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Thursday, December 19, 2013

The UAE on Waar: Technically good, message, not so much

The official Facebook page of Waar has more than 200,000 likes and says the film is inspired by true events.

Since its October 16 release, Waar has earned itself both local and international acclaim. Bilal Lashari’s action-packed offering illustrates Pakistan’s rocky relationship with neighbouring India. The film, which was recently released in the UAE, has emphasised the harsh reality of the ongoing war against terror in the country. Opinions on the movie varied, as relations between Pakistanis and Indians, who live abroad, are quite amicable in most cases.

Pakistani business analyst Zaid Ahmed, 23, who lives in Dubai, said: “The movie is a bit biased against India. But I’m proud of Pakistan for reviving its film industry. I really enjoyed the movie,” according to 7 Days, a UAE-based newspaper.

Conversely, 24 year-old Indian Viraj Mehta, currently residing in Dubai, said: “Movies like this will not be understood by South Asians in the UAE because Pakistanis and Indians grow up here together in a friendly manner.”

Dubai resident Khadija Syed, from Pakistan, said: “It is the best movie Pakistan has ever shot, but movies like this create difficulties in maintaining peace between the countries. Bollywood has also made controversial films about India and Pakistan, but I don’t think it helps to resolve anything.”

The official Facebook page of Waar has more than 200,000 likes and says the film is inspired by true events. Pakistani Dubai resident Farhan Chaudhry commented on the page: “Thanks Bilal Lashari for showing the reality behind some of the terrorist attacks in Pakistan and that the govern¬ment is still reluctant to take the issue to the UN.”

Dubai-based Pakistani expat Farhatus Saba said the relationship depicted between India and Pakistan is saddening. “The governments are to blame. If you look at the Indians and Pakistanis living abroad, they are friendly with each other. I’m happy that the Pakistani film industry is improving, but I also hope the relations between these two countries improve.”

Published in The Express Tribune, December 19th, 2013.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

JALAIBEE Trailer Releasing on 25th December 2013 (Article)

Yasir Jaswal, under the production label, REDRUM Films in association with Jaswal Films and Sarmad Films is directing a first of its kind feature film of Pakistan known as “Jalaibee”.

‘Jalaibee’ is the intertwined stories of numerous relatable characters that are all struggling with their problems and means of dealing with them, and somehow connect on a unifying level.

Written and directed by Yasir Jaswal, the movie boasts a young, star-studded cast that includes the charismatic Adnan Jaffar, energy power-house and RJ Ali Safina, TV superstar Danish Taimoor, theater actor and singing sensation Uzair Jaswal, VJ, model and International heart-throb Wiqar Ali khan, and the gorgeous TV and ramp sensation Zhalay Sarhadi.

The teaser trailer for ‘Jalaibee’ is being released on December 25th, 2013, on the movie’s official Facebook page:

Jalaibee is the first ever Pakistani film to be shot on the state-of-the-art ARRI Alexa HD camera; the same camera that was used to shoot recent blockbusters like Gravity, Skyfall, and Ironman 3.

Jaswal focuses on enticing the audiences with stylized eye-pleasing visuals, powerful sound design, engaging dialogue and great contemporary music. With Yasir Jaswal’s musical background, audiences can expect ‘Jalaibee’ to be accompanied by a brilliant contemporary soundtrack that features about 10 tracks from artists such as Qayyas, Uzair Jaswal and Humaira Arshad to name a few.

‘Jalaibee’ is rumored to release in summer of 2014 and will not only play in all major cinemas across Pakistan but the producers are also in talks with international distributors for a simultaneous international release in the US, UK and UAE.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Syed Noor announces new venture 'Bhai Wanted'

Pakistani film-maker Syed Noor is all set to make his new film Bhai Wanted. Speaking at an event organised by the Karachi Union of Journalists (KUJ) at its office in the Karachi Press Club, he shared that his film will attempt to highlight Pakistan’s beauty and that Karachi is indeed the city of lights. He proclaimed that the film will be shot entirely in Karachi. “The film industry will see its rise again from Karachi [as it did in the past],” he said. 
Noor stated the location for Bhai Wanted has been scouted and that the film’s cast will include renowned senior artistes. The film-maker said his film will feature newcomers as well since he feels that Pakistan is brimming with fresh talent.
Given that Pakistanis are developing an inclination toward local cinema, Noor feels that the film industry is on the edge of resurgence. However, he said the process of revival may take some time due to lack of required facilities.
We wish Noor the best for his upcoming venture!

Bilal Lashari to remake Maula Jatt with Multi-Million Dollar Budget

Bilal Lashari, the director of Pakistan’s highest grossing movie Waar, has finally revealed his next project which is actually a remake of Lollywood’s Classic movie Maula Jatt.
While talking to Express Tribune, Lashari told, “This will be my take on Gandasa films which are blamed for the death of Lollywood. I think the Gandasa genre was a missed opportunity for Pakistani cinema, and what better choice to utilise it then by paying homage to the cult classic Maula Jatt.”
According to the director, the new version of Maula Jatt has already been in its pre production phase for last seven months. Surprisingly, the remake of Maula Jatt is also having a budget of millions of dollars which will ensure the production is high notch and as good as his previous movie Waar. Furthermore, he told that the film will be co-produced by an American production house, the name of which can’t be revealed right now.
Expressing his vision of the new project, Lashari said, “My version of Maula Jatt will be a visual epic, with less dialogue and many captivating moments. It will be a dark but stylised take on Pakistan’s original film genre.”
The remake of Maula Jatt will be made in Punjabi language and the rights for the same have already been acquired. Currently, Bilal Lashari is looking for fresh faces and actors from Pakistan while the option of having some Bollywood stars is also on the table.
We wish him best of luck for his new venture and even though it looks riskier but we have complete faith on the capabilities of this talented director.
Way to go Bilal! Make us proud once again

Monday, December 9, 2013

Ali Zafar in ‘Golmaal 4′, along with Ajay Devgn and Kareena Kapoor

Pakistani actor and singer Ali Zafar is casted in the Rohit Shetty’s movie ‘Golmaal 4′. It is a sequel of 2010 blockbuster film ‘Golmaal 3′.
Ali Zafar will be playing the role alongside Ajay Devgan, Arshad Warsi, Kunal Khemu, Shreyas Talpade and Tushar Kapoor. He has also appeared in Bollywood movies ‘Tere Bin Laden’, ‘Mere Brother Ki Dulhan’, ‘London, Paris, New York’ and ‘Chashme Baddoor’. Currently he is working on a movie ‘Total Siyappa’ which is set to release in 2014.
Kareena Kapoor is also predicted to be playing the leading role in Golmaal 4

Friday, December 6, 2013

10 years on: An ‘Aadat’ that changed the course of pop music in Pakistan

Has it really been 10 years since Aadat was released? This is the general reaction of the generation that was growing up during the Indus Music (IM) era of Pakistani music. It really is surprising, because apart from being a defining moment in the history of Pakistani pop music, Aadat is still relevant, which is shocking, given that a decade has passed since it first hit the airwaves.
It was December 2003 when two novice musicians named Atif Aslam and Goher Mumtaz released Aadat as the duo Jal, a track which not only became the biggest hit of the decade but also gave us the biggest controversy of modern day Pakistani music.
The Express Tribune spoke to established Pakistani musicians and Atif Aslam himself regarding why this song became such a sensation and about the impact it left on our music industry. Goher Mumtaz, who is now the font man of Jal, refused to give a comment, despite repeated attempts to contact him.
Asad Ahmed, one of the leading guitar players in Pakistan, was perhaps one of the very few people who listened to Aadat before its official release. “I remember Atif and Goher had come to get my feedback on the song through a common acquaintance and they were clueless about music in general and what they had created,” recalls Ahmed.
“We still make fun of our first meeting whenever we interact,” he chuckles, “To be frank, I thought Atif’s voice was great and the song was simple yet catchy, but never knew that it would become such a huge hit. But then, all the game changers of Pakistani pop music have been very simple [compositions]  — be it Dil Dil PakistanDekha Na tha by Alamgir orAadat for that matter”
The sheer scale of Aadat’s success was unfathomable, even for Atif Aslam. He had realized that the song was gaining popularity after it first aired, but it did not sink in fully until a friend called him from Karachi to tell an interesting story.
“I was still aloof about what had just started” recalls Atif. “ Then, one evening , a few months after  the release, I got a call from a friend in Karachi  who excitedly told me that he’d gone shopping at a mall where he saw some college kids sitting outside playing a guitar and singing. When he got closer, he realized they were singing Aadat. That was the first time I realized that this song was going to be something very special for the Pakistani youth.”
Faisal Rafi, a music producer who has worked with acts such as Strings, Karavan and Kaavish to name a few, believes that while Aadat didn’t necessarily offer something new, it did open many other doors for Pakistani musicians.
“I think the most important contribution of Aadat to the local music scene was the fact that it was the first Pop/Rock song to go to go to Bollywood, and opened avenues for every other band/artist [across the border]. We already had the likes of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan going there, but not a young Pop act per say,” says Rafi.
Aslam thoroughly agrees with Rafi’s point regarding Aadat and states that it was a song from where it all began, for him.
Aadat was where it began for me. It changed my life, its success strengthened my faith and lead me to record my first album, which in turn resulted in my going to India to pursue a career in playback; none of which would have been possible without Aadat,” says Aslam.
For guitar virtuoso Faraz Anwar, it was the very simple chord progression, one minor chord and two major chords, that he feels not only made people listen to the song but also pick up a guitar to play it, which he believes was the real reason for its popularity.
“It certainly didn’t offer anything new. The chord progression was generic, and Atif’s style of singing was very much inspired by Ali Azmat. It was this combination that really worked for the audience,” says Anwar.
However, what irks Anwar about the Aadat phenomenon is the fact that the song gave the music industry a formula to follow, and musically Jal wasn’t necessarily a very great example.
“Bands like Jal, who come into the mainstream after a few months of jamming, have always existed. It’s their short-cut to success that gives them so many followers. But at the end of the day there is a fine line between artists and entertainers, and it’s not one that everyone can tread.”
Faizan-ul-haque, former VJ on Indus Music [IM] has an interesting take on Aadat.
“Critically speaking, Aadat was not the best song of its time, but it is one that the young public connected with the most,” says Haque.
“It turned Atif, who was hardly a Shafqat on melodies or an Ali Noor or Ali Azmat in terms of image, into an icon. Today, he is the most hardworking of all Pakistani pop singers and looking back now, Aadat seems to be nothing short of genesis.”
Aslam, on the other hand, realizes his naivety during his Aadat days and considers the experience one that made him more humble about his music.
“We thought we knew everything, but we were wrong. Such is the joy of teenage hubris. I’ve grown up since then, Aadat and Jal were over a decade ago,” Aslam concludes.
While Aslam may have moved on, it is undeniable that Aadat had a long reaching effect, one that is still making waves in the industry today.

Pakistan Film Magazine: Inside the largest online database of Pakistani films

Mahzar Iqbal is not one to talk about himself, but his personal endeavour has turned into the most thorough archive of Pakistan’s cinematic history. Iqbal’s website, the Pakistan Film Magazine, is the largest online database for Pakistani films to date.

“When I began to surf the internet in the late 90s, my searches on Pakistani movies, actors and music failed to provide any results. Even searching for Heer Ranja gave results of Indians movies only,” says Iqbal, who has lived in Denmark for most of his life.
“I’ve seen movies from around the globe. No doubt they are both technically advanced and professionally made, but our movies are the best entertainment for any average Pakistani like myself.”

The Pakistan Film Magazine is part of, which Iqbal launched in 1999 as a hobby to document Pakistan’s history and culture. His own interest in cinema has been inherent since he was a child. The website, which has been functioning for over a decade, has information on more than 4,000 movies, 4,500 artistes and 6,500 songs, with complete movies for online viewing as well.

“I still remember many songs from Radio Pakistan Lahore’s very popular programme Aap Ki Farmaish, with additional information such as film, singers, poets and music director’s names. I also remember many movies, trailers and songs on black & white TV. I will never forget my first cinema experience at the age of just seven, in 1969,” says Iqbal.

A young film enthusiast, his grandfather would give him pocket money to buy film editions of Jang, Mashriq, Imrooz, Musawwat and collect weekly film magazines such as Musawar, Tasawur, Tasvir, Mumtaz, Screen Light and later, Nigar. By the time he migrated to Denmark in the 1980s, he had a vast collection of Pakistani films and had collected a large amount of information on local cinema.

His passion for cinema inspired a larger endeavour; to make a publicly accessible online archive for Pakistani film. After the relative success of his news-portal, he made a separate website for Pakistan Film Magazine in May 2000. The first content was a review of iconic Punjabi film Heer Ranja, with complete film details such as cast credit, music information and unique images from the film which he took from his digital camera.

“I have a very strong point-of-view on movie making in Pakistan. I believe that we should make more local movies with small budgets; it will increase the interest in local cinema. We should also change the main theme of our movies, since the most popular subject is our social and cultural problems,” says Iqbal.

“Personally, I hate actions movies, but I know that these movies are more appealing to the public. Female cinema-goers prefer romantic and musical movies, and the golden era of the 1950s-70s, consisted widely of these types of movies.”

After taking initial steps to increase on his website, Iqbal published a complete chronicle of film history dating back to 1948. His source of information was the Urdu film directories, compiled by renowned film journalist Yasin Gojra. Famous journalist and writer Aqeel Abbas Jafri helped him make corrections of dates related to artistes and films.

As the site expanded, Iqbal was faced with an issue of technical expertise, in which he had to publish information page by page, making it necessary to develop web design skills. He had heard about online database technology and soon enrolled at Copenhagen University in 2011, where he obtained degrees in both web development and design.

He used this newfound expertise to develop a complete database which streamlined his archiving process. This year, the reworked website was completed and uploaded a database of 3000 films from the pre-partition era, marking the celebration of 100 years of cinema.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Ali Zafar’s Item Song In Tere Bin Laden 2

Almost a month earlier, we reported that Manish Paul will be playing the lead in Tere Bin Laden 2 and now Ali Zafar, who debuted in the prequel, plans to be an integral part of this upcoming installment too.
The actor who shares an emotional attachment with this movie will be composing and singing an item number for the film. However, the details of his song are being kept under wraps as Ali claimed that even if the title of the song is revealed, it will give away the plot of the film. But the actor is sure that this fully entertaining item number will win over hearts of many.

“The System” vouches to create a lasting impact

With the overwhelming success of “Main hoon Shahid Afridi” and “Waar”, Pakistani film makers are keen to invest heavy amount of money in film making. “The System” is an example of their attempts to revive Pakistani cinema.
The system is a combined venture of LEOS Productions, green Chilli Entertainment & Prime Films. It is an action drama film starring Shehraz, Nadeem Baig, Kashaf Ali, Irfan Kosart, Saima Saleem, Nayyar Ejaz, Saira, Shafqat Cheema, Saleem Shah, Rabia Tabassum and Mariyam Ali Hussain in lead roles.
It is directed by a Norway based director, Shahzad Ghufoor. The lyrics are penned by Bollywood lyricist, Irfan Siddiqui and music is composed by Indian music director, Shailesh Suwarna. The songs are sung by famous singers including Javed A who’s known for chart buster songs like “Guzarish” and “Tu hi haqeeqat”.
“Our country’s film industry was on its way down. Last year when I visited, I came across a script which I liked and I thought why wait until times improve. We should start now”, said Shahzad in a statement. Previously, Bol and Khuda kay liye highlighted religious orthodoxy. “The System” is based on injustice and corruption which has become a part of our country’s system. Shafqat Cheema, describing his character said “I am playing the role of a Station House Officer [SHO] who has a strong hold on the whole system. And through this control, he changes the system.”
It is shot both in Norway and Pakistan. “The system” team released a poster online which received a positive response from fans. Through the poster, a clear social message is highlighted, “I can not follow the system this system has to follow me”. The first look teaser is expected to be released at the end of this week and the theatrical trailer to follow. Movie is slated to be released in the spring of 2014.
Pakistani cinema is going global with movies like The system and Waar (Which will be released in UAE and UK soon). With such movies, Pakistani movie fans are optimistic that Pakistani cinema will start to flourish once again

Monday, December 2, 2013

WAAR on December 12th! in UAE

The Wait is Over WAAR is going to release 
on December 12th! in UAE (Grand Cinemas)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Season Of Dubbed Urdu Dramas Continues Across Arab World With "Malaal"

The dubbed Television series industry took a historic leap across the Arab world when Pakistan’s mega hit drama Humsafar (Rafeeq Al Rooh رفيق الروح) began telecasting on the popular MBC network last October. This drama captured the attention and imagination of audiences across the Arab world, making Fawad Afzal Khan and Mahira Khan popular names in Arab households. Don’t miss our earlier report here.
Now with Humsafar nearing its climax, MBC has announced another Pakistani Urdu serial that is ready to take the slot once Humsafar Rafeeq Al Rooh airs its last episode. This time it will be Malaal.
Malaal (Urdu: ملال – Arabic: حب وندم‎) is a Pakistani drama series which premiered on Hum TV on October 9, 2009. The series was written by Umera Ahmed and directed by critically acclaimed director Mehreen Jabbar.
The cast includes Faisal Rehman, Sarwat Gilani, Deepti Gupta, Imran Abbas Naqvi and Tania Kazi. Malaal (Arabic: حب وندم) was shot mostly in New York, USA and was produced by Momina Duraid for Moomal Productions.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Usman Mukhtar experiments with new-age film-making

Time and again, people are confronted with choices, but it seems Usman Mukhtar has made a firm decision. Despite being an actor, Mukhtar has followed the director’s path with two feature films already in the making. “I just want to focus on directing,” he remarks. But more than that, the talented director has been garnering quite a lot of attention for his short film, Waking Dead
Essentially a zombie-comedy, the film’s title song by Natasha Ejaz released this week. “I have known Natasha [for a long time] so I showed her the footage. I asked her if she wanted to try something different, maybe sing a rap song with some techno music in the background,” he says. Mukhtar envisioned the soundtrack to be fun and perky, and so the techno-track was born. The video, which shows two zombies freestyling to techno rap, appears similar to Tom Cruise’s dance sequence in Tropic Thunder.
Even though the song was completely different from what she has done before, Ejaz, too, is positive about Mukhtar’s creativity. “If you have heard my music before, it’s a huge leap. I am not really a rapper and have not played techno, but when I looked at the story, it was comedic and I can relate to that,” says Ejaz, adding that the song is about a girl who falls in love with a zombie. “We already have a lot of hard-hitting films being made but then there is this, which is fun and sort of detached from reality,” she adds. She has collaborated with composer Shaheer Shahid for the song and it took them three months to complete it.
Waking Dead has already been making waves for its peculiar genre. It has been submitted for international film festivals including the Dubai International Film Festival, Gulf Film Festival and Abu Dhabi Film Festival. But the idea for the movie came rather accidentally and with minimum planning.
Mukhtar was holidaying in Dubai last year when he found out that make-up artist Nouf al Jhadhami was in town. He then wondered whether he could tap into Jhadhami’s talent to make a zombie film. “Normally, in Pakistan we don’t find talented prosthetic make-up artists. So I thought I would work on something and edit it when I go home. Even then, we were doing this for free and there was no budget,” asserts Mukhtar. Like his little-known, independent film Black Coffee, which he had made essentially for himself but later released online, this film was also not intended to be big by any means.
However, as the work progressed the project began to grow. Within three-days, he had hours of footage and found a decent cast which starred UAE-based actors Nitin Mirani, Nadia Williams and Nidhi Jha. Working with limited shooting space, due to legal requirements, he utilised the basement garage of a PR agency and his sister’s apartment in Dubai. “When you are in Dubai, you need permission to shoot anywhere so it limited my options, but we worked through it,” says Mukhtar. He began work on the edit only two months ago. With a score by the talented Abbas Ali Khan, the dialogues are in both English and Urdu.
Meanwhile, Mukhtar has also signed on to direct Anwar Maqsood’s script, Mein Tou Dekhun Ga, which he says is very different from his popular plays on August 14. “The story is about child beggars on the street so it will be completely different. Right now we are in the initial phase so we don’t have an idea of the location, where it will be shot,” says Mukhtar. “There is also another project, which is in the pre-production phase. We are hoping that will be done for 2016, and will have a big budget,” he adds.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 15th, 2013.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Fawad Khan to star opposite Sonam Kapoor in Bollywood Remake of "Khubsoorat"

Fawad Khan’s performance as the handsome and brooding Ashar in TV show Humsafarmade him not just a national heartthrob but  also seems to have got him attention across the border. Like others before him, Fawad is now headed to Bollywood!
The actor will be seen in a lead role opposite Sonam Kapoor in the Hindi re-make of 1980s Hrishikesh Mukherjee film Khubsoorat.
The film tells the breezy tale of an extrovert – a feisty girl (played by Sonam) who brings about changes in the regimented atmosphere of a household controlled firmly by its overbearing matriarch, according to
While Sonam plays the motor-mouth, Fawad will expectedly play the bachelor who falls for her. We cannot wait to see the on-screen chemistry between these absolutely gorgeous people!
Rumour has it that Alia Bhatt was chosen to play the female lead but has now been replaced by Sonam, according to Oye! Times.
The shooting of Khubsoorat has already begun in Rajasthan. The film is being directed by Shashanka Ghosh and produced by Sonam’s father Anil Kapoor.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Waar's Indian release hangs in the balance

KARACHI: In India, curiosity about Waar has doubled since Ram Gopal Varma’s adulatory tweets. If it wasn’t enough that the film’s bad guys are RAW agents unleashing terror attacks on Pakistan, RGV’s public admiration – “Indian film-makers should get off our assumed high horses and look at Pakistani films seriously” – definitely got our friends across the border intrigued.
As frantic journalists, film critics and cinema lovers press their Pakistani counterparts to send over DVDs, Bilal Lashari addresses speculations surrounding his film’s release in India.

Bhai Jan waar ka DVD le Kar aana ( pirated bhi chalega ) mein paharganj se pick up kar lunga aapko aapka rab ka wasta bhool mat Jana :):)

Finally watched Brilliant production. Too much English and skin for a local movie

@Qwintessentwit I wanna see Waar - @jehan_ara get me a DVD when you come in Feb - I am chairing the NASSCOM ILF event this year by the way !
“I have not approached anyone specifically for distribution in India, but I cannot give any more details on that for now,” Lashari tells The Express Tribune. Given the theme of the film and the perception that ‘Waar shows India as cause of nation’s problems’, the director says, “I have no idea how people will react, but it would be great if it ends up being screened. A lot of people are saying it’s never going to happen.”
Bollywood films depicting military or intelligence agents from Pakistan – such as Ek Tha Tiger and Agent Vinod – have traditionally not passed the local censor board filters. Lashari feels Waar could meet a similar fate. “I would love to show the film as it is,” he says. “I think it would get a very interesting reaction. I am curious to know how people will react to it – I don’t think they should react badly.”
The director remains adamant in his refusal to remove scenes. “I won’t be cutting out any scenes because I can’t think of a way around it,” he says. “I think we have been very subtle,” he says, referring to the portrayal of RAW agents Ramal and Laxmi, who mastermind major terror plots in Waar. “We will probably take out some words. The censor board is yet to see the film. They will watch the unedited version and propose edits. We will amend it accordingly as there is no harm in toning it down for that one market.”
Seriously, though – why Indian agents?
Lashari hints that the inclusion of Indian agents in the storyline made the story more “interesting”. “It could have been any other [villain]. But the specific Indian element made it more interesting,” he admits. “I knew people would be intrigued but never thought it would be taken as seriously as it has.”
While he is aware that it has irked those across the border, he relates an incident at a bookstore, where a group of people approached him with compliments. “They were really happy. One of them said ‘Finally humari taraf se bhi jawab gaya’,” he said, referring to Bollywood’s negative portrayal of Pakistan’s institutions.
“It’s not the reaction I was expecting, but at the same time a part of me thinks there is no harm. They make films like these too, so here is the first from our end. If people are enjoying Waar as a rebuttal, then that’s okay too.
Given the tense relations between India and Pakistan and recent skirmishes on the LoC, the director is aware that the message of Waar may not be warmly welcomed by Indian audiences. “The question is whether they will take it as being just a film. People need to realise this is entertainment – not a documentary. The film is not against the people of India,” he says.
“The tricky part is the notion of so-called ISPR involvement in the film. If that’s the perception India wants to maintain, then it can be taken as more than just a film,” he continues, adding, “I’ve given up trying to convince people that there is no ISPR involvement in the script or characters. But that would make things boring wouldn’t it?”
When asked how he feels about Varma watching a pirated DVD of Waar, Lashari laughs. “I don’t feel so great about it. We are working on an international release so pirated DVDs obviously don’t help. But I did ask him if it was a good pirated version,” he laughs. “I don’t want people watching a sh***y version.”
He adds that he called RGV himself. “I was sick of people telling me about the tweets so I thought I would get in touch and make sure it is him,” he shares. “Turns out it was. We had a really good conversation for 15 to 20 minutes. I wanted to accuse him of hijacking my life!”
As unlikely as it may seem, Lashari hopes to see his film release in India. “If it does get screened, the release in India will be limited. It will not be a mainstream release

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Pakistani director Bilal Lashari hopes to bring 'Waar' in India' (Bollywood Hungama Article)

A section of media may have termed his film as anti-India. However,31 year old debutant director Bilal Lashari believes that a lot is being read between the lines without much ado. Though he confesses that there is a subtle hint of select Indian characters causing trouble in Pakistan, Bilal re-emphasises that his is not a propaganda film and has to be looked as a 'high quality' entertainer.

"Even I was amazed when I came across an entire 15 minute long video feature that insinuated that Waar was anti-India. That is not the case. It is a patriotic film and that's about it. As a matter of fact a few amongst those who have seen the film wondered why the Indian angle was so subtle. They felt that I should have been a lot more vocal. However that's not the way I wanted to narrate the story of Waar. If you run an agenda like this for a film, it won't necessarily form connect with the audience. There is a lot more that needs to go in a story than throw in pointers that are provocative," says Bilal from Pakistan. 

Though the promo of Waar never once calls out India as the 'dushmanmulk', the fact that Indian intelligence RAW features prominently in Bilal's film has made a few suspicious around the eventual content. Ironically, the film has been released only in Pakistan so far and hence the only possible source of anyone forming an opinion of any sorts was via pirated copies or online download of illegal software. 

"We are now looking at the film being released internationally so that it reached out to a larger set of audience and its true worth is seen," says Bilal whose film is enjoying an IMDB rating of over 9 and after beating the opening day record of Chennai Express, is also the highest Pakistani film grosser ever. 

When questioned about the probability of film making it to the Indian theatres despite its volatile content, Bilal says, "I am hopeful that happens. I don't see any reason why that should be a problem. We are in talks with distributors internationally." 

It is also expected though that Waar may be chopped heavily, if at all it makes it to India, with Censors coming tough on it. 

Bilal continues in a soft spoken tone, "As I said earlier, the film has a lot to tell on it's own than focus on any agenda or propaganda. I am willing to make adjustments to the copy that reaches India." 

Considering the fact that at least two Pakistani films in last few years, Bol and Khuda Kay Liye, have made a terrific impact with Indian audience, Waar could well be a welcome addition.

Exclusive First Look of Danish Taimoor's "JALAIBEE"

Redrum Films in association with Sarmad Films & Jaswal Films 
Presenting "JALAIBEE"

New feature film "Jalaibee" under production in Islamabad.

Starring: Danish Taimoor, Ali Safina, Uzair Jaswal, Zahlay Sarhadi, Waqar Ali Khan and many more!

 Zahlay will be seen in very bold avatar
Jalaibee Coming Soon

Monday, November 4, 2013

19 days of Waar means a business of 25 crore (gross).

Waar has been on a record breaking spree ever since it hit cinemas.  First  ”All records were shattered as Waar collected 1.8 crore on the first day.”
Then “Waar packed a punch and collected 13 crore (gross) in its first week.” Now it has been 19 days since Waar released and it has raked in 25 crore ( gross) and 16.6 crore (net). If this is not huge then I dont know what is.
Here is the day wise breakup. Also check out my post “ 8 Reasons you should get yourself a Waar ticket right away.

1st day  ( Wednesday) :  1.15 cr (net)
2nd day (Thursday):       1.51 cr(net)
3rd day  (Friday):            1.46 cr (net)
4th day ( Saturday):       1.53 cr (net)
5th day ( Sunday):         1.36 cr (net)
6th day (Monday):         0.66cr (net)
7th day(Tuesday):         0.63cr (net)
8th day( Wednesday):   0.56 cr (net)
9th day(Thursday):        0.59cr (net)
1st Week=                    9.45 crore (net)
10th day (Friday):        0.71 cr (net)
11th day ( Saturday):  1.11 cr (net)
12th day (Sunday):     1.08 cr (net)
13th day (Monday):     0.55cr (net)
14th day(Tuesday):     0.49cr (net)
15th day( Wednesday: 0.50 cr (net)
16th day(Thursday):    0.47cr(net)
2nd week =               4.91 crore (net)
Total (Week 1+2)= 14.36 crore(net)
17th day (Friday):  0.44cr (net)
18th day ( Saturday):  0.91 cr (net)
19th day (Sunday): 0.85cr(net) * approximately
Total : 19 Days   16.6 crore* approximately

8 Reasons you should get yourself a Waar ticket right away.

You don’t want to miss all this:- ( In no particular order)
1. This dance sequence between Shamoon Abbasi and Meesha Shafi.

I mean can’t you feel all the intensity and the passion.
 2. This fight sequence between Shaan and Shamoon Abassi is one of the highlights of the film.

Specially when Shaan goes all Kung Fu
3. Sorry but Kamran Lashari’s accent has to be on the list. I mean the film was in Engish and everyone stuck to their Pakistani accents (except for Ayesha of course) but Mr Lashari here had an accent you just have to experience.
 4. This motivational speech by Hamza Abbasi and the scene that follows is amongst the best scenes in the film. Gives you goosebumps.

 Plus this scene brought back some Game of Thrones memories back too. Close enough?
 5. The Urdu subtitles are just too good. Did you know that “full of shit ” means ” tum andar say khokhlay ho”? Some translations are just too good.
6. The killer cinematography, the camera work. The film is a visual treat. Look at all these stills from the movie.

 7. Personally I am a fan of violence, explosions and gore and this film is full of it and the reason it’s on this list is that  the quality of all these scenes is worth noting. I mean Pakistan has never really been know for its  graphics and all. But Waar is sure to change that!

 8. All in all this film is full of talented people. From the actors to the incredible director Bilal Lashari (who also makes a blink and you’ll miss temperance). We should all go see this film and support Pakistani cinema!