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SHE CAME, SHE SAW, SHE CONQUERED

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Pakistani entertainment industry has a special league of actors, who are not only got fame because of their beauty but also with their brain. Hareem Farooq is one of them, who besides having a flourishing acting career is also a producer of box office success Janaan and Parchi. A bachelors in Sociology and journalism from Quid-e-Azan University, Hareem started her acting career in 2012 from a theatre play of veteran Anwar Maqsood Pawnay 14 August by playing the role of Fatima Jinnah. The following year, she made her big screen debut with a leading role in a horror thriller film Siyaah and came to television in Hum TV serial Mausam in 2014. Then there was no stopping. Now at this young age, Hareem has many popular dramas as Diyar-e-Dil and films like Parchi at her credit. She went on to become a first female actor-producer of Pakistan, by producing Janaan and Parchi under the banner of IRK Films. Last year, Hreem formed a global entertainment company, IHA, which soon entered into an agreement with top entertainment in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), as the first distribution firm.

Apart from acting and production, Hareem has been proudly become the official Spokesperson for Loreal Professional, Pakistan since 2017.

Last month she was in Paris to represent Pakistan at L’Oreal on its 110th anniversary. She was extremely excited and responsible at the same time to be a part of those celebrations. We talked to this young, beautiful and talented lady about her visit to the Paris and of course her upcoming feature film Heer Maan Ja supposed to be released on Eid Ul Aza.

How was the excitement to be in Paris for L’Oreal?

It was a great opportunity for me to represent Pakistan among lot of people, coming from different countries at L’Oreal 110th anniversary in Paris. I was the only Pakistani who represented my country there and felt very proud and honoured for this. I hope I lived up to the expectations.

 What were your activities there?

It was a multiple-event celebrations spreading on almost a week. It was their 110th anniversary so they made it huge. In these types of events, you get to mingle with lot of people from different countries, where you show them the positive and lighter side of your country. I did the same.

What and who did wear in those eventful celebrations?

I wore Pakistani designers in all events, including Sania Maskatiya, Munib Nawaz, Rici Melion, Mahgul, Zuria Dor. As far as what I wore, I must tell you that we have to follow a certain dress codes when on these type of international events. We need to show the world that we can compete on international level when we have to, but we made sure that our Pakistani designers should also be promoted there. Again it was a matter for me to represent Pakistan there. If I had to decide, I would wear shalwar kameez, as I love my national dress. 

How did you find Paris?

It was so exciting to be there. They are very rich in art, architecture, and weather. People all are also very nice and welcoming. I am glad that finally L’Oreal is tapping into the Pakistan market. There are very few people from Pakistan who are invited by L’Oreal from Pakistan and it’s a pride for me that I am one of them. They were very surprised to see Pakistan there.

Have you ever been to Paris before?

It was my first visit to Paris. But I am sure it will not be the last. 

Did you learn any French there?

Very little. Only few words like bonjour, mercy, beaucoup. I am trying to learn the language.

What did you observe in Paris while with L’Oreal?

It was a great exposure. They are very skilled people. I came to know that where and how L’Oreal actually works. How they cope up with new techniques and innovations all over the world. There was somewhere around five to six thousand people from various countries of the world.

Are you eying to participate in Cannes as well?

Why not? It is just a start. I believe when you are sincere with your work, anything is achievable. 

You met with Pakistani ambassador (Moin Ul Haq) in Paris? What was discussed in the meeting regarding Pakistani entertainment industry?

It was a great surprise. I was very glad and honoured that they had me come there and invited me to the embassy. The ambassador is very progressive He wants to promote a softer image if Pakistan in world. And Pakistan really needs this at the moment. His ideas and vision, which we are aiming to implement, I am sure will be productive for Pakistan. Whatever we have discussed, it will be executed soon and people will know about it.

This year is also important for you as your film Heer Maan Ja is coming on Eid-Ul- Azha. Shed some light on your role in the film?

I like experimenting with my characters as I believe that audience should get something new every time. It is a little journey from Iman of Parchi to Heer of Heer Maan Ja. They are poles apart. Iman is a very strong woman who stands up for everything while on the other hand Heer is a very next door desi girl. She is sweet pretty and innocent, for which most Pakistani girls are known for. It was a lot fun playing that character.

By Kaukab Jahan from Pakistan and Ashfaque Chaudhry from Paris

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Natalie Portman confirmed as Mighty Thor in Marvel sequel

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Natalie Portman will take up the mantle of Thor in the upcoming Marvel sequel Thor: Love and Thunder, announced on Saturday.

Stars Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson, and director Taika Waititi, will also return from 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok, and Portman will reprise her character of Dr Jane Foster, who debuted in the 2011 original.

For fans confused by the character and gender shift, Waititi explained that the movie would be based on an existing 2014 comic book storyline where Thor loses his abilities and Jane Foster wields his powers and magical hammer Mjolnir.

Further details of the plot have not been released, but the New Zealand director clarified that her name would be Mighty Thor.

And at the end of Hemsworth’s most recent on-screen appearance in Avengers: Endgame, the character had left his role as ruler of Asgard to join the Guardians of the Galaxy team, and appointed Thompson’s Valkyrie character as his replacement.

Thor: Love and Thunder is the fourth instalment in the franchise, and Waititi’s second time directing a Marvel film.

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Ready Steady No is a complete entertainer

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Ready Steady No shows hope for the Pakistani cinema. Ready Steady No tells you a simple middle-class love story between dxfz (Amna Illyas) and Faisal (Faisal Saif), who cannot marry each other as they both belong to different castes.

They decide to runaway once they are convinced that their parents are not going to adhere their choice.

RNS tries to highlight the troubles couple face if they opt for inter caste marriage, however the story doesn’t solely depend on this idea. Unlike many other films, RNS also highlights the issues an unmarried couples face in conservative society of Pakistan from sitting in park to getting a room in a hotel etc. The portray of a police station was much closer to the reality then I have seen in several other films.

Ready Steady No is a small budget film, and yet it was entertaining throughout the film.

I think the credit must be given to the director Hisham Bin Munawar who has proved that a good entertaining film can be made without a huge budget. He clearly sets an example that if a film is strong on paper it can be developed into an exciting project just like Ready Steady No.

To start with characters individual performances, I would like to start with Muneer Ahmed, who as cousin of Razia played the comic role in the first half of the film. His style and dialogue delivery will fill your hearts with laughter. He is dumb and yet extremely hilarious.

Amna Ilyas has once again demonstrates that she is no ordinary actress. The way she carries the persona of a simple girl next door throughout the film is phenomenal.

Faisal Saif, although just an ordinary guy in appearance presented himself as someone who is ordinary and he just loves a girl and wants to marry her. He never tried to show any sort of heroism in the entire over 2 hours of running and that makes him different.

Marhoom Ahmad Bilal, is his struggling lawyer character never let your attention divert, he keeps you engage throughout the film with his innocence and silly style.

Zain Afzal who played a maulvi character, is definitely the most difficult one to play. He was natural and yet influential and intense. He took to the areas where many of us do not want to visit. He reveals the dark and fanatic side of few religious fanatics which wasn’t an easy task to accomplish.

After Na Maloom Afraad this was the first time when Salman Shahid made me laugh. Undoubtedly, this is his best since NMA. He also played a double role in the end but lets just keep it a surprise for you.

Finally, Ismail Tara will remind you of his good old young days with his witty and situational comic reliefs.

The music of RNS is refreshing specially Dekho Dekho, which tops the charts for several weeks prior to film release and Nachee Ja, that gives you a reason to dance on a Punjabi wedding.

There wasn’t any chemistry between Razia and Faisal, perhaps because the focus was on comedy not romance. however, I think a pinch of romance would not have hurt the story.

Towards the end I would say that RNS is certainly not a perfect film, it has flaws like unnecessary long scenes and climax was a bit too long.
The film does highlight several issues in our society in a fairly entertaining manner, certainly not an easy task and the entire team of Ready Steady No must be appreciated for it.
My verdict, this is a must watch film for all those who believe in supporting Pakistani Cinema.

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Cinepax announces the launch of first ever STARZ PLAY Short Film Competition

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[Lahore, 16th July 2019]:After the successful launch of STARZ PLAY by Cinepax, Pakistan’s favorite entertainment company STARZ PLAY by Cinepax,  has launched STARZ PLAY Short Film Competition (SSFC) with the final event taking place on the xx of July with the sole intent to bring the young and aspiring filmmakers into the limelight and give them the opportunity to produce STARZ PLAY Originals and accelerate their careers.

The impact of the competition has created a global reach and garnered intense local interest, attracting more than 3,000 submissions from all over the world and over 200 entries from within Pakistan making SSFC the biggest film competition of the country.

Arif BaigMohamad, the Chairman of STARZ PLAY by Cinepax said “SSFC has been our dream since the inception of the company and we have been working on the short-film concept for a long while now.  We couldn’t be more proud and excited to have conducted this competition in such a successful way that it has become the biggest short film competition in Pakistan. I would like to take this opportunity to commend the talented youth of Pakistan to have taken part in such big numbers and to have trusted STARZ PLAY by Cinepax.”

Shortlisted films will be screened at the final event and the winner will be decided by a jury of judges from the entertainment and film industry. The winner will get an exclusive contract to produce a STARZ PLAY by Cinepax original web series. All entries will be judged by a panel of film and media experts and will then be uploaded on the STARZ PLAY by Cinepax app and website.

About StarzPlay :

STARZ PLAY by Cinepax, is a subscription-based video on demand (SVOD) service that offers an impressive library of blockbuster Hollywood movies, award-winning box sets, documentaries, kids’ entertainment and Pakistani content.

The platform utilizes advanced technology to provide a premium viewing experience with full HD content sourced from some of the largest Hollywood and Bollywood studios, such as Warner Bros, MGM, STARZ/ Lionsgate, Red Chillies Entertainment, UTV Motion pictures. 

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