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Getting to know the voices behind ‘The Donkey King’

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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.

AFZAL KHAN

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.

GHULAM MOHYUDDIN

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:

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In conversation with Hamza Tanveer

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Setting the standards high with his impeccably charming looks

We had a short heart to heart conversation with this cutie Hamza Tanveer and we bet there is a lot you would love to read about him. Certainly, we are not afraid to say that he is already on the road of success to be the next sensation in town.

Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m Hamza Tanveer. I’m a Vocalist and I’m one of the veterans of Nescafe Basement.

How did you get into Nescafé Basement?
Through LIVE auditions. Nescafe Basement held LIVE auditions for their Season 2 in my University (UCP) back in 2013. I was selected by Xulfi (Zulfiqar Jabbar Khan) as a Lead Vocalist. That was one lucky day of my life.

Before Nescafé Basement, how did you find out that there was a singer inside you?
I actually realized that when I got selected in Nescafe Basement LIVE auditions. Before that, I was just an introvert and more of a bathroom singer LOL. Also, I never took part in any College/University events as I was too shy to do so.

How did you all get together to produce music? Where did it start?
All the artists were selected from all over Pakistan through LIVE auditions. After that, we were called by Xulfi Bhai for our initial orientation at Nescafe Basement. There, we had our first musical jam and on our first attempt, we knew that we all were at the right place. Thanks to Xulfi bhai for mentoring us all these years. He unearthed and discovered the talent in me and motivated me to get what I could ever dream of.

Was it like you always wanted to be a singer?
No! My parents always wanted me to become an engineer. So, my focus was on my studies initially till Nescafe Basement happened. But music was within me. I used to sing it with my only friend who had a guitar. Music was always something I loved doing in my spare time and the passion grew stronger by time.

Has it become your full-time profession?
No! I tried to convince myself and my family…but considering financial issues, and other social problems, I couldn’t cope up with that! Now I do a job and also do the music side by side! Although I do hope that there may come a time in Pakistan when artists like me would be able to opt music as their full-time job.

How is your experience working as a group?
It has taught me a lot! I had no musical education/background before NB. So, for me, it was a great learning experience working with such a talented lot. We’ve not just made good music altogether but we’ve made long-lasting friendships also. For now, it’s everything I could ever ask for.

Are you intending to move towards Coke Studio?
Definitely, if I am ever given a chance and anything I can contribute to music with what I acquire, I’m up for it!

Who is your favorite Pakistani Singer/ your inspiration?
Considering genres that I sing or like, I can take all the names of legendary artists of Pakistan. Everyone’s been my inspiration as I grew up watching/listening to them on TV and wanted to be like them. 🙂
If you still insist, I’d say Mekaal Hassan Band, Shafqat Amanat Ali and Sajjad Ali are my favorites. 🙂

Considering your good looks, would you like to get into modeling or acting?
Acting, NO! Modeling can be done!

Other than music, what do you like to do the most?
Eat, Sleep, Work, Repeat!

What’s your comfort blanket?
I enjoy spending time alone.

What is your relationship status?
Single for now!

If you could sing with one singer that is not alive, who would it be?
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

Tell us about your future projects?
I’m working on my two new songs. I would share updates as I get done with everything.

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Hareem Farooq breaks the stereotypical image of a dulhan in the newly released trailer of Heer Maan Ja and we can’t wait for the movie now!

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By Hina Ghaffar

The megahit on-screen couple of Hareem Farooq and Ali Rehman Khan are back together in IRK Films & Arif Lakhani Films’ upcoming movie ‘Heer Maan Ja’, that’s all set to release worldwide this Eid-ul-Azha.
Knowing that the movie is a project from the super talented makers of Siyaah, Janaan and Parchi, we already couldn’t wait to the see what this movie will bring us. But after watching the electrifying trailer of the movie that has just been released, we are now completely on edge! Eid-ul-Azha can’t arrive sooner!

What a terrific visual! The trailer is a perfect glimpse of the epic roller-coaster ride Heer Maan Ja is expected to be! You can find romance, you can see action, and you can also find yourself smiling at the hilarious scenes from the movie! Also…how adorable does Hareem Farooq look in that stunning orange and pink lehenga? We honestly can’t take our eyes off of her!

Hareem seems to be breaking the image of all stereotypical brides with her peppy character in Heer Maan Ja. Heer is giving us the vibes of a runaway bride, however, that’s just a small part of the film. The first look of Heer Maan Ja divulges Hareem Farooq as the coolest bride ever. Has anyone noticed the silver sneakers she’s donning underneath?
Hareem’s character looks very different from Eman in Parchi! Heer seems like a very bubbly and lively character, standing next to a rather nervous-looking Kabir.

Heer Maan Ja is going to be a romantic comedy with a punch of laughter, emotions, thrill and action sequences. Featuring a stellar cast, exceptionally talented directors and a brilliant production team, Heer Maan Ja is going to fill our Bari Eid with a whole lot of entertainment.

‘A love story that has a past’ – and we wonder what past is that? The trailer makes us question quite a lot of things; why were they separated to begin with? Why does Heer look like a run-away bride? Why is Kabir asking her for forgiveness?

We can’t wait for the Bari Eid to find out now!

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First Hijab-wearing Character Appears in Marvel Cinematic Universe

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Actress Zoha Rahman is officially the first person to portray a hijab-wearing character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) with her appearance in “Spider-Man: Far From Home.” Rahman plays a classmate and friend of Peter Parker (Spider-Man). Although she personally doesn’t wear a hijab, she nonetheless recognized the significance of her character in an interview with Teen Vogue: “I grew up without seeing someone like myself onscreen. And when I did start seeing representations in mainstream media, they were irresponsible and poor. I treated my role as a huge responsibility.”

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