Pakistani Films in 2017 Some Promising Actresses Another Awards Circus
Pakistani cinema is now progressively picking up. 2016 was a good year with films like Mah e Mir, Actor in Law, etc. but there are major hurdles to be crossed. Other films that were released in 2016 included Lahore Se Agey, Maalik, Bachaana, Hijrat, Ishq Positive, Salute, Saye-eKhuda-e-Zuljalal, 3 Bahadur: The Revenge of Baba Balaam, Jeewan Hathi, Zindagi Kitni Haseen Hai, etc. Any film industry takes time to evolve and develop and this can take up almost 30 to 40 years. More filmmakers and investors are needed for the film industry to make someheadway. May be there comes a time when Pakistani films will be exported to Iran, Turkey, India, UAE, Sri Lanka, Nepal, etc. At present, Indian content is being watched in Pakistan with great interest. The Pakistani industry on its own is still in a preliminary phase of revival.
“Pakistani cinema should not experiment. You have to make cinema your unique identity. But right now cinema is evolving and when it evolves it will itself reveal what that identity is,” says Indian actor Naseer-ud-din Shah.
Pakistani filmmakers must try not to copy Indian content either. Pakistan is itself full of inspiring stories. Pakistani customs and heritage have a lot to offer and this must be capitalised upon.
Pakistani cinema can offer stories that attract the common man. The focus on going global should be the next step. Pakistan has just 106 screens in a country of over 200 million people. The lack of cinemas and high film ticket prices are basic problems. While there are multiplexes for those who can afford the high ticket prices, there is a need for cinemas with lesser priced tickets to bring in more film-watchers.
There is news that Indian films will hit Pakistani screens once again soon. This cuts boh ways. It will offer more more profits to cinema owners and the benefits will travel all the way to the film producers and actors but on the other hand, it will also add to the insecurity of local filmmakers. This is all the more reason why Pakistani films should be stronger and powerful so that more people are attracted to the cinemas to watch local content.
More than 20 films are said to be in the works covering action, romance, social issues, history and drama. Will these films make a bang at the box office?
Saba Qamar has now turned to film acting. She has already appeared in such films as Lahore Sey Aagay and 8969 and will be seen in Hindi Medium, opposite Irrfan Khan.
Yalghaar is a war epic with a reportedly PKR 60 crore budget. It is based on the true story of Pakistan Army’s Swat Operation and explores the aftermath of the operation. Hassan Waqas Raza, director of the film, has revealed that it is a tribute to the slain children of the 2014 Peshawar School attack. It has a star-studded cast such as Shaan Shahid, Humayun Saeed, Adnan Siddiqui, Armeena Khan and Ayesha Omer.
Maula Jatt 2 is an action drama film directed by Bilal Lashari. It is written by Nasir Adib and Bilal. A sequel to the 1979 Maula Jatt, it features Fawad Khan and Hamza Ali Abbasi who will be seen in the lead roles with Mahira Khan and Humaima Malik. “This will be my take on Gandasa films which are blamed for the death of Lollywood,” says Bilal Lashari.
Punjab Nahi Jaoongi is directed by Nadeem Baig and written by Khalil-ur-Rehman Qamar. It is a love story and exposes a cross-culture marriage between two people belonging to Sindh and Punjab. It features Humayun Saeed, Mehwish Hayat, Urwa Hocane and Ahmed Butt.
Project Ghazi is a sort of superhero film that features Humayun Saeed, Sheheryar Munawar and Saira Shahroz. It is directed by Nadir Shah.
Mehrunisa We Lub You is a romantic film, directed by Yasir Nawaz and written by Saqib Saleem. Sana Javed is making her debut in the film. It stars Danish Taimoor, Sana Javed, Javed Sheikh and Saqib Sameer. Amina Ilyas will also be seen in an item song.
Balu Mahi is a romantic comedy film featuring model Sadaf Kanwal in a debut role while Osman Khalid Butt and Ainy Jafferi are in leads roles. It is directed by Haissam Hussain and produced by Sadia Jabbar. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s Qawwali titled “Rung De Chunar” has already created some excitement among fans.
Rangreza is a musical romantic film, directed by Aamir Mohiuddin and produced by Yasir Mohiuddin and Usman Malkani. It is written by Akhtar Qayyum with music by Hamza Akram Qawwal. Asrar Shah sings in Rangreza. It features Urwa Hocane, Bilal Ashraf, Gohar Rasheed, Tanveer Jamal, Seemi Pasha, Saba Faisal, Humaira Bano, Saleem Mairaj and Akber Subhani.
Arth2 is a romantic drama film, directed and written by Shaan Shahid. The film is a remake of Mahesh Bhatt’s 1982 Arth and stars Shaan Shahid, Humaima Malik, Mohib Mirza, Uzma Hassan and Yasir Hussain. “Shaan Sahib is remaking a film that I started my career with and that makes me very happy. I am very keen to see how he will interpret it,” said Mahesh Bhatt, the Indian film-maker.
Chalay Thay Saath stars Syra Shehroz, Kent S. Leung, Behroz Sabzwari and Mansha Pasha. It is directed by Umer Adil and produced by Beenish Umer with Sheikh Shiraz Mubashir as the executive producer. It revolves around emotions, relationships and self-realization.
The Trail is written, directed and produced by news anchor Kamran Shahid. It is based on the historical incidents of 1971 and stars Mikaal Zulfiqar, Sadia Khan, Shamoon Abbasi, Resham and Alyy Khan.
Verna has been written by Shoaib Mansoor. It is based on women in Pakistan. It is also directed by him and features Mahira Khan in the lead role.
Cinema in Pakistan is set to get a new fillip from these films. But generating money at the box office remains a challenge. More commercial films will need to be made and the industry must be facilitated through new technology, a respectable film academy ad other support that promotes film-making.