous Abhi Tou Main Jawan Hoon that had peo­ple in stitches with its snappy script and stel­lar per­for­mances or the shock­ing so­cial com­men­tary of An­ju­man that’s still rel­e­vant today, all the tele­films sparked de­bate and com­par­i­son. So Tarang did man­age to bring about a full house. The rat­ings were good and the sound­tracks have been do­ing well on the mu­sic charts, which mean that peo­ple have been watch­ing these re­makes.

Of course, it’s all very well to have one-off re­leases/pre­miers in the theatres and to air these movies on tele­vi­sion. The real test is whether or not Tarang will be able to make a film for re­lease in cin­e­mas around Pak­istan. And the com­pe­ti­tion isn’t get­ting anyny eas­ier, es­pe­cially since movies like Cham­baili and Siyaa­haah (a hor­ror movie from some new­bies in Islamabad) havee made it to the big screen in 2013. Fur­ther­more, Hu­mayun­mayun Saeed’s Main Shahid Afridi Hoon will be re­leasedd this Eid, Far­jad Nabi’s new film­may also see the light of day in Au­gust this year in both Pak­istan and In­dia and there is news of Bi­lal Lashari’s long awaited Waarar fi­nally hit­ting the screens too. Then there is Jami’s film,m, the pro­mos for which look fan­tas­tic and more filmsms are slated for re­lease by next year. In this en­vi­ron­ment,nment, tele­films, be they Tarang House­full projects or ef­forts like Be­hadd, the Asim Raza di­rected tele­filme­film for a lo­cal drama chan­nel, may just fall shortt of the au­di­ence’s ex­pec­ta­tions in the long run. n.

Hav­ing said that, how­ever, the Tarang House­full Awards are a step in the right di­rec­tion since they pro­mote these tele­films and, if noth­ing else, have be­come a sub­ject of con­ver­sa­tion among the masses as well as me­dia cir­cles. The for­mat was all-toofa­mil­iar: that of a Bol­ly­wood awards show with umpteen per­for­mances that made it all the more en­ter­tain­ing. Also, while the list of nominees was more or less pre­dictable with six nominees in each cat­e­gory, mostly each rep­re­sent­ing one of the six Tarang House­full re­makes, the jury se­lec­tion was im­pres­sive and lent cred­i­bil­ity to the show. These in­cluded the­atre­man and mu­sic com­poser Ar­shad Mehmood, jour­nal­ist, filmmaker and founder of the now de­funct Karafilm Fes­ti­val Hasan Zaidi, ac­tress ex­traor­di­naire Sa­nia Saeed, TV ac­tress Ma­rina Khan, di­rec­tor par ex­cel­lence Sahira Kazmi, film dis­trib­u­tor and cinema mag­nate Nadeem Mand­vi­wala, leg­endary Lol­ly­wood ac­tor Ghu­lam Mo­hi­ud­din, Pak­istani film di­rec­tor She­hzad Rafique and com­poser M. Ar­shad.

It was heart­en­ing to see that the event was at­tended by some of the big­gest names of the in­dus­try lend­ing their sup­port to the re­vival of Pak­istani cinema. Hosted by TV ac­tor Ah­san Khan, who was also a part of this project, the awards cer­e­mony was a hit and fea­tured the likes of Shaan, Syed Noor, Yasir Nawaz, Anjum She­hzad, Nadeem, Aam­ina Sheikh, Sar­wat Gi­lani, Bushra An­sari, Atiqa Odho, Us­man Peerzada and Saba Hameed, among oth­ers.

While the House­full project may still have a long way to go for it to turn Pak­istani cinema into a com­mer­cial suc­cess, it has cer­tainly set the ball rolling. Tarang House­full is proof that noth­ing is im­pos­si­ble if you put your mind to it. For a long time now, Pak­istani au­di­ences have en­dured re­makes of In­dian movies and have found them en­ter­tain­ing. Clearly, they are okay with the con­cept of movie makeovers so the idea works well for the lo­cal in­dus­try as well. The lo­cal ac­tors and ac­tresses, who en­ter­tain us on the small screen all year round on TV, de­serve just as much a chance as their In­dian and even Western coun­ter­parts. It’s time that Pak­istani cinema was given a new lease on life and if re­makes are the way to do it, then so be it. The lit­mus test will be the au­di­ence re­sponse when these movies hit theatres even­tu­ally and one hopes that Tarang’s ef­forts pay off and give that much­needed push to our in­dus­try when the time comes.

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