Hijrat makers promise entertainment

Published: October 30, 2013
Farooq Mengal’s film focuses on social issues through a love story set against the backdrop of internally-displaced Afghan refugee camps. PHOTOS: PUBLICITY

Farooq Mengal’s film focuses on social issues through a love story set against the backdrop of internally-displaced Afghan refugee camps. PHOTOS: PUBLICITY


The sudden rebirth of Pakistani cinema this year has encouraged film-makers to dapple in various themes. Debutante producer-director Farooq Mengal is another one to partake in this adventure, with his first film Hijrat.

Known in the drama circuit for producing and directing serials, Mengal’s film takes on the crucial subject of internally-displaced Afghan refugee camps, with an added love story.

Model-turned-actor Asad Zaman, who is also making his debut with this film, plays the role of Murad – a young, happy-go-lucky person who finds himself thrown into the world of the internally-displaced where pain and agony is a normal, daily experience. It is under these circumstances that he falls in love with a field doctor Jia, played by model Rabia Butt, and is exposed to a different side of life. Zaman highlights that while the film addresses serious social and human rights issues, it is meant for sheer entertainment.

“The film is complete entertainment,” says Zaman, who plays the lead in the film. “It’s about a guy who is interested in having a good time and eventually finds out how unpredictable life is. But there isn’t one particular angle to his journey. The lesson is that one should not lose hope.”

The film also stars veteran actor Nadeem Baig, Salma Agha and Mareeha Safdar. The music has been composed by Sahir Ali Bagga and the film will include songs by Ali Azmat, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Imran Aziz and Abida Parveen. Considering the big names, it seems that Mengal managed to put together a great team and Zaman acknowledges that. “It’s a team effort for sure; there was instant chemistry [on the sets],” he says.

Quetta-based director Mengal seems to have been working on the script and pre-production of the film for nearly a decade. The film has already shot its first spell in Quetta and is all set to shoot the second in Europe. It is aiming for a spring release next year, depending on whether the distributors are able to accommodate in terms of dates. However, production is expected to complete by early next year.

The first look of the film was released last week, and the Hijrat team is happy with the response it has received. Mengal is hopeful the audience will enjoy this feel-good story as well as Butt and Zaman’s chemistry. “This will be something that all audiences will enjoy. The intention is to make this something fun and spontaneous,” says Mengal.

As far as the revival of Pakistani cinema is concerned, it seems there is finally a ray of hope for those with projects like these. “We have a re-birth of sorts taking place. It was over before but now there are so many projects happening. New talent is getting a chance and even we are giving it our best,” says Zaman. “Film has always remained a huge medium that is looked at with seriousness,” he adds.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 31st, 2013.

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Reader Comments (18)

  • ak
    Oct 30, 2013 - 9:39PM

    it would be too early to say anything, but hope this is going to be the another hit. I wish director had inducted some international actors also in it for generating wider interest.Recommend

  • Oct 30, 2013 - 9:53PM

    This movie seems to be a “Documentry Movie”..Worthwatching on TV…


  • Oct 30, 2013 - 9:54PM

    This seems to be a “Documentry Movie”..Keep watching on PTV…


  • Baloch Insafian
    Oct 30, 2013 - 10:58PM

    Good luck Team Hijrat!


  • Zalmai
    Oct 31, 2013 - 12:55AM

    The Iranians exhausted exploitation movies about the plight of Afghan refugees a decade ago, it is Pakistan’s turn now. At least the Iranians make quality movies, will have to see how Pakistan fares in the exploitation field.


  • Bling Bling
    Oct 31, 2013 - 4:53AM

    Why not cast some proper actors instead of some pretty faces?


  • Asad
    Oct 31, 2013 - 9:26AM

    What a party-pooper. If you dont have anything nice to say, well, dont say anything.Recommend

  • Iram
    Oct 31, 2013 - 11:07AM

    Sorry for splitting hair but you can either be internally displaced or a refugee, not both. Internally displaced persons are those who are displaced from their place of residence but have not crossed an international border, i.e, displaced within their own country. While those who have left their own country to seek refuge in another are strictly considered refugees.Recommend

  • Asad
    Oct 31, 2013 - 12:39PM

    Good point, UN has the same definition for refugee.Recommend

  • Oct 31, 2013 - 12:44PM

    a well known drama writer and director….. hope to produce a masterpiece from this guy….


  • Oct 31, 2013 - 12:47PM

    hope to watch a great movie from a well known drama writer and director……Recommend

  • Kohestani
    Oct 31, 2013 - 3:42PM

    @Zalmai….Exactly!!! I still remember one scene of one of those documentaries. When the documentary maker asks an Afghan child in Persian, “khoda che ast?”, the totally confused child replies innocently “abr baran”.


  • Oct 31, 2013 - 4:09PM

    Rabia Butt looks amazing in the picturesRecommend

  • Talha Rizvi
    Oct 31, 2013 - 4:30PM

    Why don’t you take all your Afghan brethren back then? It’s indeed interesting that you and Afghani trolls like Kabul, Afghan Maihan etc. curse our country non-stop but yet have the audacity to let millions of their violent and ungrateful populace live here. Learn to be a little grateful. One Afghani troll caused us his former slaves this sort of racism displayed by you guys is sickening to say the least. Why not take them to your Big brother India? In Karachi they are involved in every thing from extortion , Kidnapping , sectarian terrorism etc. You have exploited our good nature for too long. we don’t want to see you people remain in our country. In KP even the local Pashtuns hate you guys.


  • Raza
    Oct 31, 2013 - 6:44PM

    Hijrat requires migration for the sake of Islam, like in 1947. How is Afghans’ immigration in the name of Islam when technically, Afghanistan is an Islamic country?


  • Rashid Nazir
    Oct 31, 2013 - 11:25PM

    The best film on afghan refugee could have been the one which shows the evils they brought into Pakistan like drugs, violence, smuggling, terrorism, extremism. Whereas this movie looks like to raise sympathy towards these afghans, which is a wrong message


  • Dawlatzai
    Nov 3, 2013 - 12:09AM

    Those Who are Pointing Their Fingers Against Afghans They should Know What the Heck Their Politicians Has done to Afghanistan which led afghans to Migrate from Their Own Home..Afghans arent behind The Killings of More than 5000 Innocents In Karachi,More Than 3 Million Afghans were Martyred In Soviet Afghan War While defending Afghanistan and to stop Soviets entering Pakistan..The Liberty you All are Living With Is The Marhoon-e-Minnat of Afghans, Otherwise You people Arent Too Ghairati Who Could fight Against Soviets,Now You Little Childs consider Yourselves More Honest and More Honoured Than Others?You Guys are Too Sick, Even The Main Lead Actor Of This Film Asad Zaman,Is An Afghan..It seems Pakistan Has No talent That is The reason They have been casting Afghan Actors!!



  • Geeta Patel
    Dec 7, 2013 - 2:15AM

    Welcome to the world of cynics aka a huge portion of Pakistan. Its a film, no its a documentary. they should cast a veteran actor instead of a good looking model turned actor.Its about Afghans being people not immigrants if this is a minor sample of how low minded and childish Pakistanis are then there is no chance for anyone to succeed. Most of these critic commentators have never once in their life created, volunteered, sacrificed, or taken time to contribute yet they are masters at the art of criticizing, so who are you and why are you this way?


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