LAHORE: Punjabi film-makers based in Lahore have finally decided to take matters into their own hands and kick-start a brand new project after years of inactivity.
With the re-commencement of Punjabi film-making, Lahore was recently played host to a ceremony held at Evernew Studios attended by many familiar faces of the film world. Cast and crew from older Punjabi films made their way to the gathering to extend their support and commitment to the revival of Lollywood.
Shooting for the latest project Paishi Gujjran Di began at the occasion as well and besides the A-listers, members the general public were also present to watch the event unfold.
It is pertinent to mention here that Lahore’s producers and directors have been silent for quite a while due to the long-standing crisis within the film industry. No Punjabi films have seen the light of day for a while now, not even the occasion of Eid.
Long ago, Punjabi films would constantly be running at cinema houses across the country. And although Pakistani cinema has indeed turned over a new leaf in the last five years, the revival process somehow skipped out on Punjabi films. With a fear of failure, producers refrained from taking up any new ventures.
But now, Evernew Studio is currently in the process of being renovated as Paishi Gujjran Di is being shot there. According to the producers, the upcoming film will be completed soon and hopefully bring viewers back to cinema houses.
Famous artists Moammar Rana, Haider Sultan, Shahzadi, Ashi Khan and Shafqat Cheema have all signed on for active roles in Paishi Gujjran Di. Renowned musician Tafu is composing the music for the Saudi Butt directorial while writer Nasir Adeeb has penned the script.
The chairman of the Pakistan Film Distributors Association Chaudhry Ejaz Kamran was the chief guest at the ceremony. “The reality is that 80% of the viewers are love Punjabi films. However, times have changed and thus, the quality of our films will also need to change,” he told The Express Tribune.
The chairman added that Lollywood is ready to start this new journey. “We will do our best for the revival of Punjabi cinema and hope to receive a good response from the public as well as cinema owners.”
Speaking of Paishi Gujjran Di, Kamran shared, “We are producing this film with the use of modern equipment and casting some of the best actors in the industry. We will work on every aspect including the storyline, music and the shooting process.”
Butt believes that Lollywood fans still want to see traditional stories about the Punjabi community. “I am happy to see that Lahore’s producers are ready to invest in Punjabi films. Without the revival of Lollywood, Pakistan cannot establish a strong film industry on the whole.”
Tafu added, “The Punjabi film industry has seen its peak and garnered a lot of fame in the past and soon, we will be back on track.”
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