Mohammed Ehteshamuddin is the one in our entertainment industry, who whenever create anything; it gets special recognition and appreciation. These days he is enjoying the success of his first full length feature film Superstar. His first ventured into cinema in 2005 with a short, ‘Shahrukh Khan Ki Maut’, which was screened at nine festivals worldwide including ‘Kara film festival of Pakistan. Next year, he made another short film ‘Mein Sawa Paanch Bujay Aai Thi’ for festivals. According to Ehtesham, “These films didn’t have any cinematic feel but was made with a very realistic approach”.
Ehteshamuddin loves television and in absence of cinema in those days, continued to make dramas both as director and producer. His is known for famous dramas like Perfume Chowk (2010), Aseerzadi (2013), Sadqay Tumhare (2014), Preet Na Kariyo Koi (2015), Udaari (2016), and Aangan (2018). He has also acted in few films and dramas including Chambeli (2013) and Maalik (2016) and drama serial Yaqeen Ka Safar (2017). His drama serials ‘Sadqay Tumhare’ and ‘Udaari’ won him ‘Hum Award for Best Director Drama Serial’ while he was nominated in ‘best supporting actor’ and ‘best debutant male’ categories for Chambeli at first ARY Film Awards in 2014.
Born in Karachi, Mohammed Ehteshamuddin grew up in a colony with a lot of migrants from Hyderabad Deccan, including many writers, which he says influenced his early artistic inclination.
He graduated with a degree in commerce from the Karachi University, and worked in a company with also joining various theater groups, including Tehrik-e-Niswan, Katha and Theatre Circle. In 1998, he came behind the world of screen when was inducted into Television Production Program at the Pakistan Television Academy, Islamabad.
He says, “Story telling is my business irrespective if whatever medium it is on. If the story is strong, then it will definitely inspire people.”
There is a misconception that our drama directors don’t completely get out from television when making a film. How much you have retorted to this mind-set?
I have heard about it often but I have a different opinion altogether. For me, story is most important thing whether it is film or television. Yes, there is a term called ‘filmy pun’ used specifically in subcontinent cinema, which makes both these medium different from each other, otherwise in the rest of the world, story does matter irrespective of the size of screen. In the end, it is a visual story, and if it moves you, touches you, makes you cry and laugh, the purpose is served. So, in western and European cinema there is not any drastic difference in film or television.
When I made my first short film ‘Shahrukh Khan Ki Maut’ back in 2005 with a television camera, and took it to nine big festivals of the world, no one asked me if it was a film or drama. It was called a film!
Technically speaking, how much it is different for a drama director to make a film?
Yes, technically film has bigger scale and frame than television. There are some basic technical requirements when making a film, but I think saying this that a drama director cannot do justice with a film is wrong. I don’t think so. Actually, we are going through an evolution process. In past, we were rich in this area. Indian and Pakistani film industries were standing equally in the field whether it was technique, story, direction or acting, but unfortunately we went through a period when our industry started to deteriorate. We made undergrad films and our culture of cinema also affected. Our cinema halls started converting in plazas and shopping malls.
Don’t you think that cinema is reshaping all over the world because of the availability of online platforms?
It is a fact that because of lot of content available online, cinema is being affected all over the world but despite that it remains there and they continue to produce films for big screen. There, it continues to expand and develop in IMAX and 4K screens. May be next year, we can watch 4D films without special glasses. So, cinema continues to grow in rest of the world but we stopped and so our creativity and work. We had to start it all over again.
So, what did you find something unique in Superstar story which enticed you to direct it?
I found the story of Superstar very simple yet entertaining. It has all the ingredients, which the people of subcontinent prefer to watch like emotions, love, tragedy and music. I was a bit scared in the beginning to direct a love story as many people had tagged my productions dark and very close to reality but then I asked myself that if I could enjoy watching love stories, why couldn’t I make them. So, Superstar was made with determination and love and the result is before everyone.
“I admire Mahira a lot and offered her a role in my epic Aangan but she could not accommodate as she was because of her occupancy in some other project”, Ehteshamuddin
So, are you satisfied with the reviews and public feedback of the film?
I have always appreciated healthy criticism as it plays positive role in your future endeavours.
You have worked with Mahira Khan in drama serial ‘Sadqay Tumhare’ and now in a film Superstar. Do you find her any different working in both the medium?
Mahira has gone through a lot of transition. When we did ‘Sadqay Tumhare’ it was almost the start of her career while in Superstar she is at the peak of it. So, difference is obvious in her work, approach and focus. She has improved a lot in every aspect of her art. I always love working with people on whom you can trust and Mahira is among one of them. It is quite natural that when you have spent lot of good time with someone in first project, the next one with the same person is more enjoyable and productive.
“The role of Noor was exclusively written for Mahira Khan, and she was on board in this project before me, so this was an added point for me to direct Superstar,” Ehteshamuddin
It was first collaboration of you and Bilal Ashraf. His acting has been admired by many but at the same time his song ‘Dharak Bharak’ is being criticized for its too much boldness and copying from Bollywood? What do you say?
I think criticism and views on anything are the right of those for whom we make our product, but I don’t understand why they criticize on what they love to watch and enjoy if made by others, but when we try to include these flavours in our products, they negatively criticize it.
“Songs like Dharak Bharak always have a right place in commercial cinema of our region. People enjoy them in Bollywood cinema but criticize negatively if they are included in our films. I know many people have liked and appreciated it as well”, Ehteshamuddin
Where do you see the Pakistani Cinema right now?
Actually we are going through a transition where we are trying to create our own niche. It is also a thought that whether we should intact to and sustain with our typical subcontinent cinema which we have been watching through decades on both sides of borders or divert it completely. The most heartening thing for me in this revival is the production of films on different genres from sports life sketch like ‘Shah’ and ‘Motorcycle Girl’, social dramas like Cake, and suspense and thriller like ‘Laal Kabootar’. I am happy that we are also developing a vibrant indie cinema with our mainstream commercial films. I think confidence of audience is building up and cinema halls are being filled in certain times of the year.
“There are many people out there, loyal to stable our film industry again. I believe in next four to five years, we will be standing at a better place, and competing with the rest of the world,” Ehteshamuddin
What is next by you? Is there anything in the pipeline?
I usually take a year to produce a project. Right now, television is my main forte, and I think there too many stories which have to be told on mini screens. I am doing a drama serial named ‘Firaun’, which is on the issue of domestic violence and I believe it would also create some awareness and debate on the subject like Udaari did three years back. I think our television is still the strong medium for raising issues. As the cinema of Bollywood is known worldwide, our dramas are popular everywhere in the world. But yes, if any interesting story comes before me, I will definitely love to put it into big screen. My profession is to tell stories to people whether it is through television or in the form of film.
Ramsha Khan Brilliantly Tackles Hamna’s Situation as ‘Ishqiya’ Comes to a Standtill
Ishqiya has finally come to a standstill after a long silence on the part of the main lead Hamna, played by Ramsha Khan. Let’s take a quick look back on the story so far.
Hamna’s (Ramsha Khan) marriage to Azeem (Gohar Rasheed) was her father’s choice, but she accepted this new relationship with all her heart. She had left her past behind and moved forward with Azeem, which provoked Hamza (Feroze Khan) to think that Hamna has betrayed him, so to take revenge for this betrayal, he got married to Hamna’s sister, Roomi (Hania Amir). Hamza had been taking advantage of his relationship with Roomi to emotionally blackmail Hamna into meeting him at hotels and calling her at random hours at night, making sure to disrupt her peace at all costs.
Hamna’s has not been an easy character to deal with, though Ramsha Khan’s powerful dialogue delivery and the way she uses her facial expressions to convey her state of mind clearly showed her powerful acting skills. As Hamna finally broke her silence and confessed to her husband Azeem regarding her relationship with Hamza, everyone is on their toes to see what will happen next.
Ramsha’s facial expressions are simply spot on. Whether it’s the scene when she is confessing the truth in front of her husband regarding her past or hears about her father’s death, we can clearly feel the pain she is going through.
She has been the center of everyone’s comments lately and is receiving a lot of appreciation for her role as Hamna. There is a fan base that loves Ramsha Khan’s chemistry with Feroze Khan, and then there is another fan base that is shipping the romantic scenes between Ramsha Khan and Gohar Rasheed. To have such an impact with one single character is not easy, but Ramsha Khan is winning here with her splendid performance.
The drama shows Hamna with a different vibe when she is with Hamza and a different vibe when she is with Azeem. Hamna’s relationship with Feroze khan was fun and innocent while her relationship with Azeem is more serious, trustworthy, and mature. Ramsha Khan deserves a huge appreciation for producing such a remarkable difference in a character through her performance caliber.
In the last few episodes, Hamna has emerged as a very strong person who knows what she wants from life and how she plans to attain it. This comeback in her character was long due and was executed with perfection. Ishqiya fans have since then gone crazy for Hamna as her character has become more influential now.
The emotional mix up between Hamza, Hamna, Roomi, and Azeem is on an explosive stage. One mistake can destroy four lives, and Hamna is trying her best to save them all. Let’s see what will happen next.
Lock-down is temporary but Father’s day is permanent
He is the person who started working hard even before your birth to give you a safe space full of warmth and comfort. It is rightfully said that no person in this world would be happy to see you more successful than him except for your father.
A father is the first superhero in a child’s life, the one he\she would always look up to, for love guidance, goals and unlimited demands.
Since most of the major events are being celebrated in a situation of complete lockdown in the country, we have got some sweet and doable ideas to surprise your dads on this Father’s Day.
Throw A Lunch Party
Isn’t it true that most of the dads are foodies and they can never say no to a dish made by their kids? On this special day, make his favorite dishes. Pamper him the whole day and do not forget to prepare something sweet for the evening tea.
Origami Nuts In Collaboration With OvenCraft
Yummy in his tummy!!! Origami Nuts has designed this cute basket of sweet banana crumble bread in collaboration with Oven craft. The appearance is cute and is definitely a perfect pick to show love and dedication on this special day to your fathers.
Kitchen Kahani’s Breakfast
Almost every dad is a nihari lover and especially in this lockdown when we cannot go and dine out, Kitchen Kahani is offering “Nashta with Abbu”. We are already melting at the name. You can order home-cooked beef Nihari to surprise your Abbus with a scrumptious desi nashta.
Customized Basket By Happy String
If your abba loves to eat junk, this can be an economical and a fancy present for him. Get his favorite chocolates and other edibles packed in a beautifully wrapped basket and brighten up your father’s mood with something sweet and salty.
Father’s Day DIY Cookie Kit
For young fathers, to have an interactive activity with small kids, Delish is offering customized DIY Cookie kits where you can make your own cookies with your kids while sitting at your home. Isn’t it a great yet adorably creative idea?
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