Seventh Sky Entertainment is preparing to release the remake of 1966 classic film Armaan as a tele-film, featuring heartthrob Fawad Khan and gorgeous, award-winning actor Aamina Sheikh this April.
Produced by Abdullah Kadwani and directed by Anjum Shahzad, the big budget tele-film is meant to reconnect the audience with Pakistani cinema, culture and society.
The soon-to-be released venture is part of a larger project conducted by Engro Foods, which hopes to revive some Lollywood classic hits and bring them to life for the young generation. It is set to be 90 minutes long and will include four songs, including a rendition of Ahmed Rushdi’s Akele Na Jana by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.
The original film was directed by Pervaiz Malik and produced and penned by Waheed Murad, who also played the lead role opposite Zeba. Armaan was the defining moment for the legendary actor and the film industry.
“Whether it was his hairstyle, grooming or fashion sense, Waheed Murad is a legacy when it comes to Pakistani films,” says Kadwani. “It was through Armaan that he also solidified his status as chocolate boy.”
While it was launched at the time when the industry was dominated by rom-coms, the film was a huge success for Murad. The black-and-white movie won six awards and went on to become Pakistan’s first platinum jubilee film.
“The idea was to remake Armaan for today’s audience,” says Kadwani. “Also, to make sure that the essence and the charm of the original still remains.”
Selecting two main characters was the easiest part for Kadwani. Excited about the prospect of on-screen chemistry between Fawad and Aamina, Kadwani says they are similar to the classic Waheed-Zeba duo. “Fawad is the closest actor to Waheed Murad,” says Kadwani. “They are similar in looks and style and Aamina is brilliant in her acting.” He also feels that they will also do justice to their roles.
“When we first started making dramas, we had always felt that there were very few objective-based dramas,” says Kadwani. “At the time we thought that we would do something different, from the sensationalised and fantasy that was being promoted. We wanted to make something more relevant and that connected with our culture and society.”
Marking the completion of seven years for Seventh Sky Entertainment, founded by Humayun Saeed and Kadwani, the production company is ready to move onto bigger projects. Kadwani explains that Seventh Sky Entertainment’s purpose is to bring a different form of content for the viewers. Following their success, the production company now wants to go into film.
Kadwani, also involved in the production of Chambaili, says Seventh Sky Entertainment made a promise to support the Pakistani film industry. He feels that Armaan is a positive attempt to give viewers what they want: good entertainment with relevance.
“We have tried to do our part and the next big thing for us is film and digital media,” explains Kadwani. “The film industry has disintegrated over the years and it’s important that we do our part.”
“We are confident about this initiative, and now it’s up to the audience,” says Kadwani. “We have more projects similar in the pipeline.” Kadwani and Saeed say that their production company is dedicated to its part to revive Pakistani film industry.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 9th, 2013.
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