PESHAWAR: For the first time in 35 years and breaking all previous records, the Pashto film industry will release seven new movies on Eidul Fitr.
Arshad Khan, famous Pashto film director and producer, who also owns two cinemas in the city, said these films were the only sources of revenue for the crumbling cinema houses; Urdu movies do not come with a high demand. Like in the past, this year, no mainstream Urdu movies will be shown in any cinema of the city.
All preparations have been completed and advertising has commenced with unparalleled zeal: rickshaws zip across the city, decorated with film posters. Walls and boards across the city are papered with posters.
Stamped with approval
All the films have been approved by the federal censor board and are ready to be screened. Shama Cinema, famous for B grade movies and being attacked by militants, will also resume operations from the first day of Eid.
“This will prove to be the most successful year for our movies,” boasted Shahid Khan, who is in three different movies which have been produced and directed by his brother Arshad Khan.
“Even though they provide entertainment for thousands of people in the city, movies (here) have always been below par with unrealistic violence, feeble plots, excessive display of weapons and too many dance sequences,” said Shahid. “This year we have focused on great plots with outstanding music.”
The Khan brothers who are said to have a monopoly over the cinema and Pashto film industry claimed in the face of tough competition from other film makers—such as Nadir Khan and Muzafar Khan who are also releasing their movies this Eid—they have spent about Rs60,000 on each film and the entire cast has put in great effort to make the movies “super hits”.
Arshad has high expectations from the movies he has produced and directed this year. He stated some films like Ma Cherah Gharib Sarah will be released in Urdu and Punjab immediately after Eid.
“Pashto movies are better than all the other flicks produced in the country. We have adopted modern technology still not in use in Punjabi and Urdu films,” he said.
This year’s late summer line-up includes: Ma Cherah Gharib Saray, Sar-Teza Badmash, Daagh, Mayeen kho Lewani vee, Khanadani Badmash, Pakhtun pa Dubai ke and I Love You too.
The films will be screened at all the cinemas in Peshawar, Mingora, Mardan, Kohat and at a few theatres in Karachi as well.
Almost all the actors have roles in all seven films. Jahangir Khan will be in five of the movies, while Arbaz Khan will play the lead in four flicks. The cast also includes Sahar Malik, Sobia Khan, Aman Khan, Shahid Khan, Dilbar Munir, and Muhammad Husain Swati.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2015.