LAHORE: A festival marking the death anniversary of legendary Lollywood actor Waheed Murad kicked off in Lahore on Friday. Seven of the actor’s super hit films will be screened at Odeon Cinema for seven consecutive days, which will also include his death anniversary on November 23.
Murad’s close friends and family members are invited to attend the screenings along with various celebrities from Lahore’s entertainment sphere.
The screenings were supposed to begin with Naag Muni on Friday evening, while Dil Mera Dharkan Teri, Mastaana Mahi, Parkh, Saheli, Dewar Bhabi and Baharo Phool Bharsao are to follow suit, each film getting three shows daily.
Murad passed away at a young age of 45. After his death, fans established the All Pakistan Waheedi Club which has been observing his death anniversary ever since. This year, the group decided to hold an entire festival as a special tribute to its beloved star.
The Club itself handpicked seven films that will be a part of the festival, after several negotiations with distributors and cinema-owners in the city. Odeon Cinema has also been especially decorated in light of the ongoing event.
“Waheed Murad’s film career is a seminal part of Lollywood’s legacy and therefore we try to remember him on the occasion of his death anniversary every year. This year’s tribute will continue for one whole week,” said Naveed Akhtar, secretary general of the All Pakistan Waheedi Club.
Prior to this year’s festival, Akhtar and his colleagues have held similar events in other parts of Pakistan as well. Earlier they would screen the films based on their popularity but this time around they have only chosen the projects co-starring Rani.
“You see, we want to pay tribute to not just Waheed but also to his super hit pairing with Rani,” explained Akhtar. “Murad and Rani were truly one of the greatest on-screen couples Pakistani films have ever seen. Their work together is still watched and loved by many film enthusiasts.”
Born on October 2, 1938, Murad began his acting career at the age of 21 with a film entitled Saathi. In no time, the actor became the chocolate boy of Pakistani cinema soon after, delivering hits like Armaan, Zameer, Gun Man, Waday Ki Zanjeer, Aahat, Dilruba, Zalzala, Andleeb and Heera Aur Pathar, amongst many others. Murad also worked as a producer and scriptwriter and was awarded the Sitara-e-Imtiaz by the government of Pakistan for his contributions to Lollywood.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 19th, 2016.