Shazia Ali Khan is a new entry in the director league of Pakistani Film industry with her debut project Pinky Memsaab. The story of the film revolves around two women who are struggling with their lives’ problems in the happening and glamorous city of Dubai. Call herself a feminist, Shazia is an independent film maker based in Dubai. She did her film school almost 12 years back and has an experience of documentary making and now owns a production company named ‘Shaz Media’. Happily married and a mother of two, Shazia is wearing all the big hats of writer, director and producer of the film at the same time and giving her all energies to her new baby. She is optimistic about Pinky Memsaab, which is being released in seven Gulf countries and Pakistan next week, and believes the film will not only get the critical acclaim but will also do well at box office.
This is your first feature film. How the idea came on to your mind?
I have also written the story of this film, which I think has never been told before in cinemas. I believe when you write a story, it should be closer to your real life as it gives you first-hand experience and the case of Pinky Memesaab is the same as being an expatriate in Dubai, I have observed its culture very closely. The people who go abroad for work and living try to make that place their home. They have their own sets of problems, which they faced in a relatively alien society.
Why did you shoot this film in Duabi while your major market is in Pakistan?
My Production Company ‘Shaz Media’ is Dubai based so it was more convenient for me to shoot this film at my base. Moreover, the story of the film is about Dubai that is why the 80 per cent of it is shot in Dubai and the rest 20 per cent is recorded in Pakistan.
You have cast many actors from other countries too besides Pakistan. Any special reason?
A big reason! I wanted to cast the actors from the same origins, from where my characters belonged to. For example, my character Santosh is an Indian so I cast an Indian actor for the role. It is also a privilege to be in Duabi, that we can call anyone from any country to work as there are very less visa issues and tense political turmoil in the country.
Being a female film maker, did you face any problem as the film making is still predominantly a men’s world?
Fortunately, I was surrounded by very good team who were not chauvinists, so I didn’t face a big problem. Ask my actors, they would tell you how bossy I was during shoot. But when you look into the mainstream industry, there are a lot of problems faced by women directors. It is very unfortunate that in this part of the world, people still don’t accept to take orders from a woman. I don’t know why as in reality our first boss is a woman that is our mother. A woman has to be strong and firm in her decision to cope up with all these problems.
You are a feminist. So in future do you only aim to make movies on women centric issues or have some other subjects too in your mind?
Actually, the idea of my story was closer to my life that is why it became a women centric film. But it is not necessary that in future, my every film will be on a feminist issue.
Who is your inspiration?
There are too many. We had to learn from everybody who was already working in the field. In Pakistan, Shoaib Mansoor is an icon for me as I think he revolutionised the cinema in this country. Internationally I am inspired by American Indian director Mira Nair, who made Monsoon Wedding, which despite being an art film did very well at box office too. I am also a big fan of Iranian Cinema. I must praise the young and talented lot of female directors like Mereen Jabbar, Afia Nathaniel, Fizza Ali Meerza. They are doing a wonderful job.
The genre of Pinky Memsaab is closer to a parallel cinema. How much hope you have from its commercial success?
I don’t think that there is any differing line between a parallel or commercial cinema. Film is not commercial or non-commercial. A film is good film or a bad film. I keep my fingers crossed that our film would be considered in good films and will be a commercial success as well.
Would you aim to direct or produce a mainstream formula sub-continent feature film with a good looking hero and heroine doing dances in extravagant costumes? I think no. I have to be true to myself. I am a documentary film maker. I want to produce films that are closer to reality. I respect those, who are making these formula films. They are playing well in their fields, but as far as myself is concerned, I would never be able to produce these types of films, because that’s not me. But you never know, one day I decide to make that film in my own style.
Delay in diagnosis can result in long term disability
An awareness seminar to highlight the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of arthritis was conducted at the Governor house Punjab, with joint collaboration of Arthritis Care Foundation and Scotmann Pharmaceuticals here in Lahore on Sunday 21 November.
The seminar was chaired by the honorable Governor of Punjab Chaudry Muhammad Sarwar, with awareness sessions conducted by chairperson Arthritis Care Foundation, Prof. Nighat Mir Ahmed, Co-chairperson Prof. Sumaira Farman Raja, and Co-chairperson and General Secretary, Prof. Muhammad Ahmed Saeed, and Dr. Saira E. A. Khan.
According to research done by the Arthritis Care Foundation with funding by World Health Organization, approximately 1 out of every 4th person is suffering from some kind of inflammatory joint disease. If not diagnosed early, these conditions can result in long-term disability, like Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. State of the art department of Rheumatology with international standards and equipment has been initiated at the Central Park Teaching Hospital, served by highly skilled and qualified specialists and staff. Central Park Teaching Hospital also provides free treatment services for deserving patients with the support of the Arthritis Care Foundation.
The seminar highlighted the role of Vitamin D, diet, and exercise for healthy bones and joints, arthritis in children, young and elderly, and the common causes of back pain.
Peng Salon celebrates Children’s Day, inviting Children Cancer patients for a Spa Day
This Children’s Day, Peng Salon & Spa, one of the leading hair & skin clinics in Karachi came up with a thoughtful initiative for children suffering from cancer. They invited these young cancer warriors from Indus Hospital for a Spa Day at the salon to mark Children’s Day celebrations. The children were treated with professional salon & spa services for a relaxing & refreshing experience.
Kaneez Fiza & Nafisa Dawood, Incharge at the Psychosocial department at Indus Hospital, who accompanied the children stated that the children were happy and it was an amazing experience for the children as well as their team at the Peng Salon. According to Kaneez, it was the first time for the children that they had visited a salon and they loved every bit of it and were overjoyed with the experience.
These children, fighting their battle against Cancer, are dreamers – full of innocence, hope and happiness. These little angels enjoyed the services of their choice at the salon and they were all smiles with the kind of pampering they were provided with. Services such as Haircut, hair styling, manicure, pedicure, makeup etc. were provided that made their day extra special.
After going through months of grueling treatment, giving these brave warriors such a day was a thoughtful initiative by Peng Salon. Arranging a Spa Day on Children’s Day for these young children to give them moments of joy and happiness was a wonderful idea by the team. Their aim to make these children feel valued, loved and special while helping them make cherishing memories.
Children were overwhelmed with the services they were provided and were all smiles as they left for the hospital again. Thumbs up to Peng Salon for initiating such a thoughtful activity to celebrate Children’s Day!
5 motivational thoughts to get you motivated by Canadian-Pakistani CEO, Muneeb Mushtaq
Canadian Pakistani CEO and motivational speaker Muneeb Mushtaq has given us many insightful and empowering thoughts over the years on the basis of his experiences as a young and dynamic businessman. The tech tycoon has been the founder of three tech business ventures and has managed to achieve so much at such a young age. And, he has given back his learning and knowledge by motivating, educating, and mentoring people to be successful in life.
Here are some motivational thoughts by the Forbes awarded entrepreneur Muneeb Mushtaq to get you motivated and beat the Monday blues:
- Get rid of the useless and negative clutter in your life
Muneeb Mushtaq suggests that it is important to subtract some of the unnecessary things from life to realise how insignificant they are. He advises us to get away from the insignificant and negative clutter in order to see an immediate positive impact. Worrying about what others think of us, trying to please everyone are some of the unimportant things we need to remove as soon as possible. According to him “When you remove what’s negative, it’ll add more space for what’s POSITIVE”!
- Don’t wait, just take the first step
The successful entrepreneur recommends us not to wait for other people or for the perfect moment to do what you have always wanted to do. There will never be a perfect time, situation or circumstances that would make you start working on your dreams. He advises us to just take the first step and get started.
- Failure is the opportunity to start over again, more wisely
The dynamic businessman is also of the view that failure provides an invaluable experience that makes it more likely to get success the next time around. He explains: “Till the time you don’t give up, the failures are just learning experiences, helping you to eventually succeed.”
- Respect the competition
Muneeb Mushtaq also shares this motivational thought that competition should be embraced and should be used as a driving force to push you further rather than fearing it. Competition is also a validation that there is a massive market and opportunity in the space to grow further.
- Change is important
Another motivating thought from Muneeb Mushtaq is that if you want change in life, then you should also be willing to change. He says, “If you are not willing to change, don’t expect your life to either”.
Follow Muneeb Mushtaq on Instagram @MuneebMushtaq for regular motivational posts.
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