By Sonya Rehman
2015 was an incredible year for independent Pakistani cinema. With the release of a number of productions such as Jawani Phir Nahin Ani, Bin Roye,Shah, Moor, Manto and more, the new year seems to be kicking off to a great start in terms of local cinema.
Currently being screened across cinema houses in the country, the drama, Ho Mann Jahaan, has received enormous praise from audiences and critics alike. From the acting, film score, script and the production’s overall packaging, the flick has been quite a success at the box office.
Having faced a long, extended slump from the 80s onwards till the early 2000s, the once-scoffed ‘revival’ of Pakistani cinema is now becoming an uplifting reality. The obliterated foundation of the local film industry – which in its heyday churned out approximately 80 films annually – has been re-cast and strengthened.
This year, slated to hit the big screen next month (in late February), the romantic thriller, Bachaana, is gearing up for its national release.
With the launch of film’s trailer just last week, there is much talk and excitement surrounding the production. Why? The film, starring actors Mohib Mirza and Sanam Saeed, is an Indo-Pak love story that’s packed with a whole lot of punch: action, love and a solid dose of drama.
Speaking with the film’s director, Nasir Khan states that the resurgence of Pakistani cinema is nothing short of “brilliant.”
“Making a film in Pakistan a decade ago seemed like a dream,” he says, “Now, multiple films are releasing every year. The most positive thing is that the Pakistani audiences are really going out and supporting the industry; theywant to see Pakistani productions.”
While Bollywood films enjoy their fair share of popularity among Pakistani film buffs, local cinema is fast filling a chasm that was left after the complete and colossal decline of the country’s film industry, thanks to Islamization, censorship laws and an overall lack of quality. The wound, so to speak, has begun to heal – morphing into an alternative form of Pakistani cinema that is both vibrant and stimulating. The times are a-changin,’ and it’s about time.
“I think our films are going to get bigger and better,” Khan states, “Cinemas are sprouting up in the country, the box office potential is growing and in the next ten years, we will have a self-sustainable film industry.”