After Shoaib Mansoor’s blockbuster Khuda Kay Liyay in 2007, there was a long pause in Pakistani feature films, then in 2010 came Bol, yet again by the same director. It almost seems as if there is only one person working on getting out of the “gujjar-gandassa” and “rainy dance in vulgar clothes” film culture.
That perception began to change when we started hearing news about the much awaited film “WAAR” (to strike) directed by Bilal Lashari. The plot has been stimulated by the war on terror in Pakistan, an action/thriller drama featuring Shaan, Ali Azmat, Shamoon Abbasi, Meesha Shafi and others.
And this is not it for the film deprived Pakistani audience. Whoever says that our film industry is dying should look out for the promising trailers floating around on YouTube and social networking websites.
The industry veterans and new talents are working on almost 8-10 different movies with a range of topics from social to political to romance and drama. And yes, going by the trailers they all seem quite promising.
Farjad Nabi and Meenu Gaur’s Zinda Bhaag was recently mentioned in different newspapers when Indian actor Naseeruddin Shah came for its shooting. The film is based on the subject of illegal immigration. It has just entered the post-production days and soon the trailer will be out.
Then there isThe Dusk by Zeeshan Kazmi, which deals with human emotions and the behaviour of society towards victims of terrorism set in the current situation of Pakistan. Rafina, by Sabiha Sumar (of Khamosh Pani fame), has been in production for quite some time and the director hopes to release it commercially very soon.
Thirty minutes of Mansoor Mujahid's Seedlings (Urdu name Lamha) starring television couple Aamina Sheikh and Mohib Mirza, was previewed last month at a local university with a Q&A with the cast and the crew.
Iram Parveen Bilal’s Josh revolves around the youth and their thrilling journey of discovering the power of the individual and inspiring a movement of change.
Industry veterans such as Shahzad Nawaz, actor Humayun Saeed and acclaimed music and TV commercial director Jami are also giving final touches to their respective film ventures.
Many other works are in production or in the conceptualization phase. Sources tell us that Shaoib Mansoor is also working on his third film project which is going to be about the 1947 sub-continent partition days. They story is written by the man himself.
The remarkable thing to see is that different subjects are being highlighted and social issues are being raised. There have been many movies from outside which have dealt with similar issues but to see this stir being generated in Pakistan is exciting. It’s a great feeling to hear about young film-makers and veterans of the industry working towards recreating the long lost cinema of Pakistan.
Well known writer from Balochistan, Hashim Nadeem Khan is also working on his novel turned film Abdullah. A few teasers are going around on social networking websites, where one can see that the cast includes television actor Sajid Hasan, Hameed Sheikh and many others.
By looking at the boom in film-making, there should be investment from the government side, which could help raise the technical infrastructure. The filmmakers should be given the facility to do post-production in their own country and not have to go abroad which could substantially cut the overall cost of production.
The initiative and creativity of these filmmakers highlights the promising future of the film industry. Hopefully this will raise the bar and allow young students or film-makers to make their passion a reality.
The writer is an Interactive Producer at Dawn.com