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Saturday, August 13, 2011

13 August 2011 :::: Showbiz news from Today's NewsPaper ::::

Showbiz news from
 Today's News Paper
13 August 2011











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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ali Zafar has everything going his way

Ali Zafar plays the third character in a love triangle in Mere Brother ki Dulhan. PHOTO: PUBLICITY
The music of much-awaited Yash Raj venture Mere Brother ki Dulhan (MBKD) was released on August 9 with live performances by Katrina Kaif and Imran Khan, according to a press release by Yash Raj Films. Playing the third character in the love triangle in MBKD is Pakistani ‘prince of pop’ Ali Zafar. This is Zafar’s second acting project in B-town and his very first experience working with Yash Raj Films.
Apart from acting, Zafar has also contributed his powerful vocals in a duet, “Madhubala”, with Indian singer Shweta Pandit. The song has been released online and fans can have a listen on YouTube and other social forums. The premiere of the film is expected to be on September 9 and rumour has it that Zafar will be promoting the project along with his co-stars, Imran Khan and Katrina Kaif, in India.  According to Zafar’s publicist, Ammara Hikmat, the three actors will perform live during a promotional event of the movie.
Mere Brother ki Dulhan is a romantic comedy set in the upper-middle stratum of Northern India and has Kush Agnihotri (Imran Khan) looking for an ideal Indian bride for his brother Luv Agnihotri (Ali Zafar) who lives in London.
Zafar plays the role of 30-year-old confused investment banker residing in London. A Casanova at heart, Luv has everything he could ask for, until one day he realises he wants to spend his life with a traditional Indian girl, so he assigns the job of finding a suitable match to his brother Kush.
Kush’s quest comes to end when he finds his brother’s match in Dimple Dixit (Katrina Kaif), and all is going well until Kush ends up falling in love with his brother’s fiance.

E! News (Date:-11 Aug 2011)

E! News (Date:-11 Aug 2011) Daily Updates

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

09 August 2011 :::: Showbiz news from Today's NewsPaper ::::

Showbiz news from
Today's news Paper
09 Aug 2011
Releasing This Eid
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Monday, August 8, 2011

The Sonic Peacemakers: Maestros to unite

Atif Aslam and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan will sing with Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s band members. PHOTO: FILE
Two of the biggest names in the Pakistan music industry; Atif Aslam and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan are set to work together. Joining the duo will be late singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s band members and recordings will start sometime in September at Meekal Hasan’s Digital Fidelity Studio in Lahore.
The partnership comes as part of The Sonic Peacemakers ‘Pakistan America: Peace Through Music’ — a project aimed to bring Americans and Pakistanis closer, support and develop Pakistan’s artistic talent and help Pakistan reach the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goal of 85 per cent literacy by 2015.
According to an update released on Atif Aslam’s official Facebook page: “Lanny Cordola has set up recording sessions at Gilby Clarke’s studio to continue work on the conceptual album The Dreamer Awakes. He will then go back to Pakistan with Todd Shea and Atif Aslam to record with members of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s band and singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan at Meekal Hassan’s studio in Lahore.”
Currently, Aslam is taking a Ramazan break to spend some time with his family after his US tour, during which he performed with Cordola and Shea in July. The artists performed in Washington DC, Los Angeles and Seattle.
The report also revealed that The Sonic Peacemakers is planning to release its first two or three songs by October or November this year.

Afzal Khan: The Pakistani ‘Rambo’

Afzal Khan is currently hosting a morning show with his wife Sahiba. PHOTO: SAJID WASEEM
KARACHI: 
Afzal Khan aka Jan Rambo, primarily a stage actor, got his big break through PTV’s Islamabad production “Guest House” and marked his television debut by playing a sweeper in the popular TV series. The actor got his nickname because of his striking resemblance to Hollywood’s Sylvester Stallone who took on the iconic role of John Rambo,  and the rest as they say is history.
The actor, who’s doing a film project titled Koi Tujh Sa Kahan after six years, talks about television, film, family and more.
How was the experience of playing Rambo in ‘Guest House’?
Theatre teaches an actor a lot. “Guest House” provided me with a chance to shift from theatre to television and eventually to the film industry. I worked hard and after television, it’s every man’s dream to move to films. This was the case for me as well and there was no turning back.
How do you feel about the one-liner ‘Rambo, Rambo, Jan Rambo, the cockroach killer’ becoming a hit?
It’s still a hit. There are certain continuities or repetitive phrases that strike a chord with audiences and remains forever engrained in their mind. Just like it was “Chakku hay merey pas” for Jamshad Ansari in “Uncle Urfi”, it was “Rambo, Rambo, Jan Rambo, the cockroach killer” for me in “Guest House”.
From 15-year-old kids to adults, all are familiar with that line. I am so grateful for this success.
Was it easy to manage fame?
After the third episode of “Guest House”, I would have to hide my identity by wearing a mask while travelling around Islamabad. It was so difficult to handle fame back then.
During that time, Sikhs from India had turned up for their annual festivities at Gurdwara in Hasan Abdal. Even they had seen “Guest House” across the border and during their visit to Pakistan they wanted to meet me in person. So as many as six vans arrived at PTVstation located in Islamabad and these people just wouldn’t go until they met me. That was a great moment of appreciation, however it was amusing when they added that if there were subtitles to the show, it would have helped them understand it better.
You’ve been a part of Lollywood for almost two decades. Have you tried to revive the film industry?
People don’t make family movies. I have always been a family actor. I did play a role in Koi Tujh Sa Kahan on Reema’s request. The television is not promoting Pakistani films and Urdu songs and artists are not being given a promotional platform. I believe that Lollywood can be saved through media and media alone, and we don’t need to look towards India.
How does it feel to be first paired up with Sahiba in films and then being married to her?
I am a very lucky person to have her. She never gave me a reason to complain. I am extremely grateful to God for giving me such an understanding spouse.
What’s next in line?
Currently, Sahiba and I are hosting a morning show on Apna Channel, and then we plan to work on a TV production. There is a lot of demand for it and we are just looking for the right sponsors.

Film review: Slackistan- soft focus

Set in Pakistan a year after the return of democratic rule, the much hyped Slackistan is finally available for all to see!
An independent film directed and produced by Hammad Khan,Slackistan introduces you to the daily lives of Islamabad’s hip, rich, westernised youth. The movie revolves around budding filmmaker Hasan (Shahbaz Shigri), decadent Sheryar (Ali Rehman Khan) and  gallant Saad (Osman Khalid Butt).  They are three out-of-work graduates who spend their days driving around in Sheryar’s father’s Mercedes. Also in the spotlight are Hasan’s pretty neighbour Aisha (Aisha Linnea Akhtar), with whom he shares a romantic history, and a mutual friend Zara (Shahana Khan Khalil).
Hasan, the protagonist, is basically a whiner trying to uncover his true potential. Aisha struggles to tell Hasan about her plans to move overseas and to enter into a permanent relationship with a more career-oriented and responsible man. Other subplots revolve around Sheryar’s efforts to repay a loan to Mani (Khalid Saeed), a corrupt politician’s son, and Zara’s attempts to secure the attention of her wayward boyfriend.
What I like about Slackistan is its unapologetic portrayal of Islamabad’s elite — there is cussing, drinking, partying and even suggested adultery. Most of the young characters are slaves to designer clothing and accessories, and there is a general apathy towards the looming threat of the Taliban.
Slackistan comes as a relief after the more didactic Bol; it delivers its message without resorting to film clich├ęs. The movie avoids obligatory fight scenes and passes up on the ‘boy chases girl to the airport’ ending which comes as a pleasant surprise.
Some of my favourite bits featured Zara — her transformation, her doing away with the layers of make-up she uses and her denouncement of her man-chasing lifestyle, are all lessons told well.
Regrettably, other promising scenes were mucked up by poor editing and woeful performances. One of them is worth mentioning: Hasan, lying on a park bench beside Aisha, remarks how expensive imported perfumes have become. Then, a few underprivileged people are shown shuffling nearby, an ineffective way to portray Hasan’s disconnect with society.
Slackistan’s cinematography seems to show an incongruous love for Hasan. A moment that particularly stands out is when he visits a slum and, having just mingled with the children there, contemplates his life with his back turned towards the boundary wall — one knee bent… designer glasses resting on his nose… a cigarette poised in his lips … he digs deeper into his existence. At this point he looks very much like a Pakistani version of Zoolander.
The overall acting in the movie leaves a lot to be desired; Ali Rehman Khan, having the most important role in the movie, fails to do justice to his character.  The script, co-written by Hammad with his wife Shandana Ayub, is also quite dull.  The character development is weak — the self-indulgent characters show no significant signs of growth.  They float through the boredom of their lives with audiences left to follow suit.
Overall, as noble as Hammad Khan’s efforts to make a character-driven Pakistani film are, Slackistan quite unfortunately, misses the mark.


08 August 2011 :::: Showbiz news from Today's NewsPaper ::::

Showbiz news from
Today's news Paper
08 Aug 2011

Releasing This Eid

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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Clash of the Titans: Two big films to release on Eid


The year is already being declared as the one which will be credited with the revival of Pakistani Film Industry by many. A major reason for this is the huge amount of quality local films which are currently in pipeline to hit cinemas. Furthermore surprisingly almost all of them have the certain ingredients and the potential that is required for a film to be considered successful.
Although the entire year holds a great significance in terms of industry revival but the major contribution is still very much dependent on both the Eid occasions. Festivals such as Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Adha or any other important national or religious holidays means a lot to our film-makers. This is one desperate chance for them to attract maximum audience towards cinemas and achieve a “hit” status for theire films. This is not something new and has been happing since ages and  speaking strategically this has proved to bear fruitful results.
But this year seems to be a rather special one. Films that released this year did not only get immense competition from the other films at box office but also gave the other films a run for their money. The festive occasion of Eid will also see similar happening at box office.
Leaving aside Eid-ul-Adha and focusing more on Eid-ul-Fitr, there are two big local films currently setting up to take cinemas by storm. One of them is the second self-directed flick of  the actor turned director Reema Khan namedLove Mein Ghum, while the other is director Syed Faisal Bukhari’s action packed thriller Bhai Log which nowadays is in its post-production stages in Bangkok
Both the films are expected to give a fierce competition to each other as both of them have so far managed to develope a certain interest in their respective market and people are now also expecting something big out of them. On one side where the marketing of Love Mein Ghum is in its full swing and the movie has created a big buzz in industry, on the other side the makers of Bhai Log are currently keeping it low and according to a report they are  in search of a promotional partner  similar to Lux for Love Mein Gum to give a start to the marketing campaign of their film too.
If  Bhai Log is more popular because of its mega cast and full of action story, then Love Mein Ghum is mainly popular for its production quality, shooting locations and the past score of Reema.
Besides competing with each other let’s now have a look at the possible competition they can face from foreign films.  It has come to our knowledge that local cinema owners are planning to release Salman Khan and Kareena Kapoor starer Indian film Bodyguard on the same day, while English films such as Captain AmericaRise of the planet of ApesConan the Barbarian and Cowboys & Aliens are also expected to join the list of possible competitors of Love Mein Ghum and Bhai Log.
Apart from them, films like BolHarry Potter 7Zindagi Na Milegi Dubara and Ajay Devgan starer action film Singhamare also currently running successfully in cinemas. If these films continue their success at the Box-office till Eid, then they can create more trouble for the two films that are under discussion here.
It would be a wise decision of  the government if they ask for a division of films between cinemas. For instance in Lahore or Karachi one cinema could show Love Mein Ghum and maybe two or three other foreign films along with it, while the other one can go for rest of the films along with Bhai Log. Banning foreign films completely on Eid would be something unfair with the cinema industry and it will only add more depth in already strained relations between film-makers and exhibitors.

Fatima: A story of a modern day ‘Miss Jinnah’

Pakistan does not have many films on historical or even present inspirational figures to boast about. The first in this  category was Jinnah, a film made on the life and struggle of the founding father of Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, thus giving it the status of being the first film ever to be  based on the life of some inspirational figure in Pakistan. Recently a movie by the name of Kaptaan was announced, depicting the life of cricketer turned philanthropist turned politician Imran Khan, making it the second film to join the same league as that of “Jinnah.”
Now presently we are covering another movie, which although cannot be compared directly to the two films mentioned above but still holds some connection to them. The film in discussion is Fatima which is an upcoming film inspired by the personality of  Miss Fatima Jinnah, who in her times along with her brother (Muhammad Ali Jinnah) was there as a constant pillar of support in his struggle. Furthermore she has contributed a lot for the Muslim independence in subcontinent, and now is considered as one of the most respectable personalities in Pakistan’s history.
Initially the rumors suggested that the films was completely based upon the life of Miss Jinnah, but director of the film Sean Ali put an end to all the speculations when in a recent interview to Express Tribune he clearly pointed out that “Fatima Jinnah was in fact an amazing lady but the idea of the film is about her return to this world in 2012. No, Fatima Jinnah will not appear as a supernatural figure. The basic ideas is  how a lady similar to  Ms Jinnah would be portrayed as the modern-day version of the historic figure and she would then come about as an inspiration for the Pakistani women.”
The ten times ‘International film festival’ award winner, ‘Sean Ali’ is the director whereas the film is produced by the US-based Pakistani company ‘Universal dream pictures’. The film stars TV actress and model Sana Humayun in the lead role, whereas Farhan Ali Agha also has a very key role of a criminal lawyer. The rest of the cast includes, Ayesha Riyasat Khan, Areesha (Child Artist), Zainab Haider Ali, Arsalan Javed, Maria Rehman, Hassan Mujtaba, Sardar Hussain, Namra Maqsood, M.Hamid, Mirza Shujat Ali, Tabish Ashraf, Umair Shafi and Zakiullah Khan.
Although the film is to hit cinemas this October but it is already in news thanks to the many controversies surrounding it. First it was the televison actress, host and Fashion designer Nazia Malik who left the project citing dates clash as the reason despite the fact that she was offered the lead role. Then came the rumor that film is nothing but a mere re-make of the recently released  superhit film “Bol” as both the stories revolve around women. Moreover  the scripting of the film “Fatima” began in June when the film Bol had just released, so there is a strong possibility that the film will have a lot in common with the film “Bol”: in terms of story.
But shunning all these rumors and explaining the plot a bit further, the director said, “The film is divided into different eras, starting from the first term of  the former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, then moving to her second term and finally taking us to the time when she returned to Pakistan after her exile.It is after these eras that that Fatima, the lead character, rises as an activist and a political leader form the slums of Karachi after which the local political parties start taking interest in this passionate leader.”
The industry people have always been of the view that new people should come and drive this recession hit industry of film making in Pakistan towards a boom. Therefore it would be interesting to see how this new director Sean Ali will  produce something which will help the industry, and steer it in the right direction.

Bhai Log brings the action back to cinemas

Upcoming Lollywood film Bhai Log is scheduled to be released on Eid. PHOTO: PUBLICITY
LAHORE: 
Since the likes of Maula Jatt — a classic action film starring Sultan Rahi in the lead role — Pakistan has seen a decline of good action films being produced in the country. However, this Eid, Syed Faisal Bukhari’s action thriller Bhai Log aims to change this trend.
Bhai Log revolves around the gangs of Karachi and the prevailing terror situation in the city. The film — which addresses questions of nationhood and perpetual lawlessness which seems to prevail in the city — has an impressive cast comprising Javed Sheikh, Moammar Rana, Babar Ali, Saima Noor, Nadeem Baig and a host of other talented actors.
The film has two trailers which were released last month and show Karachi through unique camera angles and vantage points that are not typically seen in Pakistani films. Bhai Log includes carefully choreographed action sequences and dramatic rivalry between two gangs which have a hold on the governance and administration. The fight scenes between Ali and Rana show an entirely different side of both characters — known for their romantic and comic roles.
Sheikh, who plays the role of a godfather, explains that Bhai Log will prove critics — who are pessimistic about the state of Pakistani films — wrong. “Faisal has shown Karachi in a way that has never been explored before in Pakistani cinema. It has shots which are difficult to capture and that is why there has been a tremendous response to the trailers,” said Sheikh. “People will fall in love with the climactic end through which we’re sending a message that is relevant to the nation today.”
Producing the film was by no means a smooth ride. Due to the difficulty of shooting in key areas of Karachi, Bukhari required security clearance and that meant that many shots had Karachi police in them.
The post-production of the film is being done abroad to ensure that sound and video quality are up to the mark and comparable to most Bollywood action films.
Currently in Bangkok for post-production, the film may have to deal with other constraints related to the business side of the industry. However, Sheikh is hopeful that the production will get a good sponsor which will help it garner box office success. “Hype is quite important but, at the end of the day, viewers are looking for quality content. We will make sure that we do what we can to promote the film so that it is successful and reaches the maximum number of people.”
Meanwhile, Bhai Log’s co-producer Chaudhry Ijaz Kamran explains the dilemma that the production team is facing in trying to convince new cinemas to screen the film. “Newer cinemas are more interested in screening Indian films because of the stigma attached to Pakistani films,” said Kamran. He also rued the fact that the film was being censored by the federal government even though it is now the provincial government’s responsibility.
However, despite the hurdles on the way, he remains optimistic, holding on to the firm belief that the film will be successful due to its quality content and high production standards. “We’re fighting to gain acceptance. But I believe that if the industry provides a new film with international standards, it will work,” said Kamran.