Singer-songwriter Rabi Pirzada is set to make her silver screen debut with the upcoming film Shor Sharaba.
While she may have tried her hands at television hosting and acting, she stayed away from the film industry for a major part of her career. “I belong to a rather conservative family and my parents would have never allowed me to venture into films, given the kind of movies that were being produced until a few years ago,” she told The Express Tribune. Pirzada feels that sort of cinema was “tarnishing the reputation of Pakistan with below-par stories and vulgar content”. “Hence, I kept busy with singing and television,” she added.
However, she spotted a ray of hope when quality films began adorning cinemas screens across Pakistan in recent years. “The new ones were entertainment-centric, had scripts based on lighter topics, and featured new talent, which was a welcome change.”
The Dadi Kuri hit-maker found the right opportunity when producer Sohail Khan offered her a role in Shor Sharaba. Pirzada revealed that the movie is a cross-border collaboration that will be shot at different locations across India and Pakistan. Filming is expected to commence towards the end of March. “With my parents’ permission, I am now ready to work in films … an opportunity for which I am immensely grateful to Sohail. I hope that my performance is one that cine-goers will remember for years to come, and that the movie will be an important milestone in our industry’s road to revival.”
Inspired by the work of veteran Lollywood and Bollywood actors including Madhubala, Rekha, Hema Malini, Babra Sharif, Zeba Bakhtiar and Shabnam, Pirzada hopes the golden era of Pakistani cinema will return. “Our industry should follow the pattern of the 60s and 70s when Lollywood was making headway,” she shared, adding, “We have a good chance of making it happen once again. We’re churning out some quality movies that are making waves across the border. On the other hand, Bollywood is facing issues of vulgarity, item numbers and weak scripting.”
Pirzada said that “there’s a mafia in the industry that creates hurdles” in the way of young, talented and educated individuals. “The fact that our industry actually experienced a boom when the new generation stepped up is proof that there is no room for clichéd stories, vulgarity and the same old faces,” she added. The multitalented artist vowed never to compromise on her values. “I draw inspiration from iconic Lollywood and Bollywood female actors who established an eternal legacy by sticking to their roots and staying committed to quality work for as long as they lived,” said Pirzada.
Pirzada recorded her first single, Dadi Kuri, in 2004, following which she released her debut album, Jadoo, in 2005. The singer is currently busy with launch preparations of her fourth album, Chori Chori.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 17th, 2016.