RAWALPINDI: More than 25 Pakistani films released in 2016. While very few of them were able to hit the right chords and mark up to our expectations, most of them introduced us to new faces who aspire to make it big, as well as contribute to the thriving local film industry. From Janaan’s Bilal Ashraf and Hania Aamir to Dobara Phir Se’s Shaz Khan (who had earlier appeared in Moor but rose to prominence with the Mehreen Jabbar directorial) – if anything at all, 2016 gave us a bunch of newcomers.
Oodles of charm and a powerhouse of talent, Inayat Khan is young, zealous and emotional. After five serials, including a supporting character in Dillagi, Khan has bagged his first feature film, Jackpot opposite Bollywood actor, Reyhna Malhotra. “The makers were looking for a new face that could not only act but dance well too. The director had seen Dillagi and a video of mine on Facebook and that’s when I was offered the character of the very simple, righteous and romantic Sameer,” said Khan.
Aspiring to become Pakistan’s Hrithik Roshan or Shahid Kapoor, Khan promises to offer more to the audience than just his good looks and that is, dance. “I belong to a lower-middle class family. I always wanted to be a performer. I love dancing, I danced on the streets of Karachi or at people’s weddings,” he said.
Khan got his big break when he won an acting contest with television actor, Anum Fayyaz. For now, he is gearing up to shoot the last leg of Jackpot. Featuring Noor Hasan and Sanam Chaudhry in the leads, the ensemble star cast also includes the likes of Javed Sheikh, Sana Fukher, Ismail Tara and Adnan Shah Tipu. Jackpot is set to release in the first half of this year.
Born in Lahore and raised in Islamabad, Mirha Pasha is a student during the day and a diva during the night. After several fashion campaigns, theatre plays and three short films, the actor bagged a role in Imran Malik’s heavy-budget Azaadi, alongside Moammar Rana, Sonya Hussyn, Javed Sheikh and Nadeem Baig.
The film that mainly deals with action, women empowerment and the long-prolonged Kashmir issue is said to awaken your inner patriot. “I was offered the film out of nowhere! The makers had apparently seen one of my theatrical performances and offered me the part,” she said.
“I fell in love with my character. I felt like I was speaking up for all those women out there who are subjected to violence and are simply ashamed of bringing it to anyone’s notice,” Pasha stated, while speaking about her role in the film.
The film that is scheduled to release in the first half of this year will feature tracks by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Quratulain Baloch and Shafqat Amanat Ali. The DOP being none other than Ben Jasper, who shot Katrina Kaif and Hrithik Roshan’s Bang Bang, we can surely expect aesthetic brilliance.
Tall, dark and handsome – we present to you Faris Khalid. “My family was supportive of me exploring various interests in sports, theatre and music,” he claimed. “And since my formative years were spent in Dubai, all my influences have been, and still are very western.”
Khalid worked with the makers of the forthcoming feature film, Chalay Thay Saath, Umer Adil and Beenish Umer on a cooking show back in the day and was approached by them for the role of Faraz, opposite Zhalay Sarhadi.“What actually drew me to the film was the collaborative atmosphere Umer and Beenish established from the start till the end, where everyone’s thoughts and considerations were taken under consideration,” he shared.
Even though Chalay Thay Saath will mark Khalid’s big break in cinema, he has already been a part of the Sanam Saeed starrer Rahm – a cinematic adaptation of Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure set in Lahore.
This fresh-faced starlet has come a long way from winning beauty pageants to starring in films. She started off as a model and journalist in Ukraine went on to win the prestigious, Miss Pakistan World.
“I think the Pakistani film industry has improved a lot in terms of quality and now is the time to contribute to it. I feel honored to be a part of the entire movement,” said Tahir.
She is ready to give other actors a run for their money as she is all set to debut in Pakistani-Canadian film-maker, Sonia Ahmed’s Na Band Na Baraati. “The film is a hysterical rollercoaster ride, yet it shows an ugly reality that many Pakistani women around the world will be able to relate to,” she maintained.
The film features Mikaal Zulfiqar as the male lead, whereas Ali Kazmi will be essaying the role of the antagonist. Debutant, Nayab Khan and veterans, Azra Mohiuddin, Mehmood Akhtar, Atiqa Odho and Qavi Khan will also be seen portraying important roles.
After directing various short films and acting in theatre productions, the Islamabad-based actor made his silver screen debut earlier this year playing Hania Aamir’s soon-to-be on-screen husband in Azfar Jafri and Imran Kazmi’s Janaan.
“Imran and Hareem (the producers) are really good friends and they offered me a part in Janaan,” he said. “The role was really interesting. To me, it’s not a matter of screen-time or whether it’s a lead or a supporting character. It managed to intrigue me and I said yes.”
That said, Usman will now be seen rubbing shoulders with Hareem Farooq and his Janaan co-star, Ali Rehman Khan in IRK Films’ next, Parchi, as one of the three male leads. “I signed Parchi even before Janaan. I read the script and it had me in fits,” he said.
Apart from Parchi, that is slated to go on floors in March, Usman is working on his very own cinematic directorial that will be a rom-com.
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