LAHORE: When Malik Bari’s Yakkay Wali ended up doing wonders on the box office, the film-maker opted for investing the earnings in a 92 kanal, state-of-the-art studio that would in future serve as the refuge for fellow directors and producers.
After years of turbulence, the film industry is now seemingly back on its ‘feet’. In recent times the studio’s has been home to all things but film and latest developments suggest another step in the wrong direction. With the industry’s revival knocking on the door, the ball is in Bari Studio’s court, this time quite literally. What was once the ideal location for the filming of fighting and equestrian sequences, will now take shape of a football ground for children. The ground will also now be home to a tennis court and a gym. While shootings are almost a wrap at Bari Studio, there is hope that the local sports scene might get the ‘kick’ with this new arena.
An official of the studio says he is disappointed with the administration’s decision. “Yes the ground has now been dedicated for children. It’s true this place has turned into a commercial complex and is no more a studio,” he adds.
Director Javed Butt says, “The place was ideal for shooting fighting scenes and horse riding. It is a tragedy that the studio has become what it is today.” He adds with the recent construction of a theatre at the facility, many saw a glimmer of hope for films too. “It is disheartening to see this place turn into a sports complex.”
Butt recollects that several super hit Lollywood movies of the past were shot behind these very walls and now that the industry is picking up pace, the good old safe haven is no more its own. “It is an ironical that this studio is inching towards a closure. We should instead see more studios sprouting up across the country.”
Published in The Express Tribune, October 31st, 2015.