LAHORE: It was hoped that by the end of the year, Pakistan’s film industry would release a few films that would help Lollywood out of its slump. However, 2010 has almost come to a close and it remains the worst year of the last decade for the industry as only 12 films, including Punjabi films, were released.
Last year was slightly better with 14 films being released, but the best year of the decade was 2001 by far when 48 films were released.
Only three of the 12 films released in 2010 were Urdu films while nine others were Punjabi films which were released only in limited cinemas in Punjab. The record at Pakistan Film Producers Association shows that six Pashto films were also released in 2010 but the figure is not accurate as many times Pashto films are released only in Peshawar with just one print and aren’t registered in official records.
The first film of the year was a Punjabi feature, Channa Suchi Muchi by Ijaz Bajwa. The film was released in April and starred Babar Ali, Moammar Rana and Saima in the lead roles. The film did not manage to score big points at the box office, but did manage to win some critical acclaim. The film marked Bajwa’s debut as a director and managed to gross more than Rs10 million at the box office.
The next film of the year was an Indo-Pak joint production, Virsa, which was released in May. The film was also in Punjabi and was the first joint production to get a tax waiver. A great deal of hype was created before its release; however Virsa could not live up to expectations and did not generate much business at the box office.
The first Urdu film of 2010 was Haseena Twenty 20 by Faheem Bhatti. The film was released in June and flopped at the box office. Lado Rani, a Punjabi film by Masood Butt was released in September and had an average run at the box office. Taxi No. 707, another Urdu film by Waseem Hussain was also released in September but was a disappointment. Another film released in September was Haseeno ka Mela which was directed by Sangeeta but this too did not do well at the box office.
Syed Noor’s only film of the year was Vohti Ley Ke Jani Ay which released in September. The film starred Shaan and Saima in the lead roles and remained the highest grosser of the year.
The third and the last Urdu film of 2010, Phool Aur Kantay by Ashfaq Chaudhary, released in October but unfortunately was unable to generate much revenue.
Jabru Tey Nizaam, another Punjabi film by Imdad Hussain was released in October and flopped at the box office, while Punjabi film Numberdari by Masood Butt was released in November and did average business. Qamar Iltaf Hussain’s Billu Billa and Pervaiz Rana’s Ilyasa Gujjar were released in November and unfortunately, both were unsuccessful.
No films were released in January, February, March, July, August and December and seven out of total 12 movies were released in September and November on Eidul Fitr and Eidul Azha respectively.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 12th, 2010.