by Kaukab Jahan
Animated Pakistani film The Donkey King released on Friday, generating a lot of hype among the masses, especially in the younger section of the society. The film opened to a positive response as people flocked to cinema halls to catch a genre which is less easily available in the country.
Directed by animated commercial filmmaker Aziz Jindani, with some scenes helmed by Ahsan Rahim, the film has an interesting star cast which includes the likes of Afzal Khan, Shabbir Jan, Sarmad Khoosat, Hina Dilpazeer, Jawed Sheikh, Ghulam Mohyuddin, Irfan Khoosat, Ismail Tara, Adeel Hashmi, Irfan Malik, Faisal Qureshi, Ahsan Rahim and Shafaat Ali.
In this conversation with Pakistan Today, the two leading characters of the film, Afzal Khan and Ghulam Mohyuddin, give us some hints about their roles in the film and how they feel about working in this genre.
Tell us about a little about your character in the film?
Well, I am the ‘Donkey King.’ My name is Mangu and my character is a donkey from the jungle who works as a cleaner or janitor but one day accidentally becomes the king. On what happens next, you will have to see in the cinema.
Where did you get your inspiration from for the character?
Actually from myself. ‘Mangu’ has been inspired from my debut role, ‘John Rambo’ in a PTV play Guest House which aired in early 1990s. The animated character of donkey is even wearing the same clothes (a black t-shirt and orange trousers) that John Rambo usually wore. And as one must have noted in the trailer, Mangu is calling himself ‘John Mangu’.
How difficult was it to act without seeing your character?
I’ve done almost 150 films and the practice of dubbing has helped me a lot in this film. In animated films, we dub the voice first by seeing some sketches or details of our characters. The scenes and actions are created later according to the voice over.
How long did it take for you to be the Donkey King?
It took about a year and a half to complete this film. In beginning, the director Aziz Jindani wanted to make a film for children as there was very little work being done in this sector in the country. But as we worked along, the film developed into something that could be enjoyed by adults as well. The Donkey King will attract every age group.
What character are you playing in the film?
I am the king (lion) of jungle. Which is an important character after the donkey king. Actually, I am the one against who the donkey becomes a king. The script is very interesting has many surprises in store for the audiences.
How was your experience of doing an animated role?
As per the procedure of animated films, you first record the voice and then create images. My experience of working in the radio helped me a lot in the film, where the character is only written on paper and you have to play it with your voice. Moreso, this is my second animated film.
Watch the trailer below:
5 Models who Made it Big!!!!
Modeling is an extremely underrated career. Walking on the ramp or posing in the sweltering heat or freezing cold weather is considered a comparatively easier task. Comments like “Oh, anyone can do that”, “she looks so different without makeup”, “damn she is so skinny” can be typed comfortably from behind the keyboard but no one knows the real struggle and diligence that is being put forward by these talented and gorgeous women in order to produce a quality work.
These are our favorite 5 models of 2019 that quickly made their names to the list of big brands and powerful campaigns and are moving forward in 2020 at an even faster pace.
The social media queen, known for being unapologetically honest, Eman Suleman achieved a successful career in a very short span. Not just in modeling, people have loved her acting skills in the series “Akhri Station” and her new film “Zindagi Tamasha is soon to be aired all across the country. Perfectly flaunting those short hair and quirky fashion sense, Eman Suleman has got a huge fan following on social media as well as real-world with her eccentric aura and an amazing sense of humor.
Walking the ramp so effortlessly, making her name to the biggest brands of Pakistan, Saba Sarfraz is going places. Eastern or western, she manages to rock every outfit with her magical aura and seamless talent. With her powerful expressions on the ramp and ability to carry any outfit with grace, she is likely to work her way up to the status of a supermodel real soon. Not only modeling, but she has also shown her immense talent in the field of acting as well. For her amazing skills and brilliant performances, there is a possibility that we further see her on TV screens in the coming year or so.
2019 has definitely been a successful year for the model from wining a LUX style award to walking at Milan Fashion Week. She also paved her way to L’Oreal Bridal Week as a showstopper for many notable designers and is expected to be the first choice of many designers in the future as well. With her distinct style statement and confident personality, Mushk has won over a huge following on the internet and has also been recently nominated in the category of “Rising Star” at Hum Style Awards 2020. Let’s see what the year 2020 brings for this bundle of talent.
Despite being a mother and an entrepreneur, Kiran Malik has gracefully made her name in the world of the fashion industry. known for her powerful performance in Pinky Memsaab, Kiran Malik has earned great applause from the audience as well. Such a lethal combination affirms that she is a powerhouse and a complete package adjusting into every role with sheer talent and charm.
In a world where everyone is ready to buy and sell fairness creams, Zara Abid has set standards of talent that are beyond the idea of complexion. She has proved that the color of the skin is not a parameter to measure success and abilities. The fashion icon has become designers’ favorite with her cool and quirky style sense, strong impressions and pure hard work. In 2019, Zara was also nominated for the LUX style award in the category of the “model of the year”. For the coming year, this young and energetic woman is likely to be a part of some really big brands and fashion shows across the globe.
Born To Be A Director
Pakistani drama has always been the strongest medium in arts/genre of acting. Besides a muster of versatile actors we have produced, there is a lot of talented directors working behind the scenes of every successful drama. Pakistani drama has always been bifurcated in different eras like the founding era, the middle one and the modern or we can say the era of private production, which stared from mid 1990s and continues till now. The mushroom growth of TV channels in the advent of this century also gave a boost to these productions and provided more opportunities for talent in every section of drama. Pakistani drama also shifted a bit in its content because the new lot of writers and directors always wanted to experiment new things considering the vast venue opened before them. One of those talented and versatile directors is Mohsin Talat, who has been in the field of media for last 26 years. Since then, he has worked a lot, competed with all over the world and made our Pakistani drama proud. His recent notable work includes serials like Tere Mere Beech (2015), Ghar Titli Ka Par in (2018), Ki Jaana Mein Kaun (2018), Jaal (2019) and Daasi (2019). He is currently shooting a serial with Momal Production, Jaug starring Sonya Hussain and Sami Khan in lead roles.
Here is a detailed talk with this born-to-be a kind of director and a very down to earth person at same time with Daily Paperazzi.
How did you decide to become a director?
It was all self-assessments. I started with modelling in commercials but during shoot, I realized that I was a better visualizer than a model, so there I decided to go behind the camera and became director. So sometimes, you decide it yourself what you should be while at times, your seniors guide you to the right path. I feel myself lucky in this sense.
When did you start it?
My first project in the field was in November 1993. Actually I had started working before completing my studies. I assisted in dramas just after my matriculation exams in 1994 and became a director before my graduation. Then, I did my Masters in Mass Communication from University of Karachi and a short course in film making from New York Film Academy. Besides, I did workshops from CNN and BBC. Now I teach at Arena Multi Media.
Which dram gave you a real recognition?
The drama which gave me a breakthrough was Titliyan on Indus Vision, the first ever soap of Pakistan that completed more than 100 episodes. In that period, other directors had done three to four dramas but I was content that I was making the history of doing the longest serial of Pakistan. In those days, PTV did not believe in soaps or long serial. They even didn’t consider it a drama. But I was the one, who directed first soap of more than 100 episodes with Eveready Pictures for PTV named Jeans.
How do you select story and cast of a drama?
In any production, ultimate decision is of director. These days there are too many other departments are also involved like content department and production development. We also get an opinion from writer being the master of the brainchild but director is the captain of the ship and responsible for the outcome of produc. Generally, when there is a hit, its credit first goes to actors, DOP, writers and in the end to the director but when it is a flop, the director is solely responsible.
Do you always read the script first?
I thoroughly go through the script before accepting it. I think, it is our responsibility to also educate public through our production, so I can never accept any script which I think can send any negative or wrong message.
What do you keep in mind when start a new project
I always try to keep my every new project different from my previous one. Usually directors work on the looks of actors to make their work different but I emphasize mostly on the novelty of different issue and stories for my each production.
Who is your favourite writer?
To me it is more it is more important what is said than who is saying it. We are blessed with many good writers in Pakistan like Misbah Nausheen (Daasi), Sameera Fazal, Faiza Iftikhar, Umaira Ahmed, Zafar Meraj, Saji Gul, Bee Gul, Mustafa Afridi, Khalil ur Rehman Qamar and most of all Ashfaque Ahmed. I did his Tota Kahani. I also like the writing of famous actor Imran Ashraf. He has a very different point of view of narrating a story. It all depends on what type of story you want do and who has written that at the moment.
Who is your favourite actor?
It again depends on how the story and its characters are developing, which actor can act better on any specific character. We have a very few actors, who can adapt to any character. So, we have to choose the best one available for specific character.
I have been lucky in the sense that I get successful to have a new and best team for my every project. Actually a director mostly loves those actors, who surprise them and can’t be predicted for their next action. For me one of those actors is Uzma Gilani. I always enjoy working with her. She is like my mother. I have learned a lot from her. Not always in technical terms, but from her wisdom and approach to life.
What is needed if one wants to be a director?
I see a lot of difference in the approach and awareness towards the field of showbiz these days. Believe me when I told my father 25 years back that I wanted to be a director, he asked, “who the director is and what does he do”. In those days, parents wanted their children to be doctor or engineer, now they ask them to join showbiz to become an actor or director and induct them in media sciences. As far as the aptitude of being a director is concerned, one has to be very visionary, observant and most of all sensitive. Without being sensitive, one cannot excel or get the desired results in the field of performing arts.
How much lucrative is the profession of director?
To be honest, I am one of the highly paid directors of Pakistan at the moment. So yes, I would suggest those who have an aptitude and want to work in this field must join it as a profession. I think if I was a doctor or engineer, I would not be earning as much what I am earning being a drama director. I believe if you work hard, it increases your market value.
How do you see Pakistani drama evolving in last 25 years?
I think every era of our drama had its goods and bad. Every generation in every era tries to upgrade and experiment new things with their content. One thing I must share that senseless competition which we saw in recent years was not very high 25 years back. It has only emerged in last 20 years in the rouse of Zee TV, Sony and then Star Plus of India. Then there was Turkish content. Luckily in that competition most of us decided to stick to our own speciality, though sometimes we were asked to copy the trends from foreign content because if its popularity. Pakistani drama is still most watched and loved in the world because of its originality and the cultural, social and moral values. Our medium is steadily switching from television to digital but the content and its viewership is intact. It was actually a concern that what would happen if our first and second generations of drama industry retire but thank God we have taken it from there so well and managed to maintain the graph.
Who do you give credit for this success?
There are two things. One is to expend the industry while other is to make drama an industry. I have worked with every channel and they have their own priorities and agendas to promote them but there is only person who always thought for industry and his name is Ghazanfer Ali. He is the founder and godfather of Private production. His idea of private production actually turned our drama into an industry. In 1984, he left PTV due to some reason and started to produce dramas privately and asked PTV to buy and run them on its channel, to which PTV refused. Then he decided to establish his own channel to run these productions on while in between, provided many dramas to NTM, another prime time slot on first private channel of Pakistan. After 25 years he finally opened Indus TV. So, He is without any doubt or debate is the pioneer of making our drama an industry. All renowned directors and DOPs and other technical force are mostly trained at Indus TV.
In this age of social media, directors have also become stars. They are concerned that they should similarly be celebrated with their cast. But it seems that you don’t like or need any attention from masses.
When we say media or showbiz, the thing which comes first into mind is being in front of camera or acting, which is not true. To be honest, I enjoy being a director as it gives me a sense of satisfaction. We have so many kings but few king makers and I want to be one of those king makers. Without a director, they would never be an artist. By the way, I am covered very often in morning shows and other talk shows but yes, I am not very active on social media because of my laziness. Now, I will try to be active there too.
What about doing a film on future?
I hope I will do a film probably with my Daasi actor Adeel Hussain.
So, is there something in the pipeline?
We both have our ideas in our own spaces. I have worked on two scripts for film, while Adeel has something different in his mind so I think, if these two ideas get together, it will be an interesting venture. We have at least reached to a point, where I think has put us in a position to announce something interesting and positive in a year or so.
‘Pyar Ke Sadqay’ didn’t Air this Week and Fans are NOT Happy!
If there was one thing we had been looking forward to the most this week, it was the Bilal Abbas Khan and Yumna Zaidi starrer “Pyar Ke Sadqay.” It wasn’t just us; social media had been ablaze with fans waiting to catch an eye of their favorite Bilal Abbas Khan on-screen as “Abdullah”; an exciting and unconventional new role that he has taken.
Thursday came up, and fans couldn’t wait for the clocks to strike 8 pm so they could catch “Abdullah”; the goofy and cute nerd who has excited us about his role with just the teasers of “Pyar Ke Sadqay”!
Though the drama was set to go on air on Thursday, it didn’t make it to our TV screens due to some technical issues, and we couldn’t have been more disappointed! Logging into twitter made us sure that we were not the only ones being let down by this news, and many of the avid fans showed their dismay on the popular site.
The Cheekh famed Bilal Abbas Khan is coming in a completely unique role with ‘Pyar Ke Sadqay’, and we are so excited to watch him stir his magic on the screen once again. Though the drama didn’t air this week, it has left us in even more anticipation for its first episode to go on-air this coming Thursday! So, how will Bilal Abbas Khan manage to steal our hearts this time? We can’t wait to find out!