Pakistani Showbiz

Two years after the release of ‘Zinda Bhaag’, production house Mateela Films is back in action

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It’s been almost two years since Mateela Film’s critically-acclaimed debut Zinda Bhaag released. Now, the production house is gearing up for the release of not one, but two films in the coming months.

Speaking to The Express Tribune, producer Mazhar Zaidi revealed details about the upcoming projects. The first film to release, Gardaab,is said to be a love story. “It’s a serious love story set against background of contemporary Karachi, where there is a lot of turmoil,” Zaidi said.

Directed and written by a New York-based Pakistani director Harune Massey, the film stars fresh faces including model Amna Ilyas and National Academy of Performing Arts’ graduate Fawad Khan in lead roles.

Although Amna Ilyas has previously worked in films such as Good Morning Karachi and Zinda Bhaag, this would be Fawad’s debut on the big screen after having racked up an impressive portfolio in theatre

On casting theatre actors in lead roles, Zaidi explained that due to their background and training in theatre, they (thespians) are able to pick up on things much more quickly. “But it’s not like we prefer working with theatre actors as we have even worked with television stars such as Khalid Ahmed and Gohar Rasheed in our film,” he added.

Despite the film being in the final stages of post-production, Zaidi hasn’t decided on a release date yet. He said, “Gardaab is currently undergoing sound-mixing. Once it’s complete, we will be meeting with different distributors and decide then when to take it next.”

“Like Zinda Bhaag, we are keen on screening both these films at different international film festivals prior to their release,” he added.

Zaidi also denied rumours of the film being a love story based on two characters in Lyari. But he did reveal that one of the songs is based on the popular lewa dance that is performed by the residents of Lyari. “Ali Aftab Saeed of Aloo Anday-fame has produced this particular song forGardaab, whereas the rest of the music has been composed by Faiz Zaidi,” he said.

Napa alumni Fawad Khan
Napa alumni Fawad Khan















Even though Gardaab is expected to release first, it’s the other project Mateela Films that would be of particular interest to the audiences. Unwilling to reveal any details about the second film at this stage, it’s expected to reunite the team of Zinda Bhaag with Farjad Nabi and Meenu Gaur sharing direction credits once again.

With the film’s shoot being close to completion, it’s set to enter the post-production stage soon. Zaidi also disclosed that legendary Bollywood actor Naseeruddin Shah would make a cameo once again. Having previously played an integral part in their earlier productionZinda Bhaag, Shah, who had made a brief trip to Pakistan to promote his book this year, also filmed a few sequences for the film during his visit.

Gardaab has been co-written by Saleemullah Nasir and the cast also includes Gohar Rasheed, Nimra Bucha, Khalid Ahmed, Shama Askari and Arif Hassan.

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