LAHORE: As one of the biggest Pakistani films of 2008, Zille Shah undoubtedly, was a game changer. The Shaan Shahid-directorial not only generated a great buzz amongst audiences but also went on to be nominated for various Lux Style Awards on account of the work done by its cast members.
Now, eight years after its original release, Zille Shah is being screened at the Metropole Cinema in Lahore once again, to remind film enthusiasts of the quality work that was once produced in Lollywood.
In this connection, a ceremony was held at the cinema house on Sunday, which saw various film personalities come together. In attendance was Pakistan Film Distributors’ Association Chairman Chaudhary Ejaz Kamran, film producer Fayyaz Khan, writer Pervez Kaleem and some of its cast and crew members.
Interestingly, the film was not only directed by Shaan but he also starred in it, alongside Saima, Noor Bukhari, Mustafa Qureshi, Shafqat Cheema and Nayyar Ejaz. Produced by Fayyaz and penned by Pervez, Zille Shah is a love story and apparently a follow-up to another Pakistani film Majajan, which was released in 2006.
According to Fayyaz, the film, shot on a budget of Rs20 million, had raked in about Rs31 million at the local box office upon its initial release. “Zille Shah was one of the highlights of my career,” he said. “Of course, I did struggle a lot to get it all done. I personally flew to Mumbai to complete the post-production phase and also ran an advertising campaign on various TV channels and across Lahore. Perhaps that is why Zille Shah did so well.”
The producer also claimed that the film prompted many other local film-makers to imitate his style. “Now, I have decided to re-release it at a time when the industry is steeped in crises, not only for entertainment but also to remind our film-makers of today how good Punjabi projects were made. Zille Shah will be screened for the next two weeks and I am hopeful that even this time it will reap good profits,” Fayyaz added.
“As of right now, when good new films are not available for the public to see, the only way for the industry to survive is by re-releasing old ones that were successful,” stated Kamran. “I think that, in the future, more hit films will be re-released. Granted, Pakistani cinema has been revived but we are still trying to convince Lahore-based producers to come back to the profession.”
Published in The Express Tribune, September 27th, 2016.