Pakistani Showbiz

My space is still reserved in the film industry

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With so many new filmmakers making it to the mainstream, one wonders what the once ‘lone warrior’ of Pakistani cinema thinks about his space in the industry. Syed Noor doesn’t feel threatened or insecure by onslaught of fresh minds and rather believes that be it Lollywood or Pakistani cinema, he is here to stay.  “Trends correlating to filmmaking have changed over the years,” asserts veteran film director Syed Noor. Adding to his estimation, he says, “Pakistani film directors who possess adaptability and the knowhow of modern filmmaking techniques will sustain, while others will dissipate.” With new-fangled faces entering the film realm and the production of better films, the revival of film industry has commenced, according to the director. “My space is still reserved in the Pakistani film industry as I’m able to meet the demands of the industry.”

Noor maintains the reputation of being one of the most consistent film directors famed for producing entertaining flicks in both Punjabi and Urdu. His most admired works include Choorian, Deewane Tere Pyar Ke, Jeeva, Majajan, Jhoomar, Sargam and numerous other popular films.  With more than 400 films scripts to his credit, Noor is still busy with the much-anticipated film Bhai Wanted.

Bhai Wanted will be a good addition to the Pakistani film industry and the screening of the film will take place in Pakistan and other foreign countries,” confirmed the director, who has scripted the movie himself. He adds, “I wrote the story of Bhai Wanted and also worked on its screenplay. It will be a thriller featuring new faces.” Bhai Wanted is scheduled to release on Eid ul fitr.

Noor notes that the fundamental problem with the Pakistani film industry laid in the fact that new individuals from talented and educated backgrounds were not entering the showbiz. Discussing the resolved crises of Lollywood, he says, “The new era of the industry involves young blood entering the market but seniors, who have a history of brilliant work, are still maintaining their place.” Being enriched with experience, senior artists are a must-have for his productions, he says. “There is no alternative to seniors. Although new faces are making way, Shaan is still a superstar,” claims the filmmaker. “Similar to Bollywood, the contribution of fresh film directors, producers and actors in Lollywood is adding variety and sparking creativity into the film market,” says Noor.

Talking about institutions finally focusing on film education, he remarks, “Due to my efforts and struggles, film is now a part of the curriculum at many institutions.” Institutions, such as National College of Arts, Beaconhouse National University and Punjab University among other colleges are incorporating film departments into their prospectus. “I’ll be conducting film lectures myself at Allama Iqbal University and now, finally, educated film graduates will submerge into the film industry,” reveals the director.

Talking about the participation of the Pakistani government in endeavours to better the film industry, he says, “Our government is not interested in solving the issues of artists and the film industry. It is sadly not their priority.” He adds, “It’ll only be through the joint efforts of sincere people that the revival of the Pakistani film industry will occur.” Although new cinemas are being constructed across the country, the situations of film studios remains unpleasant. “We must solve the basic issue of rebuilding studios. We don’t have any good sound and digital studios in Pakistan and without focusing on promoting art and culture, we cannot solve our industry’s issues.” says the filmmaker.

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