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With Awards, Comes More Responsibility: Mehwish Hayat

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Mehwish Hayat is the one, who we can say is ruling our recent film industry. She has given five hit films to Pakistani cinema as well as many super hit television dramas. Be it her films like Namaloom Afrad, Pujanb Nahin Jaungi and Load Wedding or her dramas like Man Jali and Dil Lagi, she has mesmerized the audience with her perfect looks and acting skills. Recently, she has been awarded a civil award, tamgha-e-imtiaz by the state of Pakistan for her contribution to Pakistani entertainment industry. Amidst this success and excitement, Hayat is facing too much trolling and bullying on her achievement from a section of society. We talked to this talented lady who openly expresses her feelings about getting this award and the negative propaganda that surrounds it. But here, we must clear a misunderstanding of confusing the civil decorations of Pakistan with other awards. The civil decorations and awards are given by the state of Pakistan mostly to citizen (civilians) of Pakistan for their notable work for the country in different fields, like arts, literature, sports, journalism, science, medical, social work etc. Mehwish Hayat is one of many who have been awarded in the category of arts.

How much this award has boosted your morale?
I am very excited and honoured to get this award. I have 10 years of career. I never thought I would be recognized and awarded this medal so soon. It is for my contribution to drama, theatre, music and the revival of cinema in Pakistan. When your services are recognised at State level, it is beyond explanation. Those were most memorable moments of my life and this is just the beginning. I have a long way to go. I must say that with this award comes more responsibility to do better and bring pride for my nation

With this celebration and success, a section of society is very critical and against this award given to you. What would you say on this?
Being a public figure, we are always exposed to the criticism. It is not necessary that everyone, praise you every time. But when it comes to your private life, where people start attacking on your personality and character, I think, there we have to draw the line. You can’t bash and troll someone on social media; it comes into the cyber bullying. That is why I use my Twitter to tell that one can criticize my work but not my character.

Who has given you this right when you don’t even know me?
Artists are the assets of a society. They represent their country in whole world. They entertain you; make you smile and all this need a hard work behind. We have a very small community with limited resources and we are working very hard to establish it as an industry. All we need is acceptance and respect.

What do you think should be done to stop this?
I think from here we can start this debate that what we can and should do next to protect the sanctity of our community. If social media give you access to reach to others, it doesn’t mean that you have got the right to malign anybody on these forums. People are committing suicides due to this cyber bullying. This has become a serious issue now on which we have to take measures accordingly on government level as well. I am not the first one, who is facing all this bullying. Many other prominent personalities also have been facing this baseless criticism. The only reason of all this is trolling is to put a certain person in negative light.

How so far you have got the strength during all this negative propaganda?
Despite all this negativity from certain section, the positive thing is that that my family, my friends, my fans, my colleagues and overall industry is by my side and supporting me. It makes me relief and happy and I am thankful to them for this.

You have worked in almost every genre of performing art like film, drama, theatre and even music. What do you think you have been awarded this medal on?
My work is everything for me. It is my passion. I love to perform all kind of art form, be it film, drama, theatre music or any other performance. I enjoy doing all. Every medium has its own charm. But I would rate theatre first because you have to perform everything live before audience and get their reaction instantly. That first hand response is amazing. Films? Of course! Every actor loves to be on big screen. It has its own magic. Singing has its own magic. So I can’t rate any single field. State has not given me this award just on my acting. It is my overall body of work of my 10 years career that includes my contribution to the Pakistani cinema, the drama industry.

What this achievement has a place in your career?
This medal is reward of my hard work and contribution to my country and how I have represented my country in the world. I have worked throughout my career in Pakistan. My films have generated revenue of 160 crores rupees overall at box office. No Pakistan actress has ever garnered his amount in films till now. So this is a milestone in itself for the industry as well. Similarly, my five blockbuster films have contributed a lot in the revival of Pakistani cinema. I am proud to be a part of this revival. It is wonderful that in return my work has been appreciated. Today, when there is a tamgha-e-imtiaz is with my name, it’s an honour for me and my fans. I am not the only and last one to get this award. I wish others will also get this for their hard work and performance.

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Gama Will Set New Standards: Nasir Adeeb

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The writer of Pakistani feature film Gama, Nasir Adeeb spills beans on what his new venture would probably have for the audience, who have high hopes from him after witnessing amazing work from the playwright, the feature film The Legend Of Maula Jatt.

Based on the life of the Sub-continent’s undefeated wrestling champion of 20th century, The Great Gama or Rustem-e-Hind, Gama, produced by Shayan Khan of ZASHKO Films, would purely be a commercial film, in which the important incidents of Gama’s life would be portrayed in possible real manner, according to Adeeb.

The real name of Gama was Ghulam Mohammad Baksh Butt, who was born in a village of Amritsar District of Punjab, the then British India in 1878. He is considered one of the greatest Indian wrestlers (pehelwan) of all time and remained an undefeated wrestling champion, throughout his career, spanning more than 52 years. The legendary wrestler migrated to Pakistan, after the partition and died in the city of Lahore in 1960.

Here are some interesting aspects of the Gama, right from the mouth of the writer, which might be if interest of cine-lovers.    

The Great Gama

The Biopic

Talking more about the film, the writer said, “The Gama would be biographical account on the life of of The Great Gama but it will be written within the format of a feature film. The main highlight of the story is the portraying an undefeated wrestler in the entire world. Moreover, we put commercial elements like romance and interesting aspects of the personal life as well to fulfil the requirements of a commercial film”.

Language

The language of the film is Punjabi but according to Adeeb it will be entirely different from his last films especially the recent one TLOMJ. In most of his Punjabi films, the characters keep challenging the system, but Gama is set in a different environment, which depicts the life of the wrestler spanning over the eras i.e. pre-partition and post-partition of Sub-Continent.

Period Drama

He said that though so much happened before and during the life Gama, on local and international fronts but the film would not be a political or social drama.

He added that when writing a biopic, it is necessary to keep in mind the specific era and its incidents happened around the life of that specific personality and Gama’s life witnessed a lot of big incidents like Indian Rebellion of 1857, 20 years before the birth of Gama, WWI and WWII, and the establishment of Pakistan, so the film would need a hefty budget to not only create the aura of 19th and 20th century but also to show those historical events to supporting the story of the film.   

How much outrage, the trademark of Adeeb’s films, would Gama have

Talking about the violence in the film, as most of his movies have, The Wehshi Jatt writer said, “Most of my Punjabi films has a kind of violence in them, as they are against the corrupt system, but Gama lived in an entire different era, and moreover, the film is more focussed on Gama’s professional life as a wrestler, it is obvious there would be a lot of action in the film instead of violence.

The Romance In Gama

Adeeb also assure about the presence of romance in the movie, as that era was a quite peaceful period overall. 

The Research

Whatever account was available on the life of Gama; the writer has gone through all of it and extracted what he needed for his story. He has only chosen the wrestler’s three to four highlighted fights, on which the entire film would be based. 

He also specified that no one from the family of the wrestler has contacted him nor he had called them for any information but added that whenever in future, they contact the production tem, they will definitely meet them.

Adeeb believes as Gama is a universal personality so any one can make anything on him and assured that his film would promote the image of legendary athlete in a positive manner and nothing in the story is going to put the wrestler in any negative light.  

Expectations

What are his expectations from the film, once the script is completed, the writer said, very high.

“Why I agreed to write it when Shayan told me about making of film Gama because I believed what standard and fantastical world Bilal Lashari has presented in TLOMJ, other film makers would follow that.”

But yes, it needs an ample amount of budget as it this film is a film, depicting the period in which many important and crucial incidents took place, he added.

The Director

Adeeb’s first choice to direct this film is Bilal Lashari while the second option is legendary Hasan Askari. He has no third option in his mind for the director of this film. He believes in the skills of Lashari and also trusts Askari, who till this age, has a potential and vision to make a larger than life, but leaves final decision on producers of the film.

Who Would Play Gama?

Replying to, who did he think would be the most suitable actor for the role of Gama? Nasir said he was sure that whoever would do this character; have to keep him under observation for at least four to six months in order to make a muscular and bulky body and gain a lot of weight to look more like Gama.

“At the moment all our male actors are slim. They go to gym to have a muscular body but they look healthy not bulky like a pehlwaan. There is a difference between a muscular body and a wrestler body. Like Amir Khan put a lot of weight for his role in Dangal, so let’s see who would be ready to do this for Gama.”

The writer further added that in his opinion, if Shayan Khan himself takes the risk of gaining weight, he could also be a good choice do the character of Gama.

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IMGC Announced Upcoming Film Under Its Banner

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The renowned film distribution company of Pakistan, IMGC has recently announced the films going to be distributed in the last quarter of this year and the first quarter of next year under its banner.  

Now when the cinemas all over the world are functioning fully after the closure of almost of 20 month after the closure of almost 20 month Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020, Pakistani film industry is currently relying on the backlogs of films which were supposed to be released in last two years.

The films which would be distributed by IMGC are films form the backlog have been made under the big banners and are waiting in line to be released at right time.  

Here are the list of films that has been and announced to distributed by DC after the reopening of cinemas.

Kamli (3rd June 2022)

Kamli was released on 3rd June 2022, stars Saba Qamar, Sania Saeed and Nimra Bucha as leads. Directed by Sarmad Khoosat, the film is a story of the emotion and desires of a woman which she mostly keeps secrete in our society. The film did decent business in the genre of an art film when the flow in cinemas was low firstly because of its off season release and secondly the reluctance of people to come habitually to cinemas after lockdowns.

Intezaar (19th August 2022)

Intezaar was thefilm, which actually cancelled its already announced plan of release because of lockdown in March 2020. It was finally released on 19th August 2022. Intezaar stars Samina Ahmad, Khalid Ahmad and Kaif Ghaznavi in major roles. Intezaar is directorial debut of veteran actress of Pakistan Sakina Samo.  The film as the name suggest is tale of wait for something good and happy in the life of every character in the film. 

Zarrar (25th November 2022)

The first date of the release of the film was announced 23 September 2022 but due to the emergency situations all over the country after recent floods, Shaan Shahid the lead cast and the writer and director of the film delay the release for one week. Now it will be in cinemas on 25th of November 2022.

The film is produced by Ejaz Shahid and Adnan Butt under the banner of Jehan Films. Zarrar is an action thriller about the patriotism and love of mother land. Shaan in the titular role of Zarrar is a secret agent, who is on a mission to solve the seemingly endless cycle of threats against his homeland of Pakistan.

Other cast of the film includes Kiran Malik, Nadeem Baig, Natyyar Ejaz and Shafqat Cheema in supporting characters.

Development of Zarrar started in 2016 when behind the scene shots of the film were shared by Shaan himself.

Neelofar (23 December 2022)   

Neelofar would be the second film of Fawad Khan and third film of Mahira Khan this year. Both would have The Legend Of Maula Jatt releasing on 13 October on their credits, while Mahira who starred in Quaid-e-Azam Zindabad opposite Fahad Mustafa on eid-ul-fitr would celebrate Neelofar as her third film released in 2022.

The film is written and directed by debutant Ammar Rasool and a co-produced by Fawad Khan and IMGC.

The film lovers would also witness pair of Mahira and Fawad Khan on screen together third time after Hamsafar (2011) and The Legend Of Maula Jatt (October 2022), though this pair often appears together in many television commercials and fashion shoots.

Mahira Khan is playing a role of a blind girl in the movie. The principal shooting for Neelofar was completed in December 2020.

Aasman Bolay Ga (January 2023)

The final release date of the film has not yet been confirmed, but according to IMGC, it would most likely to be released in the first month of the next year.

ABG is written, directed and produced by veteran Shoaib Mansoor, under his company Shoman Films. Mansoor has given us block buster like Khuda Ke Liye (2007), Bol (2011), and Verna (2017). The film also seems to be the last instalment of his series which started in 2007 with KKL. According to Amjad Rasheed, all four instalments link each other as far as their names are concerned i.e. Khuda Ke Liye, Bol, Verna, Aasman Bolay Ga. All films highlighted the political and social issues of our society.

ABG stars Maya Ali and Emmad Irfani in lead roles. The title teaser of the film was released a couple of months ago by Shoiab Mansoor on his social media. In an interview to Dutche Welle last year Maya Ali revealed that she would be playing the role of a journalist in ABG.

Money Back Gurantee (21st April 2023)

Money Back Guarantee is a multi-starrer heavy budget Pakistani film produced by Zain Farooqi. The film, which has already created lot of buzz around the film circles, is directed by versatile Faisal Qureshi, who has released the first poster of the film digitally on his social media. Teaser of film will be released on 9th September and movie will hit the screens on 21 April in 2023, which would fall on the days of eid-ul-fitr.

The film which is under post production at the moment claims to be based on a novel concept, which covers a theme full of humour and suspense. The star cast of the film includes the leading stars of current era including Fawad Khan, Ayesha Omar, Mikaal Zulfiqar, John Rambo, Javed Sheikh, Hina Dilpazer, Mirza Gohar Rashid, Shayan Khan, Mani, Kiran Malik, Ali Safina, Shafaat Ali in important roles. Another surprise of the movie is the presence Sultan of Swing legendary cricketer Wasim Akram and his wife Shaniera Akram as actors. 

The film was scheduled to release on 22 May 2020 (eid-ul-fitr); however, due to Covid-19 pandemic, the release of the movie was postponed. 

About IMGC

Started as Distribution Club (Pvt) limited in 1953 by late Sheikh Abdul Rasheed, the company, since then has cascaded numerous (about 450) Pakistani and international films in country. Rasheed also established Independent AR Films in 1964 extending the operations of company.

The legacy continued when his son Shiekh Amjad Rasheed took charge of the affairs as the chairman after his father and established the group of company IMGC in 1985 with increased functions and a turnover of approximately 200 million US dollar. For last four decades Amjad Rasheed has been in a thriving business of film production and distribution and has the privilege of heading the Film Producers Association as Chairman two times to date.

DC also has its esteemed clients and partners both locally and globally like EROS, Yashraj, YTV, FOX, Zee, Red Chillies, Madhu, Balaji, Grand Showbiz, T-Series, Disney, Reliance, Shree International, Mahesh Bhatt, Rhythm Boy and White Hill etc.

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A Solo Bridal Show By Kashee’s in Karachi

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After receiving overwhelming response for his debut bridal collection at the 18th edition of HUM Bridal Couture Week, makeup expert and bridal wear designer Kashif Aslam of Kashee’s presented his latest collection titled ‘Bridal Festive 2022’ in a grand solo showcase in Karachi.

Keeping in mind the wedding festivities of the subcontinent, the showcase was divided into four parts, featuring a wide range of designs for Mayoon, Mehndi, Baraat and Valima. The collection was an ode to our rich culture and traditions designed and embedded with floral motifs in Zari and Swaroaski crystals and traditional embroidery work. The pieces were a combination of traditional sensibility, cut and tailored with a modern edge. The colour palette shuffled between vibrant tones of wedding festivities and the classical red.

Kashee’s solo show had a fabolous line-up of celebrities swaying down the catwalk. Film star Sana Fakhar opened the show while TikTok star Rebecca, Madiha, Saba Faisal and Sarwat Gillani closed the Mayoon. Shagufta Ejaz, Benita David, Nadia Hussain and Sehar walked as show-stoppers in the Mehndi segment, whereas Saba Faisal, Rebecca and Neelam Muneer graced the ramp in the Baraat segment. The final segment of the show was Valima, opened by Dr Shaista Lodhi, whereas Suneeta Marshal, Sana Fakhar and Benita also graced the catwalk. The show came to an end as the ever gorgeous Reema Khan walked down the ramp in thunderous applause by the attendees.

The event was organized by HUM Special Projects & Events. The stage and catwalk for Kashee’s solo showcase were opulent and grand in scale like other big shows of Hum Network. The set theme was in sync with the collection of pieces showcased, which added and enhanced the overall catwalk experience. 

Photography of the show was done by Ahsan Qureshy and Haris Usmani while all the bridal wear and hair and makeup was done by Kashee’s

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