For Ashir Azeem, pride is more than just a five-letter word. The actor-director who is preoccupied with the post-production of his debut feature film Maalik recently wrote on a Facebook thread, “I will not go to Bangkok or Dubai or India. I will do everything in Pakistan and prove that we are second to none. I take pride that my film is ‘made in Pakistan’.”
Talking to The Express Tribune, the creator of popular PTV series Dhuwan elaborated upon his strong feelings about nationhood by drawing a parallel to the “Chinese launching rockets into space”. He said, “For me it’s a matter of pride. When the Chinese made rockets, everything, from their programming to the buttons on the pilot’s suit, was made in China.” To him, the Pakistani entertainment industry is a similar avenue which Pakistanis need to take ownership of.
Contrary to popular belief, Azeem clarified that his decision to post-produce the film in Pakistan was not made due to financial constraints. “The cost of colour correction and colour grading is roughly the same whether you get them done from abroad or in Pakistan. This is why I chose to do everything here,” he explained.
10 films we're looking forward to in 2016
He was all praises for the finesse in popular local productions like Jawani Phir Nahi Ani (JPNA), Ho Mann Jahaan and Moor. “Look at all these films. Their colour correction was done over here [in Pakistan] only and all three are at par with any international movie,” he shared.
Currently wrapping up post-production on Maalik, Azeem revealed the official trailer for the film will be out on March 1 while the film will hit theatres on April 8. Azeem had initially planned to have the film’s premiere coincide with Pakistan Day, however, there’s a problem. “Unfortunately, we won’t be able to release the movie on March 23 because then it would coincide with World T20 in India so we had to push the release to April 8,” said Azeem.
The nascent world of Pakistani cinema
A week after Maalik’s release, Shah Rukh Khan’s highly anticipated film, Fan, is expected to grace cinema screens. However, Azeem remains unaffected by any competition the Bollywood release will put up for his film. “I would rather compete with an Indian movie than a local film.”
Most of the post-production for Maalik is taking place at Sharp Image in Karachi, while music composer Sahir Ali Bagga has taken charge of the film’s background score. Expected to feature three songs only, the soundtrack is still in its initial stages of production. Although Azeem is sure that singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan will lend his voice for at least one track, he is still mulling over the possibility of approaching other playback singers. “As of now we know that Rahat [Fateh Ali Khan] will be singing a song. It is possible that he may sing more but that depends on the nature of the tracks.”
Directed by Azeem, Maalik features an ensemble cast including notable television and film actors Farhan Ali Agha, Sajid Hassan, Hassan Niazi, Tatmain Ul Qulb and Adnan Shah Tipu among others. It is being distributed by Footprint Media.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 19th, 2016.
Like Life & Style on Facebook, follow @ETLifeandStyle on Twitter for the latest in fashion, gossip and entertainment.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ