LAHORE: “Whatever the past had, it’s gone; the best is always yet to come,” states director Syed Noor. Despite having faced a slump last year due to box office failures coupled with regular bouts of illness, he says there is no looking back as he announced his upcoming films on the occasion of his 61st birthday at the Metropole cinema.
“People keep telling me to stop making Punjabi films,” said Noor, who revealed he has three films in the pipeline for the coming year. “I always say why shouldn’t I make Punjabi films?”
Noor, considered one of the best film-makers in Pakistan, has super-hits like Choorian, Jeeva and Deewane Tere Pyar Ke to his credit. However, with a slump in the overall film industry and the economy in general, the director faced many failures as well. Unswayed by these setbacks, he held on to his determination of keeping the Punjabi cinema alive and continued making films. “We had many problems and failures in the industry. I feel that made me sick in some ways,” said Noor, whose film Dane Pe Dane failed at the box-office in 2011. “After thinking long and hard about the issues the industry faces, I came to the conclusion that it’s important to show the industry in a positive light and until that happens, even good work will be overlooked.”
Shareeka, which will be directed and written by Noor, will star Shaan and Noor’s wife Saima, while Tariq Tafu will be doing the songwriting for the film. The story, which will revolve around six families, will be shot in Punjab. Without sharing too many details, the director said that the film, which he claims is a “fun comedy”, will be relatable to all families in the province. Noor further stated that aside from the two confirmed stars, he also plans to feature some new actors.
Meri Shaadi Karao
Speaking about his other venture, Meri Shaadi Karao, the director confirmed it will include Indian Punjabi Daler Mehndi’s son Gurdeep Singh in the lead role. The film, which is a co-production of Noor and Mehndi, is scheduled to be released in June this year.
Noor is of the opinion that the Indian industry could be a good starting point and one can learn a lot from it. Shot in Dubai, the story will revolve around six characters: three Pakistani and three Indian. Also, the music will be produced by the likes of Arif Lohar amongst some Indian musicians.
The director, however, has received mounting criticism for calling a ban of Indian films, while being involved in a Pak-Indian co-production. “As long as Indian films don’t damage our industry, I’m okay with them,” said Noor. However, he added, “Film exhibitors decide which film to play in their cinema and many refuse to play Pakistani films, which is unfair.”
Price of Honour
Additionally, the director confirmed that the private screenings of the issue-based film Price of Honour have started. The film, which he hopes to release in June, explores the issue of honour killings and violence faced by women in Pakistani society. “The subject of the film is sensitive so we are privately screening it to get a good idea of how people will react,” said Noor.
Popular Punjabi films
Majajan is a Pakistani Punjabi film directed by Syed Noor which was released across theatres in Pakistan in 2006. Majajan is a love story, inspired by the life of Baba Bulleh Shah and his ‘ishq’ with his ‘murshad’.
This is one of the most popular films in the history of Pakistani cinema. It is a Punjabi film starring actor Sultan Rahi in the lead role with Aasia and Mustafa Qureshi as the villain Noori Natt. Maula Jatt is a classic, a film that reached cult status in Pakistan.
Choorian is a Pakistani Punjabi film produced by Chaudhary Shahzad Ali and directed by Syed Noor. It’s a story about a city boy Bakhtu (Moammar Rana) who is in love with his uncle’s daughter Billo (Saima).
SOURCE: forumpakistan.com, imdb.com
Published in The Express Tribune, February 24th, 2012.