KARACHI: Tuesday afternoon marked the launch of The Platform, a much-needed initiative to promote the talent of young and emerging Pakistani film-makers, at Atrium Cinemas. Following the launch was a curtain raiser of the upcoming Pakistani movie Josh, which has been directed by Iram Parveen Bilal.
A collaborative effort of Nadeem Mandviwalla of Mandviwalla Entertainment and Mohammad Jerjees Seja, the CEO of Ary Digital Network, The Platform has been introduced to support young film-makers to promote and market their films.
“Though much has been done by the government of Pakistan to raise the standard of cinemas in the country since 2001, there has been a lack of evolution in the process,” said Mandviwalla, who was present at the event. “While new cinemas have been built since the beginning of 2007, the question that seems to bother most Pakistanis is, when will films be made?”
He added that it is important to understand that cinemas are run by the public; the success and the failure of a film depend solely on how audiences perceive and rate it.
Seja added that with their partnership with Mandviwalla Entertainment, The Platform will help sponsor, promote and distribute new local films. Focusing on the purpose of The Platform, he said, “This is an initiative taken in the interest of the country’s emerging film-makers, to come forward and show their work.” Seja also stressed that there is a lot of talent within Pakistan and its importance cannot be downplayed despite the intervention of international media ventures such as Indian and Turkish soaps.
Get ready for Josh!
As their first project, the duo promoted the upcoming movie Josh, which is scheduled to release on Eid. The Express Tribune asked the film’s writer, director and producer Iram Parveen Bilal, about her inspiration behind her career choice. “My father told me a while back that my paternal grandfather left his home in 1937, to become an actor. However, his dream could not be fulfilled. Seventy-six years later, I have vicariously fulfilled his dream,” said Iram. Appreciating Seja and Mandviwalla’s efforts, she said that the duo had given her dreams “wings to fly.”
The film, Josh, is inspired from the life of Perveen Saeed, the founder of Khana Ghar, a charity that provides heavily subsidised meals to the poor. “My feelings cannot be assessed; they are on a different level. I play a humble, domesticated role and Khana Ghar was a small venture of my own. I hope one day nobody in this country sleeps hungry,” said an overwhelmed Perveen.
When asked about whether her film will garner any appreciation from the audience, Bilal said, “Every one’s taste is different; how you will like it or not, depends solely on your taste for it.”
With an industry that has suffered immense backlash in the past few years, especially with the influx of foreign cinema, The Platform seems to bring a new ray of hope for young directors and film-makers who are struggling to pursue their dream in this small-sized industry. However, Mandviwalla makes it clear that Bollywood films will not be rescheduled for Pakistani films. He firmly believes that the viewership of a film depends highly on the quality of the content and every film deserves a shot at the silver screen.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 9th, 2013.
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