Legendary director Iqbal Kashmiri passes away

Lollywood mourns loss of the director responsible for introducing the likes of Sultan Rahi and Munnawar Zarif

Adnan Lodhi November 16, 2020


Legendary Lollywood film director Iqbal Kashmiri passed away on Sunday after a prolonged illness. Kashmiri had been hospitalized in Lahore for more than a week due to renal complications. He was 78.

Born in Lahore in1942, Kashmiri’s father Karim Bakhsh used to run a small hotel near Delhi Darwaza. Since an early age, Kashmiri expressed fondness for the film medium, with there being tales of him doing make-up of his friends and directing them for fun.

In 1954 he made his debut as an extra in the film Deewar. Following Deewar, Kashmiri was offered a role in Yaky Wali, while he continued to assistant various leading names of the industry. Showcasing his creative prowess, Kashmiri also displayed his fondness for writing at an early age with short stories such as Ishq na Pushy Zaat and Wair Pyar Da.

He made his debut as a director in 1970 with the film Taxi Driver, that went on to become a commercial success and cemented actor Yousaf Khan as a star. Following its success, Kashmiri went on to direct Babal (1971) and Banarsi (1973), both whom had record breaking numbers. Through his career that spanned several decades, Kashmiri delivered a total of 84 films, in Urdu, Punjabi and Pashto.

Lollywood mourns

Upon hearing the news of Kashmiri’s death, veterans of the Lollywood expressed condolences to the family while also praising the late director’s lasting legacy. "Iqbal Kashmiri is a golden name of Lollywood and we are proud that such figures graced our industry. He brought a number of new and brave techniques to Lollywood,” senior film producer Choudhry Ejaz Kamran told The Express Tribune.

Expressing the same sentiments, notable actor Ashi Khan described Kashmiri as an “asset” of the industry, deeming his services unparalleled. “Iqbal Kashmiri was an asset for our industry. He is solely responsible for launching the careers of legendary actors such as Sultan Rahi, Munawar Zareef, Yosuf Khan and many more. Iqbal Kashmiri played a crucial role in polishing their talents,” Khan said.

Kashmiri’s contemporary, director Altaf Hussain praised the former’s resolve, noting that the late film-maker was never shy of working hard. “Iqbal Kashmiri through the course of his careers witnessed many ups and downs. But nothing stopped him from striving for the better. We are proud of him and will never forget his contributions to local cinema,” Hussain said.

Among his other notable films are Zidi, Sharif Badmash, Hum Aik hain, Bhabi Diyan Churiyan, Mukhara, Jo dur gya woh mur gya, Muqadar Ka Sakabder, Dulhan, Sarfrosh and Ghar kab aou gy.

Kashmiri is survived by two sons and four daughters.

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