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A poster of a new Pashto movie.
A poster of a new Pashto movie.

PESHAWAR: The Pashto film industry commonly known as Pollywood has screened five Pashto movies full of thrill and romance on Eidul Fitr as compared to just three flicks last year. The struggling Pashto film industry is trying its best to entertain movie-buffs at least on two Eid festivals as its production has already been limited to these two propitious occasions.

The five new Pashto movies – Das Khushi ba Mane, Zakhamoona, Sta Muhabat me Zindagi da, Giriftaar, and Gule Janaa -- are being screened in the cinema houses of Peshawar, Kohat, Swat, Karachi, Quetta and Kabul.

A young movie buff, Waseem Khan, told Dawn that he didn’t like films showcasing violence and obscene scenes.

He said this year, he expected Pashto movies bring healthy entertainment for viewers. He said romantic flicks were his favourite.

“I am waiting for ‘Sta Muhabat me Zindagi da’ and ‘Gule Janna’ which are based on romantic stories,” he said.

Around 10 cinema houses in Peshawar will screen new Pashto films to attract cine-goers with their strength of action, romance, strong storyline, music and beautiful photography.

Popular Pashto film star Ajab Gul told Dawn that Pashto movies in which he had played roles would always bespeak quality and would reflect Pashtun society. “I try my best to make Pashto cinema a medium of change for Pashtun society. I believe in quality stuff. I will never let down my fans. Violence and vulgarity kill the real spirit of cinema. Unfortunately, there are some elements who are bent upon tarnishing the image of Pashtuns through this powerful medium,” he regretted.

The filmmakers and producers expect a huge turnout of cine-goers owing to favourable law and order situation. As usual, they claim that despite hike in taxes and unexpected mood of the cine-audience, their productions will fetch them encouraging business and a boost to the struggling Pashto film industry.

Film director Arshad Khan told this scribe that Pashto cinema despite hard times would attract viewers in large numbers.

He said the prime minister had announced a package of incentives for the film industry but it would take long to benefit the stakeholders.

However, distractors paint a not-so-good picture of the Eid releases for reasons of showing too much violence and vulgar scenes in the Pashto films unbecoming of a typical Pashtun society. The dilapidated condition of most cinema houses in KP is also a big reason which prompts our families and educated youth to watch a Pashto movie in such an environment not culturally and socially attractive to appeal to their good sense.

Mega Pashto film stars including Ajab Gul, Shahid, Rasheed Naz, Arbaz Khan, Jahangir Jani, Laila Afreen, Sobia Khan, Dua Qureshi, Sahar Malik, Mehak Noor and Sidra Noor are playing important roles in the Eid flicks.

Senior music directors Master Ali Haider and Shakirzeb have composed music of most new Pashto films while Rahim Shah, Nazia Iqbal and Gulpanra are among top playback singers.

Aryan Khan, a young Afghan actor for the first time is appearing on the silver screen as hero in romantic Pashto film Gule Janaa. Talking about his role he told Dawn that he had been playing minor roles in CD films but this time he would impress his audience on big screen through his befitting role. “Since long it was my dream to act as hero and now my dream has come true. I am sure I will impress viewers with my role,” he claimed.

Besides, films, about 30 new albums, CD plays are being released on the occasion of Eid. Noted Pashto folk singers including Karan Khan, Haroon Bacha, Nazia Iqbal, Zafar Iqrar, Aslam Salik, Jawad Hussain Ashraf Gulzar and Naeem Turi will release their albums on Edidul Fitr. Many of them will release their productions online for their fans.

Published in Dawn, June 26th, 2017