Ahmed Ali Butt, with his tongue-in-cheek one-liners and thundering voice, played host at the ceremony that was attended by the who’s-who of the Pakistani entertainment industry. The film’s director, Asim Raza, was swimming in the crowd, greeting those turning up to congratulate him. Ahmed of Jawani Phir Nahi Ani fame did not spare Asim, pulling his leg every time a cast member sang his praises.
With a host of renowned and celebrated musicians, ranging from Atif Aslam to Tina Sani, featuring on the Ho Mann Jahaan album, the concert shaped up to include some catchy tunes. Kicking off the proceedings on a softer and mellow note, singer-songwriter Jimmy Khan performed the track Baarish from the film. The performance was livened up by the movie’s lead actors Sonya Jehan and Sheheryar Munawar Siddiqui, who sprang into impromptu dancing, much to the crowd’s amusement.
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Although the stars of the evening were the singers, the film’s lead actors didn’t spare the spotlight, narrating stories about their experience playing aspiring musicians in the movie. Sharing an interesting anecdote from the sets, Adeel Hussain revealed how drummer Gumby was ever-present during the film-making process. “I play a drummer in the film and since I was unable to learn how to play the drums in such a short span of time, Gumby was there to ensure I was playing properly,” recalled Hussain.
Where popular musicians such as Asrar and Zeb Bangash took to the stage to perform the tracks Shakar Wandaan Re and Mann Ke Jahaanfrom the movie, former Awaz member Faakhir took the attendees on a journey back in time with his set list. The longtime collaborator of Asim has produced two tracks for the film. He chose to rewind the clock and perform hits such as Ae Jawan and Mahi Ve as a tribute to Asim, who directed the videos for the tracks.
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While the entire cast and crew of the film were present at the occasion, notables such as the Strings duo Bilal Maqsood and Faisal Kapadia, Emu (of Fuzon), Sohail Javed, Saqib Malik, Adnan Malik, Iman Ali and Javed Shaikh also graced the red carpet that was swarmed by fans and the media. Talking to The Express Tribune, Sohail praised the Ho Mann Jahaan team for organising the event and singled out singer Mai Dhai as his favourite from the musicians behind the soundtrack. “Mai Dhai and Asrar both were great but the former just blew me away. I wish I could have her sing for my film but my songs are of a different style altogether,” said the director of the upcoming film Punjabi Wedding Thriller.