Pakistani film and television production usually work under some codes and revolved around same old issues and subjects again and again. They are reluctant to touch radical and bold topics.
But the recently released web venture Churails by writer and director Asim Abbasi negates all these conventions and though picks the long debated issue of women’s plight and their rights but touches the facets of Pakistani society which the world has not ever seen on screen by the Pakistani makers. The series also highlights the LGBT rights and shows lesbian and gay relationships as sexual identity and projects the issues of transgender in Pakistan, which are not commonly presented before to the rest of the world.
A 10 episode series each 55 minutes long, primarily Urdu/Hindi, Churails is the first original content produced for Zindagi tab at OTT app Zee5.
“Churails is an exciting and thrilling story with a theme which is poignant to rise against time for every man and woman globally. It would be a good watch and an exciting entertainment experience,” says Asim.”
Premiered on August 11, Churails revolved around the stories of four women from different backgrounds but going through the same feeling of pain and humiliation because of oppression inflicted by the men in their lives. They all meet in certain circumstances and form a squad to unveil the masked face of this patriarchal society by keeping themselves behind veils, disguising their office as clothing shop named Halal Designs.
Calling themselves churails, all of them come on this way leaving behind infidel husband, a psychotic uncle, a tyrant father and a forced marriage, where more women joined them in their secret mission.
As the activities of Churails soared, the witch-hunt stars but crossing all those perils, they kept going, and while revealing the lies and in search of ultimate truth these women go back to their own houses and to their closest men.
The storyline of Churails is interesting and engaging with all the characters fit into their places, each having its own sphere around.
The leading characters of Sarah, Jugnu, Batool and Zuabiad have been played beautifully by Sarwat Gialni, Yasra Rizvi, Nimra Bucha and Meher Bano respectively.
Sarah (Sarwat Gilani) is a lawyer and ‘perfect wife’, who loves her husband madly but at a certain point because of his infidelity, she feels broken and during the process of recollecting herself she meets these four women, and forms the squad.
“Her love has changed into vengeance and that fire prompted her to fight for every woman who is betrayed by her husbands,” Sarwat elaborates her character in the series.
Jugnu (Yasra Rizvi) is an event planner by profession, joins Sarah (also her best friend) after facing losses in her business, with primary reason to compensate her damages.
Telling more about her character, the actress said, “Jugnu is a funny, fashionable and a forward looking woman, who are generally categorized in a certain type by our society.”
Batool (Nimra Bucha) on the other hand is a self-determined woman with middle class background, who has become obstinate and ferocious many a time because of the adversities she has went through.
“Batool has had enough to bear from men and a society and now lead her life on her own terms and conditions’ Nimra added.
Mehar Bano plays Zubaida, a young girl from a poor family, who wants a become boxer but having strict restrictions on her form her parents.
“She wants to become a boxer and assaulted by her father because if her desire. At that point, she leaves home and also became a churailt,” Bano explains candidly.
One has to admit that the role of Sarah is the most arresting role of Gilani’s career till now. The persona and demeanour of the character she carried throughout the series is remarkable. Yasra Rzvi has never been seen like this before on screen. Moulding herself completely into Jugnu with even little details was amazing. Nimra Bucha is no doubt a power house of acing. Having a vast experience of theatre has helped her lot to step into the shoes of a complicated and mysterious Batool is unmatchable. Meher Bano, had a golden chance to hone her skills and learn from those giants of acting and definitely she took all advantage of that opportunity and presented her character with interesting expressions and natural talent.
Other cast include the veteran Khalid Ahmed, played a psychotic historian, Omair Rana, a sophisticated infidel husband and Adnan Malik; a liberated talent manger proved themselves a strong support to the series. Sania Saeed and Sarmad Khosat though played short roles in two to three episodes but left a very deep impact on the audience by their flawless acting. The ace star of Mahira Khan has also a cameo appearance in the last episode of the series.
According to Asim Abbasi, Churails has been made to keep in mind the appeal, which is very authentic to Pakistani, Sub continental and global audience of digital app that is why its issues and characters are universal in nature to relate to larger audience.
My Churail is a woman who is against every kind of oppression and stand up for her own and others rights; who is liberated emotionally, physically and sexually, and accepting g all this qualities and taking it as a stride and wearing it as badge of honour.
Yes, Churail is the project which our director and producers can never think of making it for television but the penetration of web series in Pakistani entertainment industry has made it possible to put these untouched and unseen issues of or society on television screens through digital apps.
Zubab Rana Steals the show in a fun new short film – ‘Twisted Sapnay’
When the 16-minute short comedy film Twisted Sapnay was released on digital earlier this week, there had been more than one reason we were looking forward to it. Though, the main reason that took us by surprise was when Zubab Rana (who has been stealing our hearts for quite some time with her gorgeous looks) also stole the entire show!
‘Twisted Sapnay’ as the name suggests, is a short comedy film about dreams within dreams – within dreams. Yep, that’s right. We won’t lie – how we actually ended up watching this film was also because of Zubab Rana – when a hilarious clip of hers started circulating on social media – where she is seen in an entirely new avatar and fluently speaking Punjabi. The whole scene turned into a meme, and it was downright hilarious.
Zubab Rana, in the film, plays the role of the housemaid – who walks in on the house owner and his girlfriend (who are clearly having an affair) – and well, that is when her hilarious monologue that has taken over the internet starts. Twisted Sapnay is, without a doubt, another great film that has come out of the digital sphere – with some great actors starring in the film including Faizan Khawaja, Sonia Nazir, and Maryam Fatima. The star of the film though – has to be Zubab Rana, an actress we have seen is on a roll lately. After some killer performances in Fitrat and Bharaas, her singing debut on Kashmir Beats, it looks like Zubab Rana is going to have the best year of her career yet! We look forward to what else the starlet would be doing next.
Fruit Chaat Reinforces The Notion Of Women Empowerment
ZEE5 Global, the largest OTT platform for South Asian Content, recently announced the winners of its 2021 Global Content Festival. The contest announced 15 winners and among them a Pakistani short film ‘Fruit Chaat’ secured the third place.
Singapore-based independent filmmaker Shilpa K Shukla has emerged as the Global Content Festival Winner with 3 entries in the Drama films category ([email protected], Tashi and Dots) while Love Beyond Boundaries, a collection of incredible love stories by Filmmakers Ruchi Undevia and Aarti Trikannad (Dubai) got runner up position.
Fruit Chaat t is written and produced by Tanzila Khan, who has also played the lead role of Shabana while Moiz Abbas has directed it. The film highlights the hopes of Shabana, a newly-minted yet disabled graduate girl in Pakistan looking for opportunities, and all the limitations that society imposes on her encapsulated in a funny, heart-warming story.
The Daily Paperazzi reached to this young and talented duo and asked them about their project and winning it contest.
Q Why did you name it Fruit Chaat?
Tanzila- Fruit Chaat happens to be a very cultural thing in Pakistan. It has a typical flavour and colour. That is exactly what the character of Shabana is implying, ‘I am much more than what the world perceives me as. As a disabled person or a woman, I can create something so beautiful like Fruit Chaat and can take care of every relationship.”
Moiz – Just like a plate of Fruit Chaat, this film has many underlying flavours. When we make this into a series or a sequel, the audience will see the relevance of the name.
Q What was the inspiration behind the character of Shabana?
Tanzila – Shabana represents a very important segment of the society that is women, and a woman born with disabilities. It was very important to highlight what a woman with such disabilities can go through the life in Pakistan and in South Asian countries to be precise. She has the same desires and wishes as any normal girl and her disabilities amplify her experience but do not make her an odd one out.
Moiz – The Inspiration behind the character of Shabana is Tanzila Khan herself because Shabana is Tanzila Khan and Tanzila Khan is Shabana in Fruit Chaat. It’s a story of Tanzila Khan in reality, just like the character she managed to complete her graduation sitting in a wheelchair and was treated the same way as the HR treated Shabana, when she was looking out for a job. Ultimately, Tanzila opened her start-up named Girly Things which is operated throughout the country.
Q Do you think that your short film encompasses the message of women empowerment?
Tanzila –I think the first thing that we need to do, is to humanize women, give them the due credit for the contributions they have made and then the empowerment will sprout out in its own way. A woman has same ambitions, dreams that a man would have, and she should seek the same respect for whatever work she does. It could be housework, or being a great mother at home or a good boss in the office. Just allow women to be themselves and that what I think is empowerment.
Moiz – Yes, definitely. Our movie gives out a very clear message of women empowerment and states that no matter whatever the situation is, you can always conquer, and it has nothing to do with your gender. It is about women empowerment, her education, entrepreneurship and other choices in life. What you see Shabana, a hijabi girl completing her graduation on a wheelchair and also appearing for an interview where the panel tries to dominate and neglect her, simply because of her disabilities and gender but she paves her way to victory in the university and the interview as well. This is where she gets the Idea of entrepreneurship and decides to open her fruit stall where she sells fruit Chaat. It is all about how we want to see our women progress in society.
Q Why did you prefer the genre of comedy and satire for your film?
Tanzila- As a woman with a disability, I have been through a lot of ups and downs but keep myself sane because of my sense of humour with myself. I think comedy is a tool for improvement and getting through the challenges in life. Comedy is my way of life; it is my choice. I like people to understand the humor that I have and also simultaneously understand my experiences through that.
Moiz- Whenever we have talked about disabled people, we have portrayed them in the way that their lives are miserable and they are depressed all the time, which is not right. We have an example of Tanzila Khan, and Ms Mizaari, though are on a wheelchair, they seem happy. However, ups and downs are an inevitable part of everybody’s life regardless of the fact if they are physically disabled or not. We have drawn the character of Shabana from the life of Tanzila, and you will witness how happy and empowered that character is. We wanted to give out the message that Shabana can not only sell fruits but can also make good Fruit Chaat and do several other tasks just like a normal person. She made sure that her disability does not come in between her dreams.
Q How long did it take to shoot your short film and where was it shot?
Tanzila- It took us a day to shoot the entire film. We did the auditions a day before and had some training sessions the same day. The shoot was divided in three locations; one was in office, other was Al-Humara Community Center for Arts in Lahore, and the third location was just a roadside Fruit Chaat stall.
Moiz- Being an independent filmmaker in Pakistan, it was really very difficult. When we approached big production houses for help, they all neglected us by saying there is no point in this script or the film to be made. We had a firm belief in the story since the beginning so decided to make it ourselves. Tanzila started to collect funds for the movie and after a yearlong planning we were in a situation, where we could take it to the floors. We shot this 11 minutes long film in just 15 hours at different locations of Lahore.
Q Tell us about sending and winning this film to the Zee5 Global Content Contest Festival?
Tanzila- Initially, we had shared this film with ZEE5 Global to be aired on 3rd December which is the international day of disabled people. They saw some spark in the film and pushed it into their Global Content Festival which was happening around the same time. We provided them with all the necessary details and were not expecting further contact from them at all, but very soon received words of being shortlisted. The final excitement came when we were told about our inclusion in winner’s list. It became so much valuable for all of a sudden. The entire idea of being an international contest winner, and India recognizing talent from Pakistan was a great feeling. Last but not the least, the disability got the space that it deserved. One billion people in the world are having disabilities and it’s a huge number. So, having that artistic expression, presenting disability and winning, it’s a huge win for all those one billion people. We have also paved the way for independent filmmakers to work on more varied concepts.
Moiz- One of my friends tagged me in a post and on opening I realized it was about ZEE5 Global Content Festival. I then decided to send our film in this without any second thought. I had a belief that we will win as our dedication in the project was at 100%. Winning it was such a nice feeling. I feel that more such Global Content Festivals like the one with ZEE5 should be conducted, as they give a big platform to independent film makers like me to show case their work. I am grateful to the whole team of ZEE5.
All the winning films are being streamed on ZEE5 and free to watch for viewers across the globe at http://bit.ly/ZEE5GCFWinners.
To watch these films, the ZEE5 app can be downloaded from the Google Play Store or the iOS App Store. The app is also available on Samsung Smart TV, Apple TV, Android TV and Amazon Fire TV. ZEE5 is also available on www.ZEE5.com.
Yashma Gill’s Latest Shoot Has People Calling her Janhvi Kapoor
Everyone’s favorite Yashma Gill who has been making headlines since last year for her role as the (not no favorite) Shanzay in Pyar Ke Sadqay, is this time on our radar for a surprisingly different reason. The actress, who recently took social media by storm with her gorgeous shoot for fashion brand Elan – had people comparing her to the Bollywood diva Jahnvi Kapoor.
The model and actress has some beautiful shots up on her Instagram from the shoot – and every picture has us swooning over the gorgeous outfit. But, what has definitely caught everyone’s attention is the uncanny resemblance that the actress seems to hold with her acting counterpart on the other side of the border, the actress and model Jahnvi Kapoor. From makeup guru Babar Zaheer to the multiple fans and followers of Yashma Gill, everyone had only one thing to say – that the actress looks exactly like Jahnvi Kapoor.
Yashma Gill, who has currently been garnering fame for her role in the ongoing drama Phaans with the star cast including Zara Noor Abbas, Shehzad Sheikh, and Sami Khan – is once again having quite the year. With her social media filled with collaboration with great brands, and her acting projects getting bigger and better, we say the time isn’t far when Yashma Gill would be as big a name as Jahnvi Kapoor.
What do you think? Check out these latest images from her shoot and let us know if you also think she resembles the Indian actress!
Features2 years ago
A quick & fun natter with the gorgeous Naimal Khawar
Beauty1 year ago
Bilal Ashraf named most sexiest Pakistani man
Entertainment1 year ago
Mehwish Hayat Louds Using Truck Art for the Rights of the Girl Child
Entertainment2 years ago
Coke Studio Announces the Launch of Season 12!