Pashto films to make a mark this Eid

Published: September 15, 2015
Cinema workers sit near a poster of a Pashto movie at Arshad cinema in Peshawar May 27, 2013. PHOTO: REUTERS

Cinema workers sit near a poster of a Pashto movie at Arshad cinema in Peshawar May 27, 2013. PHOTO: REUTERS


Looks like Pashto filmmakers are on a mission to make their presence known in the local cinema spectacle. With seven Pashto films hitting the screens this Eidul Azha, regional cinema seems to be traversing the road to success. This time around, Pashto film Paraang is slated to knock international doors, as it will be screened in Kabul, Afghanistan.

“I will send my film Paraang to be shown in two cinemas in Kabul and have been negotiating their release in Dubai,” says filmmaker Qaiser Sanober. “I’m trying to have the UAE open doors for Pashto films. It’s easy to screen our films in Kabul, but there are a few problems on the UAE front, despite the fact that there are many Pashto film-lovers there.” Sanober shares that he aims at releasing his film in Dubai and also plans on visiting the UAE after Eid to explore the market for Pashto films.

This Eid, Pashto filmmaker Arshad Khan is set to release Malang Pa Dua Rang, while Nadir Khan’s film Badnaam and Shahid Usman’s debut film Tezaab are also scheduled to hit theatres. Among the other releases are Sanober’s Paraang and Shahenshah, and Zoy Da Sharabi by Abid Naseem. Actor Arbaaz Khan is also set to release his yet-untitled film this Eid.

Read: Pakistani Pashto film makes a mark in Kabul

With seven Pashto movies having already been released on Eidul Fitr and which were also screened in Afghanistan and the United Arab Emirates, directors of the upcoming films are hopeful that their hard work will reap benefits. “We’ve been blamed for lacklustre storylines, but the seven films set to surface are expected to be diverse and interesting,” states Sanober. “Pashto films are expected to attract film lovers this Eid. We’ve given our best to these films,” says Arshad.

Now in their post-production phase, these seven films are expected to be shown at cinemas across the country. Efforts are currently under way by the directors to book spots in local movie theatres. “We have been playing a role in reviving the film industry and it’s great to see that our movies are gaining popularity in Afghanistan and the UAE,” says Sanober.

According to Pashto film producers and directors, it’s fitting to see that Pashto cinema has adopted modern technology and acknowledged the importance of churning out good music, which has boded well for them in terms of revenue. “Pashto films were undergoing a crisis, but we realised the situation and have adapted to modern trends,” notes Sanober. “To this end, we’ve also been screening films in different locations and have been focusing on good quality scripts and music,” he adds.

Arshad is hopeful that his film Malang Pa Dua Rung will be a hit due to his use of modern technology and the fact that it boasts a star-studded cast. The film features Shahid Khan, Sobia Khan, Muhamamd Hussain Swati and Babrak Shah, among others.

Of his film Zoy Da Sharabi, Naseem shares, “It’s an interesting story about a man, whose father was an alcoholic and spent all his earnings on his addiction. He follows suit and the story unfolds with a moral lesson. People will like it.” The movie stars Babrak Shah, Shah Jahan, Muhamamd Hussain Swati and Jahangir Jani. “I’ve formerly made hit Pashto films, such as I Love You Too and Dhagg, and have high expectations from this film,” he adds.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 16th,  2015.

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