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Thursday, 30 May 2013

Exclusive Trailer of Movie Tamanna (2013)

"LOVE MEIN GHUM" TV Premiere on ARY Digital

Watch on Saturday 1st June 2013 at 10:00 pm

only on ARY Digital

Meeting the cast of The Reluctant Fundamentalist

I’ve always been a big fan of Mira Nair. She brings our culture and issues to life expertly and with ease. Mira’s vision is truly gifted and she knows how to translate it for the big screen in the most beautiful of ways. So, when I heard she was in Pakistan, I went for an informal meeting while she was looking to cast actors for The Reluctant Fundamentalist. My purpose was solely to meet her. I did not know at the time that she was in town to cast actors for her latest film, which is based on Lahore’s very own, Mohsin Hamid’s widely acclaimed novel. The book lends an interesting perspective to the times we live in and the realities we are facing. It talks honestly of the changes in attitude and equal opportunities that young Pakistanis are facing in ‘the land of dreams, America’, as well as at home.

I hadn’t expected much from this meeting professionally to be honest. When I got a call saying I had been cast, it was like a wish I hadn’t even dared imagine could come true. It felt too good to be true and for a while I even believed that it was, because between the time that I met Mira and the time I got a casting confirmation, I had learnt that I would be becoming a mother and probably wouldn’t be able to shoot according to the film’s schedule. As luck would have it, there were other delays. In the end, Kate Hudson and I were both extremely new mommies when we shot the film. It reaffirmed my belief in things happening when they’re meant to.

My work was based mostly in Delhi. I wish more scenes for the movie could have been shot in my beautiful city of Lahore as originally planned. We would arrive at base camp, which would be set up from scratch every night near the given location, for breakfast and then into our trailers for make-up and costume. Unfortunately, the difference between the film industries in Pakistan and India is vast and there is no fair comparison that I can make between shooting there and here. We have years of catching up to do. Their industry has had uninterrupted decades to evolve and grow. Whether its technology, professionalism, work ethics, punctuality or even skill, practice makes perfect. Even though they are such senior actors, Om Puri and Shabana Azmi would be on set at the crack of dawn: punctual, hardworking, well-rehearsed and ready to go. It’s all about working hard, and that too consistently. There are no shortcuts to being brilliant. The one strength Pakistan has is talent, which is why we must support it every step of the way.

The experience was very intense. Working on a major movie day in and day out, with the same people while you’re away from home is like living with a new family. You can also compare it with being at camp. It takes a while to snap out of it and get back to real life.

When it comes to the character I play in the movie — Bina — she is an essential reflection of what Lahori girls are like. Boisterous, feisty, expressive and full of spirit. It was easy to connect with her because the character, written especially for the movie, was quite close to my heart and easy to relate to. I think Bina is significant in showing global audiences a fun, progressive and independent side of Pakistani girls.

My family in the film is so similar to my own in real life that the similarity is uncanny. It is a literary, progressive and extremely cultured family. Shabana Azmi captured the Lahori ammi perfectly. She is grace personified and has presence and an aura about her. She is one of the few Indian actresses who can do justice to an Urdu role as opposed to a Hindi one. Her theatre experience and command over the Urdu language is rarely found across the border.

After working with Om Puri, I realised that he was a complete natural. I’ve seen excellent performances by him previously, but to see them on set while in the middle of a riveting scene is a great experience. Similarly, working with Riz Ahmed was a real treat. He’s got razor sharp wit and an even sharper mind and is extremely talented.

The names who were working behind the camera were very accomplished people in a league of their own. It was one of those rare experiences when you are truly surrounded by professionals who, despite being brilliant at what they do and being the best in the business, are hard-working, organised, as well as encouraging and warm.

When it comes to Mira Nair, I must say that she exudes warmth that touches all those she works with. The fact that most of her team has been with her for over 20 years is testimony of this very fact. After a harrowing all-night shoot, a day before I was coming back, she took out half an hour out of her extremely busy schedule and left a parcel of presents in my trailer for my daughter! No matter what the stress levels, no matter what the situation, I never once saw her lose her cool or focus. Being directed by Mira Nair is a dream come true. She was definitely the biggest star on set
Even if I had absolutely nothing to do with this movie, the fact that Mohsin Hamid wrote a book set in my Lahore and none other than Mira Nair made a movie out of it is unbelievable. The thought of sitting in a cinema, watching a Mira Nair movie which starts with the words “Lahore, Pakistan 2001-2011” gives me goose bumps. Surreal!

Published in The Express Tribune, May 30th, 2013.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Star-studded premiere of The Reluctant Fundamentalist

The much-awaited screening of The Reluctant Fundamentalist finally took place in Lahore on Thursday evening, amidst amplified curiosity and excitement.
Before the show, cast member singer-actor Meesha Shafi posted, “Can’t wait to watch it with my friends and family,” on Twitter, adding later that she wished her “lovelies” – director Mira Nair and actor Riz Ahmed – were in the walled city to watch the premiere show.

While the foreign cast and crew members could not make it to the Lahore show, Nair was busy promoting the film earlier this month in Mumbai, where celebs including Priyanka Chopra attended. The Cinestar event in Lahore, which was co-hosted by HKC and Encyclomedia PR, was attended by TRF author Mohsin Hamid, Meesha Shafi, Atif Aslam, Ali Zafar, Cybil Chowdhry and many others.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 24th, 2013.

Film premiere: The Reluctant Fundamentalist comes to Pakistan

As The Reluctant Fundamentalist premieres in Pakistan on Thursday, the film’s subject continues to be as pertinent as when the words ‘suicide attack’ and ‘religious extremists’ became a regular part of our political discourse. When Mohsin Hamid published his book in 2007, the slim novella was preternaturally timely: barely six years after the 9/11 attacks, Hamid managed to capture the anxiety, disillusionment and alienation of American Pakistanis facing the fallout of the war on terror.

Strip searched, deported, pulled off airplanes, and grilled and scrutinised endlessly, these students, residents and citizens of Pakistani/Muslim origins in the US were dismayed to find out that they could no longer achieve the American dream they aspired to.

The novel centred on a young man, Changez, whose disillusionment leads him from Wall Street to the lanes of Lahore as he abandons his American dream and becomes what some may call ‘radicalised’. Years before the Raymond Davis incident was splashed on our front pages, The Reluctant Fundamentalist depicted Changez recounting his metamorphosis to an American – presumably an intelligence operative – at a café in Lahore.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist may have been an artistic endeavour, but it hit a raw political nerve, resonating deeply with readers, not all of them necessarily of a Muslim background. Indian filmmaker Mira Nair, who was enchanted by Lahore when she first visited it, resolved to make a film set in that historical city. A ‘mongrel’ or ‘hybrid’, much in the same manner Hamid describes himself, Nair had lived in South Asia as well as the US, and could identify with the situation presented in the novel. Of course, though she is rarely introduced as such, Nair is the wife of the esteemed scholar Mahmood Mamdani, who has written extensively on the war on terror and has questioned the assumption that people’s political behaviour can be deduced from their religion.

“There is no reason to believe that Changez is religious,” stresses Hamid. “But because he is mistrustful of the US, he is perceived as a fundamentalist. It is a political issue; I don’t think it’s about religion.”

The book contains a critique of US foreign policy, but more deeply, it shows the reciprocal mistrust in east-west relations. Hamid’s book has steadily accrued accolades since its publication, including a run as a New York Times bestseller and a nomination for the Booker Prize. With this film adaptation starring big names like Kate Hudson and Kiefer Sutherland, it will reach a much wider audience. Its release in Pakistan is a reminder of the kind of art that results from collaboration across borders, and also of the raw talent that this nation posseses.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 24th, 2013.

26 May 2013 - Showbiz News from Today's NewsPaper

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Armaan (Tarang Housefull Telefilm) - Watch Online

Armaan (Urdu: ارمان‎) is a Pakistani romantic Tele-film directed by Anjum Shahzad. Film is a remake of the same name released in 1966, starred by Waheed Murad and Zeba. The Telefilm is produced by Abdullah Kadwani and 7th Sky Entertainment. TeleFilm stars Fawad Afzal Khan, Aamina Sheikh, Vasay Chaudhry and Mahnoor Khan.

Playwire FULL

Sindh Board of Film Censors is Finally Operational (20-May-2013)

22 May 2013 - Showbiz News from Today's NewsPaper

21 May 2013 - Showbiz News from Today's NewsPaper

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Movie REVIEW of Pakistani Punjabi Film “Ishq Khuda (2013)”

REVIEW of Pakistani Punjabi Film “Ishq Khuda (2013)”
Which is screened at Punjabi International Film Festival 2013 Toronto, Canada.

Review Written by Syed Zain Raza

Masjid Dhaade, Mandir Dhaade, (Tear down the Mosque, tear down the temple)
Dhaade Joh Kuch Dainda… (Tear down everything in sight)
Par Kisse Da Dil Naa Dhaween, (But don't break anyone's heart)
Rub Dilaan Wich Wasda… (Because God lives there)
~ Bulleh Shah

I don’t think there can be anything better than this kalaam of Baba Bulleh Shah that sums up Ishq Khuda. This is my first time writing a review and because I loved the film so much, I thought I should give it a try so that I can encourage others to go watch the film when it releases this Eid in Pakistan.

Several things that stood out for me:
·         References to the sacrifices of the Pakistan army.
·         The depiction of the real teachings and ideologies of Islam.
·         Promoting Pakistani values (respect, brotherhood, friendship, sacrifice, love).
·         Encouraging the LOVE of the divine rather than his fear.
·         Beautiful locales of Pakistan and great production values.
·         The amazing dialogues by M Parvez Kaleem.
·         Shaan’s extraordinary performance.
·         The brilliant direction by Shahzad Rafique.

I’ll start with the basic details here, the film is directed by Shahzad Rafique who had earlier directed films like Ghoonghat, Nikaah, Salakhain, and Mohabbatan Sachiyan. The cast includes Shaan, Meera, Ahsan Khan, Saima, and newcomer Wiam Dahmani. Now for those who are wondering how I watched the film if it will be releasing on Eid, I attended the World Premiere of the film on May 18th 2013 in Toronto. The film was released through PIFF (Punjabi International Film Festival) and both the actresses of the film; Meera and Wiam Dahmani attended the screening.

I wanted to talk about the plot but I don’t think it’s a good idea as the plot was pretty basic and even if I explain it in a line or two, there wouldn’t be anything left for the viewer to watch, so I will stay away from revealing anything about the story. Firstly, I wanted to talk about the performances in the film. Shaan Shahid, who is the only superstar that we currently have in films, was brilliant. Sadly he hasn’t really done many films that used his talent properly, however in Ishq Khuda the director made sure that he gave this brilliant actor a challenging role and Shaan played it with gusto. If there’s anyone who doesn’t only impress but also makes the viewer reflect on their own meaningless lives, it’s Shaan. The transformation that his character goes through, might not be believable to many, but the way he played the character, and the way the director portrayed it on screen, I don’t think one would get the time to think about any flaws at all. Shaan totally stole the show and proved that he was and is the BEST that we have. Ahsan Khan looked great and his performance was also very good. The character required him to underplay and that’s what he did. Watching him on screen made me think how talent like him is being wasted in dramas even though people like him are made for film. His screen persona, his performance, his body movement, everything was flawless. The newcomer Wiam Dahmani looked great throughout the film and was quite impressive in a few parts, however, there were scenes where she was unable to portray the emotions that the situation demanded (especially towards the culmination of the film), but for an actress who does not know the language and is working in a film for the first time, she was amazing. Saima didn’t really have much to do, but whenever she appeared on screen she made sure she matched up to the performance of Shaan. The actor who played Shaan’s mentor was brilliant (sorry I don’t know his name). His performance was believable, powerful, and soul quivering at several places. Finally, I wanted to talk about Meera. To be honest, I was very disappointed with Meera’s performance. This lady has been a part of the industry for a long time now but still doesn’t seem to be knowing what to do. Sorry to say but she was like a “nazar ka teeka” on such an amazing film.

The story and screenplay by Saleem Zuberi were okay. The lovestory was pretty basic and ordinary however Shaan’s track is what made the story and the film extraordinary. The screenplay was also weak at several places but then there were also scenes that were brilliantly written, so it wouldn’t be wrong to say that Saleem Zuberi did an above average job at writing the story and screenplay. M Parvaiz Kaleem sahab’s dialogues were where the film scores full marks. The brilliant dialogues (especially those delivered by Shaan) made the film worth applaud. I believe that powerful dialogues are those that stay with you even after you leave the theatre, and the dialogues from this film do the same. There were so many lines that had a great impact on me, and played a major role in making the film what it was. Overall, if I were to rate the dialogues out of 10, I would give them 11, one extra mark for being extra special.

The music by Wajahat Attre sahab (who’s one of the best music directors in the country) was okay. It was plan ordinary and a disappointment after Mohabbatan Sachiyan’s great score by the same music director. The lyrics by Riaz ur Rehman Sagar were good. The cinematography was amazing and the locales of Swat and other places in KPK were beautifully captured in the songs.

Now comes the hardest part. DIRECTION. Shahzad Rafique is known as a filmmaker who has made several commercial blockbusters in the past, but this film will add his name to those directors who make films that are loved by the audiences as well as the critics because of the messages and themes that would leave their impact on the viewers. The way he balanced a love story (and many songs!) along with a parallel spiritual track was brilliant. Overall, apart from a few flaws (that each and every film has), Shahzad Rafique’s direction was very powerful and made the film a visual treat. The way that he balanced a love story (for those who prefer romance) and the spiritual track (for those who look for meaning in films) was marvellous. Shahzad Rafique also deserves 11 out of 10 was his extraordinary work.

Finally I wanted to mention the beautiful messages that the film sends across. The film encourages love of all kinds whether it’s the love of the divine being or the love of HIS people. It is a slap on the faces of the fanatics and extremists who are maligning Islam around the world by using violence and fear. The film gives several references from Hadith and Quran Pak that oppose violence and hatred but encourage love, tolerance, and unity. I believe that in the current crisis of our country it is the job of all filmmakers and TV directors to have some sort of social messages in their work in order to teach people what’s right and what isn’t. Shahzad Rafique has done an amazing job in giving some amazing messages through the film and promoting love, tolerance, harmony, and peace in a world full of hatred, violence, and force. Thank you Shahzad Rafique sahab for making this film and doing your part to save Pakistani cinema!

Overall, Ishq Khuda is a powerful film because of some amazing performances by the lead actors, brilliant dialogues, amazing themes and social messages, along with powerful direction by Shahzad Rafique. The film will be releasing in Pakistan this Eid and it is a MUST WATCH! It will surely be a life changing experience for those who watch it. So this Eid, one thing that SHOULD be in your TO DO is Ishq Khuda.

* Best Scene: Although I loved several scenes, but the best one was where Shaan confronts Nayyer Ijaz (the hypocrite cleric). Each and every dialogue in the scene was brilliant and Shaan’s brilliant performance made it even more impactful.

* Moment of Pride: Seeing Indians and locals clap at the end of the screening and then talking about the film as they left the theatre!

RATING: 9/10

Monday, 20 May 2013

Upcoming Movies 2013

01. Waar (2013)
02. Main Hoon Shahid Afridi (2013)
03. Josh (2013)
04. Ishq Khuda (2013)
05. Tamanna (2013)
06. Hijrat (2013)
07. Saya E Khudaye Zuljalal (2013)
08. Swaa Rangi (2013)
09. Raftaar (2013)
10. Destruction (2013)
11. Kaptaan (2013)
12. Seedlings (2013)
13. Rangeen (2013)
14. Abdullah (2013)
15. The Extortionist (2013)

Siyaah (2013) - Released (15-Mar-2013)

Release Date
15 March 2013 - RELEASED
IRK Films
Plot Outline:
SIYAAH is a classic tale of a modern family haunted by their own disbeliefs. A surreal plot that will get under your skin and will leave you thoroughly frightened. The film strikes a nerve and doesn’t stop until the end credit. This will create a sense of dread that oozes from the unreal, nightmarish atmosphere. “SIYAAH” is a skin-crawling punch of horror which will leave you squealing with fear and anxiety
Starring :
Hareem Farooq, Qazi Jabbar, Mahnoor Usman, Ahmed Ali Akbar, Aslam Rana, Sofia Wanchoo Mir, Rizwana, Sarwar Salimi, Amy Saleh.
Written By :
Osman Khalid Butt
Screenplay By :
Azfar Jafri, Osman Khalid Butt
Produced By:
Imran Raza Kazmi
Directed By:
Azfar Jafri


Chambaili The Movie (2013)

Chambaili The Movie
Release Date
26-April-2013 - RELEASED
Independent Film in association with Geo Films
Plot Outline:
An unforgettable saga of courage, romance and sacrifice of a group of friends who are led by circumstances and incidences to find themselves at the crossroads of fate..
Starring :
Salmaan Peerzada, Khalid Ahmed, Maira Khan, Shafqat Cheema, Omair Rana, Sadia Hayat, Saiqa Khayyam, Ali Tahir, Ethisham, Khalid Qureshi, Fatima, Ali Fateh, Humayun Bin Rathor and Shahzad Nawaz- Special guest appearance by Ghulam Mohiuddin.
Story & Screenplay By :
Shahzad Nawaz
Produced By:
Abdullah Kadwani & Shahzad Nawaz
Directed By:
Ismail Jilani


Released Movies (Year 2013)

1. Siyaah (2013)       - Released 15 March 2013
2. Chambaili (2013)  - Released 26 April 2013

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Exclusive Poster of "Main Hoon Shahid Afridi (2013)"

Movie: Main Hoon Shahid Afridi
Releasing on EID-UL-FITAR (2013)

Devar Bhabhi (Tarang Housefull Telefilm) - Watch Online

Tarang Housefull Devar Bhabhi is a Pakistani romantic drama film Written, Produced & Directed by Syed Noor. Film is a remake of the same name released in 1967, starred by Waheed Murad and Rani. Film stars Saima, Sami Khan, Sadia Khan and Saud.

Tarang Housefull’s Devar Bhabhi songs are sung by Nabeel Shaukat Ali & Saima Jahan.

Tarang Housefull Devar Bhabhi was aired on May 10 Friday at 9:00 pm

18 May 2013 - Showbiz News from Today's NewsPaper

Pakistani film "Ishq Khuda" in Canada

The words “deteriorating”, “declining” and “dismal” have often been employed to describe our film industry. To be fair, Lollywood never really made a mark internationally in terms of presence, popularity or an intense fan following. But for the first time, a Lollywood production is being premiered internationally, with Ishq Khuda slated for screening at the Punjabi International Film Festival (PIFF) 2013 in Toronto on May 18. Is this, we wonder, the beginning of a new era for the industry? Are things finally looking up?

“The demand for a Pakistani film in Canada is rock solid,” director Shahzad Rafique tells The Express Tribune from India, where he is currently working. He says that festival organiser Sunny Gill was “very eager to play a quality Pakistani film.”

Adding that the release of Bol is a reflection of this demand, he says, “Bol did better than any Bollywood film which was released around the same time – if we want to make space for our movies in the global market, we need to tackle subjects which have international relevance. Otherwise the vision of our cinema will remain limited [to just Pakistan].”

The film’s cast includes Ahsan Khan, Meera, Shaan and Moroccan actor Wiam Dhamani. Meera and Wiam are currently in Toronto to promote the movie at PIFF – an annual event which aims to bring Punjabi culture into the spotlight.
Ishq Khuda experiments with the themes of sufism and spirituality. Rafique explains that the project was an attempt to raise the question of “higher love” in comparison to the pursuit of relatively selfish worldly desires. The soundtrack, which has already received rave reviews since its release last month, has been composed by Wajahat Attray and includes the strong vocals of Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Sanam Marvi. It also features the return of renowned playback singer Shazia Manzoor.

“Film is a powerful medium of communication and representation. It’s very important for Pakistani films to have a global market,” continues Rafique. “We need to show the world who we are as a nation and clear all misunderstandings about us.” He feels local producers haven’t been able to take advantage of the growing international market due to the lack of quality output.

The director admits that it was the global value he added to Ishq Khuda which helped promote a softer image of the film. He has also produced films such as Salakhain (2004) and Mohabbataan Sachiyaan (2007) which did well internationally despite non-conducive conditions – they were also released in India and were rated 2.5 and 3.5 out of five, respectively, by the Times of India.
Although Rafique is unsure of how the film will be received by the audience, he remains positive that they will appreciate the final product. “I really can’t say anything about how it will do at the box office but I have said everything I wanted to through this film,” he continues. “I am satisfied with the end result and now it’s really just up to the viewers.”

At the end, the director says he is screening the film abroad to inspire young film-makers. “I’m trying to form pathways for them which will open up avenues for the exhibition of their work internationally.”

After its first screening in Toronto, the film is expected to be released in Pakistan on Eidul Fitr.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 18th, 2013.          

Saturday, 11 May 2013

With help from stakeholders, Josh will make it to the big screen!


KARACHI: Tuesday afternoon marked the launch of  The Platform, a much-needed initiative to promote the talent of young and emerging Pakistani film-makers, at Atrium Cinemas. Following the launch was a curtain raiser of the upcoming Pakistani movie Josh, which has been directed by Iram Parveen Bilal.

A collaborative effort of Nadeem Mandviwalla of Mandviwalla Entertainment and Mohammad Jerjees Seja, the CEO of Ary Digital Network, The Platform has been introduced to support young film-makers to promote and market their films.

“Though much has been done by the government of Pakistan to raise the standard of cinemas in the country since 2001, there has been a lack of evolution in the process,” said Mandviwalla, who was present at the event. “While new cinemas have been built since the beginning of 2007, the question that seems to bother most Pakistanis is, when will films be made?”
He added that it is important to understand that cinemas are run by the public; the success and the failure of a film depend solely on how audiences perceive and rate it.

Seja added that with their partnership with Mandviwalla Entertainment, The Platform will help sponsor, promote and distribute new local films. Focusing on the purpose of The Platform, he said, “This is an initiative taken in the interest of the country’s emerging film-makers, to come forward and show their work.” Seja also stressed that there is a lot of talent within Pakistan and its importance cannot be downplayed despite the intervention of international media ventures such as Indian and Turkish soaps.

Get ready for Josh!
As their first project, the duo promoted the upcoming movie Josh, which is scheduled to release on Eid. The Express Tribune asked the film’s writer, director and producer Iram Parveen Bilal, about her inspiration behind her career choice. “My father told me a while back that my paternal grandfather left his home in 1937, to become an actor. However, his dream could not be fulfilled.  Seventy-six years later, I have vicariously fulfilled his dream,” said Iram. Appreciating Seja and Mandviwalla’s efforts, she said that the duo had given her dreams “wings to fly.”

The film, Josh, is inspired from the life of Perveen Saeed, the founder of Khana Ghar, a charity that provides heavily subsidised meals to the poor. “My feelings cannot be assessed; they are on a different level. I play a humble, domesticated role and Khana Ghar was a small venture of my own. I hope one day nobody in this country sleeps hungry,” said an overwhelmed Perveen.

When asked about whether her film will garner any appreciation from the audience, Bilal said, “Every one’s taste is different; how you will like it or not, depends solely on your taste for it.”

With an industry that has suffered immense backlash in the past few years, especially with the influx of foreign cinema, The Platform seems to bring a new ray of hope for young directors and film-makers who are struggling to pursue their dream in this small-sized industry. However, Mandviwalla makes it clear that Bollywood films will not be rescheduled for Pakistani films. He firmly believes that the viewership of a film depends highly on the quality of the content and every film deserves a shot at the silver screen.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 9th, 2013.                    

Pakistani film Josh to hit the screens this Eid

We have been following the upcoming filmmakers and their work on feature length films since the past few months. With a handful of films under production and some set to hit the theatres soon, everyone can finally anticipate watching good movies coming out of our local cinemas.

After a gap of two years, a Pakistani film Chambaili hit the theatre last month and is successfully running across the country. yesterday had an opportunity to cover the curtain-raiser of Pakistan’s latest movie “Josh” (Against the Grain) which will be released in Pakistan on Eidul Fitr. Josh is the story of a privileged woman whose life is shattered in a single moment as she embarks on the search for a dangerous truth. A story of the biggest challenge to Pakistan’s still reining feudalism: the country’s youth. The film explores the internal debates the young are struggling with, and how solutions can be attainable if and when they stand united.

The film has an interesting ensemble of some of the finest actors from the Pakistani entertainment industry, who include Aamina Sheikh, Mohib Mirza, Khalid Malik, Navin Waqar, Adnan Shah Tipu, Salim Mairaj, Kaiser Khan Nizamani, Nyla Jafri, Parveen Akbar, Ali Rizvi and Faizan Haqquee.

A remarkable effort for the filmmakers and enthusiast by Nadeem Mandviwalla and Jarjees Seja under the name of “The Platform” was launched at The Atrium cinemas on May 7, 2013.

“The Platform” has been created to showcase movies being made by young Pakistani filmmakers in pursuit of their dreams to make a contribution to Pakistani cinema and to share their fresh and unique vision of the world.

“Our mission is to give an opportunity to these unheard or unseen voices but to be able to make film a hit, is the public’s choice,” Nadeem Mandviwalla, owner of Atrium Cinemas and the managing director of Mandviwalla Entertainment said.

He also spoke about how everyone keeps on debating on the fact that cinemas are being built but films are not being made out of the country. Till the time there are no cinemas in the country , films will not be made, he stated.

Presenting his thoughts on the occasion, Mohammad Jerjees Seja, CEO, ARY Digital Network said, a few years back there was no sight of box-office in Pakistan and it became a long forgotten thing. Cinemas were converted into in shopping malls – but today box-office is being created, now is the time when we need to support our local productions, he stated.

However, Seja also said that everyone is looking for something really grand to happen with bigger setups and popular casts. In regards to this, he mentioned Humayun Saeed, who is working on a film which will be released on Eidul Fitr as well.

“But we felt there is a gap, a sort of a vacuum where we need to bring in new voices and young talent to be heard and seen. Our only motive in this initiative is that we give opportunity to the young talented filmmakers and actors to come forward and show the world what Pakistan is made of,” Seja said.

Josh had its first world premier in Mumbai film festival (MAMI) and has been having various screenings in different cities of Canada and USA since the past few months. Writer and Journalist Ethan Casey writes about Josh on, “Americans are accustomed to seeing other countries, especially Pakistan, as refractions of our own national worries and self-regarding obsessions. That is our problem, not Pakistan’s, and Josh serves us well by declining to pander or spoon-feed. It is a very good film, well conceived and executed on a small budget, and the question in my mind as I left the cinema was whether and how it might be possible to shoehorn such a serious piece of Pakistani storytelling into the awareness of some measurable fraction of the millions who know Pakistan only through TV news and Hollywood movies such as Zero Dark Thirty.”

Speaking about her debut feature film, Josh, Iram Parveen Bilal, the film writer, director and producer said, “Despite having made films for six years, shorts films that have travelled around the world and have won awards, I now feel like a complete filmmaker because this one is a full length feature where you can buy popcorn and drinks and watch it on the magnificent big screens of the cinemas and share it with hundreds of others at the same time as this is the power and the strength of the cinema which reminds one of the humanity and love. How in one room, hundreds of people are crying and laughing together at the same time, this makes one realise that we all are the same. Come watch the film with passion and unity, this is an honest film made out of dedicated blood, sweat and tears and it is made for you Pakistan and it is made by Pakistan.”

The launch of “The Platform” was very much needed for the re-birth of a film industry which was under heavy rubble since past two decades. Hopefully, it will bring the new breed of cinema crowd as well as upcoming filmmakers of Pakistan who ready to tell their story to the world. And who wouldn’t want to watch good quality local productions and share their experience with dozens of others in a cinema.

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Movie : Dukhtar(2014)

Cast :Samiya Mumtaz, Mohib Mirza, Saleha Aref, Asif Khan, Ajab Gul, Adnan Shah Tipu, Samina Ahmed, Abdullah Jaan, Omair Rana

Director : Afia Nathaniel