Wiam Dahmani’s Lollywood adventure

Published: June 15, 2012
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International star Wiam Ammar Dahmani on her Lollywood debut in Shahzad Rafique’s Ishq Khuda. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

International star Wiam Ammar Dahmani on her Lollywood debut in Shahzad Rafique’s Ishq Khuda. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

International star Wiam Ammar Dahmani on her Lollywood debut in Shahzad Rafique’s Ishq Khuda. PHOTO: PUBLICITY International star Wiam Ammar Dahmani on her Lollywood debut in Shahzad Rafique’s Ishq Khuda. PHOTO: PUBLICITY
International star Wiam Ammar Dahmani on her Lollywood debut in Shahzad Rafique’s Ishq Khuda. PHOTO: PUBLICITY
LAHORE: 

If you have never heard of film-maker Shahzad Rafique, watch Mohabbatan Sachiyan and Salakhain; you’ll realise soon enough that he has a knack for thinking out of the box. For his upcoming film, Ishq Khuda, he has put yet another experiment to the test; instead of casting your regular Lollywood beauty, he has introduced a fresh face to an industry that desperately needs some love.

His experiment is the glamourous Wiam Ammar Dahmani, a Moroccan artist who lives in Dubai and can act, sing and dance up a storm. A graduate of the New York Film Institute in Dubai, Dahmani will now be making her Lollywood debut with Rafique’s latest directorial venture, which is scheduled for global release this Eid.

“A life without risk is no life at all,” a cheerful Dahmani tells The Express Tribune, when asked what prompted her to foray into this field. “Think about it; I am working with the Shahrukh Khan of Pakistan (Shaan) and this film will be distributed around the world.”

Multitalented is the order of the day

Dahmani may be just 24, but she has a sense of exuberance that is essential for any artist. Not only has she carved a niche for herself as a pop singer, Dahmani has also worked as a TV host for the show “100 % Bollywood” on Zee Aflam, where she got a chance to interview and connect with leading Bollywood stars.

“Acting is a lot easier than, say, singing; where the voice is the only way of performing,” says Dahmani, who has a mature and professional air about her. “In acting, I can use expressions and get the message across,” she adds. Dahmani’s first breakthrough as a singer came with the single “Ahlan Wa Sahlan”, a huge hit in the UAE. As far as her singing career is concerned, Dahmani is currently working on a yet-untitled, 14-track album, which will include collaborations with singers in Pakistan and India

Sneak peek into the sets

By replacing actor Zara Sheikh, Dahamani will be playing the lead role in Ishq Khuda. Her character is caught in the middle of a love triangle, where she plays a girl in love with actor Ahsan Khan as Shaan chases after her. Meera, on the other hand, will be playing her good friend in the film.

“I learned a lot from Meera and Shaan,” says Dhamani, when asked how her experience with these Lollywood bigwigs has been. “I learned it was important to be on time and be prepared for the shoot. Contrary to popular perceptions, people in this industry are actually very professional. Everything about Pakistan is completely different from what the media portrays.”

But the picture wasn’t all rosy for Dahmani, who also had to combat the language barrier. “To play a Punjabi character wasn’t easy. Punjabi is definitely beautiful, but it’s an exceptionally complex and confusing language,” she said. She recalls that Rafique and the cast used to meet before the scenes to help her understand how to deliver lines.

“Once you learn the meaning of some of the words, it becomes a little easier and from there on, you can understand how to deliver the lines.”

One can only hope that this Rafique-Dahmani experiment is successful; who knows, it may be what the local film industry needs to come back to life.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 16th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (9)

  • Oopsie!
    Jun 16, 2012 - 1:48AM

    Welcome to Pakistan! Thank you for being part of a reviving film industry. We appreciate your efforts and all involved.

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  • Hussain
    Jun 16, 2012 - 2:04PM

    Now thats what I call awesomness…congrats Shehzad Rafique !

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  • Shahrukh kazmi
    Jun 16, 2012 - 2:40PM

    What a big mistake, at least she should’ve done a bit research on the director.

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  • Ordinary Villager
    Jun 16, 2012 - 3:05PM

    Pakistani Movie directors dont understand one thing that it is not the face value that does wonders but in actual it is a storyline that matters the most. Our movies are not family movies anymore. We are pathetic in visual effects and most of all all of our movies whirl around only one subject of Larka Larki and nothing else. So I hope in future our movies will improve in story and visual appeal will improve as well and most of all it will be family movies so that it could get more penetration in public.

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  • anonymous
    Jun 16, 2012 - 3:31PM

    damn! she’s buff!

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  • Omer
    Jun 16, 2012 - 3:46PM

    Wiam who??

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  • Bakht Ansari
    Jun 16, 2012 - 4:35PM

    Thank you Mr. Rafique, we have such a dearth of pretty, talented, confident women in Pakistan!

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  • Umair
    Jun 16, 2012 - 7:07PM

    Thank God we have got some international talent in our own film industry ! She is pretty and ppl please stop complaining and start appreciating…change is coming gradually..best of luck to everyone associated with the project ! :)

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  • Ordinary Villager
    Jun 16, 2012 - 7:44PM

    @Bakht Ansari: No sorry we dont have any dearth of Pretty ladies here. Beauty lies in the eyes of the Beholder But I am sure you are another Gori lover and nothing else. Brown is beautiful as well and there are many talented, beautiful and confident women in Pakistan.

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