Reham Khan reposes faith in film

Published: May 29, 2015
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Talks to The Express Tribune about her upcoming film ‘Jaana’ and hopes to make biopics

Talks to The Express Tribune about her upcoming film ‘Jaana’ and hopes to make biopics

ISLAMABAD: 

It seems time doesn’t hang heavy for Reham Khan as she juggles between the multiple roles she has taken up, most recently, of a filmmaker. Setting foot in an industry where people have long tread carefully, she comes with the will to promote a positive image of Pashtun culture and Pakistan. With spirits high and wearing a 100-watt smile, she talks to The Express Tribune about her upcoming film Jaanan and aspirations.

Reham has teamed up with Imran Raza Kazmi to produce Jaanan, a romantic-comedy about a Pashtun family, slated to release on Eidul Fitr next year. Lack of funds and infrastructure didn’t stop a novice Kazmi from venturing into filmmaking, with his 2013 feature film Siyaah. Reham says she’s open to working with new talent, bringing out the best her country has to offer. On working with Kazmi, she states, “It gives me even more courage to stand tall and not allow any negativity to be a hindrance in way of what I want to achieve.”

Aiming at promoting an image of Pathans far from their myopic depiction in international media, Reham will take the audiences on a trip to the panoramic Chitral, Parachinar, Swat and Peshawar through her film. “The most important reason for me [to take up filmmaking] is to promote the peaceful image of the Pashtuns,” says Reham. “And being a Pathan myself, who can better share their hospitality, kind-heartedness, especially towards women, and courage, than me?” she adds.

Reham hopes to pay homage to Pakistani legends, such as Allama Iqbal, Abdul Khaliq and Khushal Khan Khattak, through biopics, so that people on a global level become acquainted with the trials and tribulations they went through to achieve their goals. “We’ve seen India’s tribute to Milkha Singh in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, but not many people know that he was beaten more than once in international races by Pakistani sprinter Abdul Khaliq, who has won 100 gold medals,” she states.

Married to politician Imran Khan, Reham clarifies her upcoming project has no political undertone. Reham says, “My intentions and conscience are clear. My aim is to contribute towards the improvement of our society.” She adds, “Filmmaking has two major advantages that contribute to my aim: it will help change the foreign media’s perception of Pakistan and be a source of relief and joy for locals.”

Reham feels filmmaking is a medium of communication, both nationally and internationally – one that can be used to promote Pakistan, its rich culture and society, and to tell the world about the unsung heroes, who have lived or are currently living in the country. “It’s a channel through which I can make a difference … however big or small,” she adds.

Reham with film’s co-producer Imran Raza Kazmi

As a new wave of filmmakers continues to lend impetus to the local movie industry, Reham hopes to play her part in doing the same. “I’ve identified an opportunity where I can, within the position I’m in, help rebuild our film industry. I know there are always benefits and drawbacks associated with bringing about change, but I also know it’s always a struggle when one tries to leave a positive impact,” she notes. With the youth constituting a major segment of Pakistan’s population, Reham feels it plays a crucial role in shaping socio-political developments. She calls for setting a platform through which young talent can surface in the country.

Reham laments that gone are the days when people would acknowledge artists, especially those who became part of the industry at a young age and have invested their blood and sweat into it. “People, such as Madam Noor Jehan, Badar Munir, Waheed Murad and Muhammad Rafi, were not always the stars they’re remembered to be … they, too, struggled,” states Reham. “Times were different then when people were generally more courteous and respectful … I hope those days will come again and artists these days are given the same respect preceding ones were given.”

Reham feels Pakistanis have been accepting towards the role of media as a clarion call for a change in societal mindset. “We’ve seen how Bollywood and Hollywood have improved their standing in the international arena showcasing their stories, culture, particularly language,” she says. “Taking that as an example, we can show the brighter side of our country and, hopefully one day, we will outshine the negative propaganda we so often get trapped in.”

With an indomitable will and hope to receive support and love from the people of her country, she notes, “All I’m trying to do is take one step at a time towards the bigger goal I have in mind. I need the support and love from my own people to achieve something that’ll be beneficial for us as a nation.” She further says, “If you have something to contribute to this aim, then I welcome you to join us in making a difference. Nothing in this world is achieved without perseverance and a sense of unity along with cohesiveness and patience.”

Published in The Express Tribune, May 30th,  2015.

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Reader Comments (26)

  • Jibran
    May 29, 2015 - 10:13PM

    This woman has no integrity. She chooses to interview and praise her spouse while working as an “independent” analyst on an “independent” news channel. This is worse than PMLN’s paid touts like Irfan Siddiqi, Ansar Abbassi, and Atta ul Haq Qasmi.Recommend

  • Shamsi Mehboob
    May 29, 2015 - 11:25PM

    @Jibran: So what ? Behind every great man there is a great woman. Seems you have a problem with that.Recommend

  • Salman
    May 30, 2015 - 12:05AM

    Great work Mrs.Reham. Unfortunately, there are few nooras still left in our country who are so thick headed that they can never understand what you are trying to do for our country and culture. Promoting a soft image of Pakistan and telling the world about our unsung heroes is the best thing anyone can do right now for us. Thumbs up and wish you best of luck.Recommend

  • salman
    May 30, 2015 - 12:11AM

    @Jibran:

    Stop being jealous.Recommend

  • Shehryar
    May 30, 2015 - 1:17AM

    So proud to see that Pakistani women are taking initiatives to try to do something positive even if it’s bringing about a change through film making even though some Pakistani men will always have something negative to say. I hope this venture reaches heights that Sharmeen Obaid has seen and much more. Hopefully highlight a better picture of us! Good luck! Recommend

  • Arsie
    May 30, 2015 - 1:30AM

    I heard she interviewed Imran Khan in her first show after wedding. Why not cast Khan sahab too in ur first movie?Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    May 30, 2015 - 7:55AM

    She married a fake Pathan considering him a real Pathan which proves that she does not know anything about Pathans.Recommend

  • Punjab
    May 30, 2015 - 10:50AM

    @ Ch Allah Da

    you are clearly jealous, let her contribute whatever she can and for all those who have issues with her TV show with Khan, it was not a political show, take it easy fellas there are other things in life too.Recommend

  • jagmohan
    May 30, 2015 - 11:39AM

    Reham has a good cause to serve leading to multiple benefits in the long run.First and
    foremost seems to be projecting ‘soft image’ of Pakistan.This may change the hate ridden
    mind set towards fine arts,music,songs drama etc.,and revive local film industry.Her entry
    and success is not doubtful as she can manage finance,her image and experience in TV,
    and good plots to handle.It is also possible that beside production,she may one day take
    role as an actor too,as she has glamorous personality,sweet voice,sophisticated manners
    and communication skills.If she can melt hard core elements in the society,it will be greatest
    service to the country.Wish her best of luck.Recommend

  • Munir Varraich
    May 30, 2015 - 1:48PM

    This initiative was long over due. Now that the wife of a political leader, Imran Khan, has stepped in, the younger generation of film producers will be encouraged. Good Luck.Recommend

  • Chitrali
    May 30, 2015 - 2:17PM

    She mentioned that she will show Chitral as part of her Pashtun themed movie, I would like to inform Reham Khan that us Chitralis are not Pashtuns, the Chitral valley a home to 200,000 people belonging to the Dardic Chitrali ethnicity, the culture,language,lifestyle and appearance is very different from that of Pashtuns.Recommend

  • Haibat Khan Niazi
    May 30, 2015 - 2:21PM

    @Ch. Allah Daad:
    Okay so suddenly the good looking Imran Khan in his prime hailing from Niazi tribe of Mianwali isnt pashtun cause of you’re political views, lolRecommend

  • Patriot
    May 30, 2015 - 6:14PM

    This woman is a pure hypocrite just like his husband…..! from mini skirts to fake covering of her head, she is competing hard to overpass her husband’s manipulative, fake dramas….!
    The great playboy and her queen is playing with the minds of immature youth with the help of our media.
    I pity the youth of my country!Recommend

  • Sarmast
    May 30, 2015 - 8:30PM

    @Shamsi Mehboob:
    “Behind every great man there is a great woman.” So if I marry four, which my religion allows me for unknown reasons (perhaps male machism), will I be more successful?Recommend

  • zamurad
    May 30, 2015 - 9:37PM

    @Ch. Allah Daad:
    She herself is not a Pathan but a “Chachi.” Adding Khan as last name does not make one Pathan. My last name is also Khan but I am a Gujjar. Recommend

  • mjk
    May 30, 2015 - 10:37PM

    Writer? Director? Actors? Any info ABOUT the movie-making?Recommend

  • Falcon
    May 31, 2015 - 2:12AM

    Best of luck Mrs. Khan. Your energy and positivity are contagious indeed.Recommend

  • Afzal
    May 31, 2015 - 4:20AM

    Overwhelming support from most visitors of this page.
    Well done mam, you have a great potential and you have my full support.
    God bless you. We look forward to all your projects.Recommend

  • Nazar Khan
    May 31, 2015 - 6:08AM

    Now she is showing her true colours. Khan Saheb one more wrong decision…Recommend

  • Bobb Mack
    May 31, 2015 - 2:06PM

    @Nazar Khan:

    Not a very nice comment. No surprise that we are judged to have ugly and biased views against women. I do not blame you though, our society needs to reform in a lot of ways so that its pygmies and dwarfs can be re-educated if they had missed opportunities earlier in their lives.Recommend

  • Ibrar
    May 31, 2015 - 2:13PM

    Hooray to Reham Khan. We need more women like you to pull some of us out of ignorance.
    May you and your gorgeous family live long.Recommend

  • Mehreen
    May 31, 2015 - 2:31PM

    I can’t understand people who portray this public image of piety far away from their actual life and lifestyle. Head scarfs and all. Same is with IK. His personal life and interests are far from the Shalwar kameez image he portrays. To me that’s betraying your people and fooling them besides hypocrasy. I would rather vouch for a woman in skirt but who shows results and a man in a G string but who actually makes and shows visible difference in the land he has been given to govern rather than an “naaray baaZ” and self proclaimed messiah.
    IK has wasted all the money allocated to provincial development with zero substantial development in that province and proven to be a failed administrator. He couldn’t bring a small change in his province. What “change” is he talking about that he will bring for the country.
    Choosing to get married wearing a golden Shervani while innocent were dead in Peshawer was enough to show their insensivity. He lost his chance in the last elections and the coming elections will show him how he’s lost his following becauSe of lack of wisdom and knowledge to rule.
    iK has costed us a lot of lives money and time. It was because of IK that operation against Takiban was delayed because of his childish rhetoric to negotiate with them and claiming you can’t fight them. Coward ! Look what the army has done to them and the improvement already. Recommend

  • Nazar Khan
    May 31, 2015 - 5:28PM

    @Bobb Mack I am fully aware of the conversative society where Pakistanis living in and my comment is based as per the same.Recommend

  • green
    May 31, 2015 - 8:40PM

    @Patriot: and I pity you!Recommend

  • Mahira
    May 31, 2015 - 10:30PM

    @Mehreen:
    Why are you so interested in what they do behind closed doors?? Have you ever heard other term “Live and let Live”??
    If everything negative has been because of Imran Khan, what positives have you seen from the present government or the previous ones? Mr Nawaz has only done wonders for his beloved Lahore! And speaking of clothing, just because our PM wears designer suits, doesn’t make him a good man if his intentions are so sick. Recommend

  • Afzal
    Jun 1, 2015 - 9:13PM

    @Mehreen:
    @Mahira:

    You have the right to say whatever you think is appropriare about Imran Khan or Nawaz Sharif or who ever but what has all that to do with Reham Khan? I thought this discussion was basically about Reham Khan and her film project and should have nothing to do with what her spouse or other politicians are up to. Recommend

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