KARACHI: This Thursday, Geo News Morning Show with Abdullah and Huma made a statement to stigmatize dowry, through an advocacy stunt involving Pakistan’s popular film and drama star Ali Rehman.
Earlier last week, Ali Rehman made the surprising announcement through a video on his Instagram feed that he was getting married. He then invited the entire nation to his wedding, which was to happen live on national TV. Ali, however, did not disclose who he was getting married to.
The celebrity finally revealed his shocking “bride” on a segment of the Geo Morning Show – from the doli, instead of a bride, appeared ‘dowry items’ that Ali was getting married to: a sewing machine, car keys, kitchen appliances, and gold jewelry amongst other such items.
The stunt was part of a campaign initiated by UN Women Pakistan to discourage the practice of forced dowry and related violence. It showcased how this practice makes a bride synonymous with material things like utility items, cash and gold. The expectation of giving dowry to the groom’s family has been burdening the families of girls with the pressure of spending more than their means and, in many cases their entire life savings, on their daughter’s wedding. Many marriages in Pakistan involve the transfer of dowry from the bride’s family to the groom’s and often brides are punished for not bringing enough dowry items through emotional abuse and bullying, deprivation of basic needs, and even to the extreme of killing with stove-burnings which are shown as accidents.
Also participating in the show to provide insights on the issue of dowry violence were Saman Ahsan from UN Women Pakistan, and Saman Jafri, former parliamentarian who worked on drafting a bill on dowry violence to be presented in the National Assembly. The well-known religious scholar, Mufti Muhammad Naeem was called on the show through a video call and gave the message that demanding dowry is not acceptable in Islam. A special message from Chairman Council of Islamic Ideology, Dr. Qibla Ayaz was also aired, who stated that: “Islam categorically discourages the practice of demanding or expecting dowry from a bride’s family. Islam strictly prohibits showing-off of wealth, extravagant spending on weddings and other ceremonies and burdening the bride’s family with demands of material good.”
In 2012, UN Women and SACHET conducted a study that found that “Dowries are often a monetary deal between two families: the bride’s family that fulfils the demands and the groom’s that makes demands. Such cultural arrangements completely violate the dignity of women and the quality of their personal relationships.”
With this campaign, UN Women aims to not only highlight the issue but also discourage the practice by portraying it as a form of abuse. They’ve coined a new Urdu term ‘Jahezkhori’ with the aim to stigmatize the practice and change attitudes and behaviors towards it. The campaign goal is to encourage people to demand an end to the dowry practice by stating #StopJahezkhori.
Ali Rehman’s stunt was the launch of a detailed campaign that will be followed by inviting civil society members, celebrities, bloggers and influencers, beneficiaries from rural communities and people from all walks of life to support the cause. The campaign took over conventional and social media news as henna laden hands were displayed with a symbol saying Jahezkhori Band Karo (Stop the Dowry Practice).
This campaign aims to transfer the stigma from those who are put under pressure to give dowry in return for marrying their daughters, to those who feel entitled to take dowry and to perpetrate violence if their demands are not met.
Natalie Portman confirmed as Mighty Thor in Marvel sequel
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.
Ready Steady No is a complete entertainer
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.
Cinepax announces the launch of first ever STARZ PLAY Short Film Competition
[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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