Friday, November 12, 2010
Waheed Murad in the film Armaan
|Born||Waheed Murad |
October 2, 1938(1938-10-02)
Karachi, British India
|Died||November 23, 1983(1983-11-23) (aged 45) |
|Other names||Chocolate Hero |
|Occupation||Film actor |
|Awards||Nigar Awards |
Heera aur pathar (1964)
Mastana mahi Punjabi film (1971)
Legend Award (2002)
He is well-known for his charming expressions, attractive personality, tender voice and unusual talent for acting in films. His romantic style of acting made him popular amongst the young cinema viewers of south asia. One of his blockbuster films is Armaan, which was produced by him, made a pivotal impact on the sub-continental film industry such that the Pakistani film industry was considered as the rising sun. Armaan made him a superstar overnight and as equal to the Indian film titans such as Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand, Ashok Kumar and Prithviraj Kapoor. Once, in an interview in 1967, he said that Dilip Kumar, too, is not an immortal actor.
Film careerNigar award in the best film's category for the year. Heera aur pathar was his first movie as a leading actor and considered to be his major breakthrough. He got the Nigar award in the best actor category for the same film.
In 1966, he acted in Armaan under his production which was directed by Pervaiz Malik. Armaan broke all the box office records at that time and completed 75 weeks in theatres, gave him the status of superstar or perhaps the first superstar of Pakistani films. The film is a romantic and melodious love story. The songs like Koko korina..., Akele na jana..., Betaab ho udhar tum... and Zindagi apni thi ab tak... sung by legendary singer Ahmed Rushdi became extremely popular among the youth esp. among the college girls. He received two Nigar awards for the categories best producer and best actor for the film Armaan. During the same year, he starred in another superhit film Jaag utha insaan with co-star Zeba. This fact is on record that in Zeba's success, Waheed had a very important contribution as he casted her in his films and brought country wide fame for her.
In 1967, he appeared as leading actor in masterpieces like Devar bhabi, Doraha, 'Insaaniyat' and 'Maan baap'. Devar bhabi is considered as one of his best movies and completed 50 weeks in the cinemas. The story of Devar bhabi is based on Indo-Pak's unjust social thoughts and norms. Insaaniyat is also considered as one of his best movies in which he played a role of a dedicated doctor.
From 1964 to 1968, Waheed Murad and Pervaiz Malik made blockbusters like Heera aur pathar, Armaan, Ehsaan, Doraha and Jahan tum wahan hum. The successful combination of Waheed Murad, Pervaiz Malik, Masroor Anwar, Sohail Rana, Ahmed Rushdi and Zeba created a number of successful films. Waheed Murad brought Malik, Anwar and Rana under the umbrella of 'Film Arts'. But in late 1960s, dissension grew between Waheed Murad and other three team members of 'Film Art'. Pervaiz Malik was not happy with Waheed's taking away the credit for all the success of movies and giving little recognition to others. So the Film Arts broke up and Pervaiz Malik started creating his own projects with new actors. A total of seven films, including two films, i.e., Usey dekha usey chaha and Dushman released after a long gap of 6 years in 1974, were produced with the combination of Waheed and Pervaiz (but not under 'Film Art' Production).
Shabnam, Aliya, Talish and Mustafa Qureshi. Andaleeb proved to be one of the greatest films of the year. Moviegoers loved his acting esp. in the song Kuch log rooth kar bhi... sung by Ahmed Rushdi in which Waheed is trying to flirt Shabnam in his red sports car. Waheed Murad received Nigar award in the best actor category for that film. Critics are unanimous that singer Ahmed Rushdi had a significant role in the success of Waheed Murad, and that Rushdi's voice was tailor made for him.
From 1970 to 1979, many of his films were superhit like Naseeb apna apna and Anjuman in 1970; Neend hamare khuwab tumhare and Mastana mahi (Waheed's first Punjabi film) in 1971; Baharo phool barsao in 1972; Ishq mera naa (Punjabi film) and Shama in 1974; Jab jab phool khiley in 1975; Shabana in 1976; Saheli, Parakh and Khuda aur muhabbat in 1978; and Awaz and Bahan bhai in 1979. Mastana mahi was Waheed's first Punjabi film, which was also produced by him and directed by Iftikhar Khan. Mastana mahi was purely a romantic musical film. Waheed received Nigar award for the best actor for Mastana mahi.
During early 1970s, he had no or very little choice in selecting his co-stars. Zeba, after her marriage with Mohammad Ali, was not allowed to work as heroine with Waheed Murad. Soon Shabnam's husband Robin Ghosh forced her to not work with Waheed. Even Nisho was not allowed to work with him. These were major setbacks for Waheed's career. Most of the top producers offered Waheed secondary roles in their films due to a monopoly against him. In addition, Nadeem was giving him a stiff competition in 1970s. So Waheed had been casted by less popular directors and producers and had been given the role of 'stereotypical romantic hero'. Films like Naag Mani (1972), Mastani Mehbooba (1974) , Laila Majnu (1974), Izzat (1975), Dilruba (1975), Raaste ka pathar (1976), Mehboob mera mastana (1976), and Naag aur nagan (1976) gave him major setbacks. By late 1970s and early 1980s, Waheed was being casted in supporting roles either with Nadeem or with Mohammad Ali in the films like Parastish (1977), Aadmi (1978), Khuda aur mohabbat (1978), Awaz (1978), Behan Bhai (1979), Wadey ki zanjeer (1979), Raja ki aaye gi barat (1979), Zameer (1980), Badnaam (1980), Gun man (1981), Kiran aur kali (1981), Gherao (1981), Ahat (1982) and Maang meri bhar do (1983). The films Hero (1985) and Zalzala (1987) were released after his death. Films Muqaddar, Aankhon ke taare, Aas paas and Andaaz were either incomplete films or not released by the producers. Hero was the last film of Waheed's life, directed by Iqbal Yousuf. The film was released after almost two years of Waheed's death in 1985. Another Waheed's delayed film Zalzala was released after 4 years of his death in 1987, which was also directed by Iqbal Yousuf. Zalzala did nothing on the box office, however, Hero completed its Silver Jubilee in Karachi. Muqaddar, Aankhon Kay Taray, Aas Paas and Andaaz were the films that were either left incomplete or remain unreleased till todate.
Waheed Murad, in his 25-year career, paired with several actresses like Zeba, Shamim Ara, Rani, Naghma, Aaliya, Sangeeta, Kaveeta, Aasia, Shabnam, Deeba, Babra Sharif, Rukhsana, Bahar and Neelo. He acted in a total of 124 films (2 films were released after his death) of which 38 were black and white and 86 were in colour. Besides this he also appeared in 6 films as a guest star including his ever first and shortest appearance on silver screen in 1959's Saathi. He acted in 115 Urdu films, 8 Punjabi films and 1 Pushto film, and earned 32 prestigious film awards including ones for best producer and for best actor.
Film Art productionsWaheed Murad produced eleven films under his father's established 'Film Art'. He was the youngest film producer in the industry at that time. As producer, Waheed Murad was a successful producer. Most of his produced films were either Golden Jubilee or Silver Jubilee. During 1960s and early 1970s, he produced films like Insaan badalta hai (1961) (his first film as producer), Armaan (1966), Ehsaan (1967), Naseeb apna apna (1970) and Mastana mahi (Punjabi film of 1971). However, after Mastana Mahi he produced no film except Hero which was produced in 1980s and was released after his death.
As director, he had directed as well as produced Ishaara (1969) with co-star Deeba. But the film failed to achieve the viewers' expectances.
PopularityWaheed Murad is considered as one of the pioneering Rock n' Roll stars of South Asia. Due to his romantic and subtle style of acting, he became famously known as the 'Chocolate Hero' and 'Lady Killer'. His hair cut, dressing style and even his conversation style were very popular among the youth. One can say that he was becoming the cultural icon of the Pakistani Film Industry. Once he went to Saddar area of Karachi in his white car. Realizing that it was his car, a group of 30 college girls covered the vehicle with lipstick kisses.
He enlivened the silver screen with his extraordinary talent in acting and picturisation esp. in romantic songs. Some of the songs that still turn many nostalgic are Tumhain kaisay bata doon, Kuch log rooth kar bhi, Dil tumko dey diya, Koko korina, Jhoom aye dil wo dera jaan-e-bahar aye ga, Beetay huway khuch din aisay hain tanhai jinhain duhrati hey, Mujhe tum nazar say gira to rahay ho, Yun kho gaiy teray pyar mein hum, Socha tha piyar na karan gain, Khamosh hein nazaray and Aye abre karam aaj itna baras.
Early lifeWaheed Murad was born on October 2, 1938 in Karachi. He was the only son of the famous Pakistani film distributor Mr. Nisar Murad and Mrs. Shireen Murad. Since childhood he was being given an exposure to famous actors who used to visit his father regularly and inspired him to pursue an acting career. In his childhood, he used to wear a guitar around his neck and was famous as a good dancer among his friends. In his school life he played parts in several plays, which made him more popular. His best friends were Iqbal Yousuf and Pervaiz Malik who joined the same profession Waheed joined and thus remained associated with him for the rest of his life. Waheed passed matriculation in 1954 from the Marie Colaco School, Karachi. Waheed's parents persuaded him to complete his education prior to embarking on a film career. He graduated in arts from S.M. Arts College, Karachi and then completed masters in English literature from the University of Karachi. A strong educational background placed Waheed Murad at an advantage compared to other film producers and actors of his time.
MarriageWaheed Murad had a sort of liking towards Salma, a daughter of Karachi based industrialist and a MemonIbrahim Maker, when both were in grade nine in Karachi Grammar School. Their marriage took place on Thursday, September 17, 1964. The wedding ceremony was arranged at Nisar Murad's house at Tariq Road, Karachi. He addressed his wife as Bibi at home. They had two daughters (Aaliya and Sadia) and one son (Adil). Sadia died in infancy and both Waheed Murad and Salma became inconsolable. However, their two children, Aalia and Adil brought happiness and comfort to their lives.
Days of struggleBy late 1970s, Waheed was being casted in supporting roles either with Nadeem or with Mohammad Ali, or being offered by 'B class' film directors. Most of the leading heroines like Zeba, Shabnam and Nisho were not allowed to play lead roles with Waheed by their husbands. The heart-throbing actor Waheed Murad could not take such an ignominious treatment meted out to him by industry, but kept silent and did not seek help from his friends. Pervaiz Malik, who was became an established director and producer by late seventies, wrote in a local newspaper: "Not even once during that time Waheed come to me seeking work in my films." Waheed was becoming depressed. His close friends revealed that he was becoming addicted to alcohol, oral tobacco and sleeping pills. Even his domestic life suffered and his wife Salma left for the United States. A combination of bad habits and stress caused ulceration in Waheed's stomach in 1981. He suffered from bleeding and had to undergo stomach removal to save his life. His many fans came to the hospital to donate blood to save the life of their favorite hero. Although, he recovered, he lost a significant amount of weight. Even then, Iqbal Akhtar and Iqbal Yousuf, who proved to be real friends in difficult times, cast Waheed Murad in their movies. Waheed appeared pathetic in Dil ney phir yaad keya and Ghairao. Even his loyal admirers felt that it was all over for him.
Anwar Maqsood - a famous TV writer and anchor and a close friend , invited Waheed to his TV comedy show Silver Jubilee. At only 90 pounds, Waheed appeared pencil-thin on the screen, but attempted to put up a brave front.
However, the keen observers could see that Waheed would be unable to spellbind the public as he did in the past. Only during the singing of Tumhe kaisey bata doun... by Aalamgir in the Silver Jubilee show, Waheed's smiles reflected a shadow of his former self-probably in his mind he was still the young hero 20 years earlier.
Babra Shareef, a top actress of the time, revealed that during filming of a scene of Hero, Waheed lost his balance while walking briskly toward her and fell down. He took several minutes to catch his breath prior to standing up on his feet again.
In July 1983, Waheed was driving his car too fast, one of his favorite hobbies, his car struck a big tree. Waheed had a narrow escape, but was left with a large scar on his face. A few days after the accident, Waheed asked his friend Pervaiz Malik for a role. Malik knowing that Waheed was not ready for an acting assignment said, "Veedu you get better and you will be the lead in my next film." With his still razor-sharp mind , he replied, "You give me the role and I will get better." He was going to Karachi to get the scar fixed in order to complete the last few scenes of Hero when he met the chief editor, Ilyas Rasheedi, of the film magazine 'Nigar' at the airport. Rasheedi wrote in his magazine:
"By chance a famous film producer was also present in the waiting area and Waheed put him on the spot by asking if he had a role for him for Javed Sheikh's father in his movie. The producer had a difficult time dodging Waheed."During the flight Waheed was very bitter. He told Rasheedi that he was reduced to working in a Pushto film produced by Badar Muneer, who used to be his car driver and help him with his household work in the late sixties, and subsequently became a successful movie star.
Last days and DeathWaheed's son Aadil was in Karachi staying with his grand mother. A day before his face surgery, Waheed celebrated his birthday. He bought several gifts for Aadil and wished him a happy year. He returned late to spend the night at Anita Ayub's mother Mumtaz Ayub's house. When Waheed did not wake up until late, the door had to be forced open and Waheed was found lying on the floor, dead for several hours. A paan leaf with 'something' in it was found in his mouth. Nobody knows for sure if it was a heart attack or suicide.Waheed was buried near his father's grave in Gulberg Graveyard, Ali Zeb Road, Lahore.
Ilyas Rashidi, the founder of Nigar Awards, wrote in his magazine:
"Waheed Murad was a born hero."Rajesh Khanna, an Indian actor, said in his interview with Shama Delhi magazine:
"After seeing a lot of movies of Waheed Murad, I admit he was a really great actor and I admire his matchless acting performance."Ghulam Mohiuddin, a Pakistani film actor, said:
"Waheed Murad was not an individual but he was an era in his own right which ended when he was sidelined by those who took over the industry in the early 1980s, ... he was a great artiste, who recreated the image of a romantic hero. His acting was natural; he had a great deal of musical sense and was matchless when it came to picturising a song."Lehri, a Pakistani film comedian, said:
"He was a great companion, an unforgettable friend and a humble man so rich in terms of money and fortunes."Sangeeta, a Pakistani film director and actress, said:
Hollywood film Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London, actress Leilah Isaac’s character Sabeen remembers Waheed Murad. Frankie Muniz, reprising his role as Agent Cody Banks, discloses to his cosmopolitan band members that he is a secret agent. To this, a Nigerian boy claims to be Spider-Man while another girl calls herself Lara Croft. As the actors associate themselves with their favourite comic book characters, Sabeen says: "And I’m Waheed Murad." This entices all to ask "what?" to which she replies, "Famous Indian actor."
"Waheed Murad was a superb actor and probably one of the best who ever graced Lollywood. His failure in movies was not owing to lack of talent. In fact, he was the most stylish and original actor in Pakistan. He improved the image of industry by shining through their mediocre scripts; they repaid him by contributing to his downfall. Bad luck, his own strong personality and rendezvous with several actresses also ruined him. He, however, still lives on in the hearts of millions of fans. As his daughter Aaliya said, "If Dad knew that he had such a following, he would not have died.""
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Partition, brain drain and recovery (1947–1958)partition, the newly founded Pakistan faced a brain drain where all its highly talented and skilled workers migrated to India, including most actors and directors. Shortage of filming equipment further paralysed the nation's film industry.
With much hardships faced, the new film industry was able to produce its first feature film, Teri Yaad on 7 August, 1948 premièring at the Parbhat Theatre in Lahore. The following year, Evernew Studios established a studio in the country which would later become the largest film company of the time. Over the next few years, films that were released reached mediocre success until the release of Do Ansoo on 7 April 1950. Do Ansoo became the first film to attain a 25-week viewing making it the first film to reach silver jubilee status.
Recovery was evident with Noor Jehan's directorial debut Chanwey releasing on 29 April 1951. The film became the first film to be directed by a female director. Syed Faqir ahmad Shah produced his first production 1952 The "Jagga Daku" Saqlain Rizvi was the Director, the film could not get much appreciation due to violence shown in it. As cinema viewership increased, Sassi released on 3 June 1954 reached golden jubilee status staying on screens for 50-weeks. Legendary playback singer Ahmed Rushdi started his career in April 1955 after singing his first song in Pakistan "Bander Road Se Kemari".Umar Marvi released on 12 March 1956 became the first ever Pakistani film made in the Sindhi language. To celebrate the success of these endeavours, film journalist Ilyas Rashidi launched an annual awarding event on July 17, 1958. Named Nigar Awards, the event is since then considered Pakistan's premier awarding event celebrating outstanding performance in various categories of filmmaking.
 Golden age under President Ayub Khan (1959–1969)silver screen. As black-and-white became obsolete, Pakistan saw the introduction of first colour films. Some that share the status of being firsts are Munshi Dil's Azra in early 1960s, Zahir Raihan's Sangam (first full-length coloured film) released on 23 April 1964, and Mala (first coloured cinemascope film).
Although it seemed that the industry had stabilised to a certain extent, the relations between the two neighbouring countries were not. On 26 May 1961, Kay Productions released a film titled Bombay Wallah, which did not came under scrutiny from the censor board for having a name that represented a city in India in the wake of the growing tension between the region. Later, the censor board was blamed for irresponsibility. It was the first time that a Pakistani film explored the realms of politics, but it would not be the last. In 1962, film Shaheed aka Martyr, pronounced the Palestine issue on the silver screen and became an instant hit. With the changing tide in the attitude of filmmakers, actress Mussarat Nazir who had reigned the industry for a while left for Canada and settled with her family. Her much anticipated film Bahadur was left unfinished and never released giving alternative films like Syed Kamal's debutant acting role in film Tauba to be admired and fill the void.
In September 1965, following an armed conflict between India and Pakistan, all Indian films were taken off the screen from cinemas in Pakistan and a complete ban was imposed on the Indian films. The ban existed since 1952 in West Pakistan and since 1962 in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), but was exercised rigorously after the conflict. Pakistani cinemas did not suffer much from the decision to remove the films and instead received better viewership for their films. Realising the potential, Waheed Murad stepped into the industry. His persona led people to call him the chocolate hero and in essence, he became the Marlon Brando and Elvis Presley of Pakistan
In 1966, film Armaan was released and became one of the most cherished accomplishments of the industry. The film is said to have given birth to Pakistani pop music introducing playback singing legends – composer Sohail Rana and singer Ahmed Rushdi. The film became the first to complete 75-weeks screenings at cinema houses throughout the country attaining a platinum jubilee Another rising star Nazeer Beg with th stage-name Nadeem received instant success with his debut film Chakori in 1967. The same year, he would act in another film of a different genre altogether. Horror films were introduced with the release of Zinda Laash aka The Living Corpse making it the first film to display an R rating tag on its posters.
Meanwhile Eastern Films Magazine, a tabloid edited by Said Haroon, became the most popular magazine for film buffs in Pakistan. The magazine had a questions and answers section titled "Yours Impishly" which the sub-editor Asif Noorani took inspiration for from I. S. Johar's page in India's Filmfare magazine. Tabloid like these got their first controversial covers with the release of Neela Parbat on 3 January 1969, which became Pakistan's first feature-film with an adults-only tag. The film ran for only three-to-four days at the box office.
More controversial yet would be the offering of distribution rights in the Middle East to the Palestinian guerrilla organisation, Al Fatah by the writer, producer, and director Riaz Shahid for his film Zarqa released on 17 October 1969. The film depicted the activities of the organisation.
Age of the VCR (1970–1977)Following the Bangladesh Liberation War, Pakistani film industry lost its Dacca wing and number of cinema decreased rapidly. The period saw the exodus of more influential workers in the industry leave for the newly found Bangladesh. This caused another serious brain drain since the partition of India. Veterans like Runa Laila departed for Bangladesh and the Pakistani industry was at the brink of disaster yet again.
Amidst concerns of a collapse, the film Dosti, released on 7 February 1971, turned out to be the first indigenous Urdu film to complete 101 weeks of success at the box office dubbing it the first recipient of a diamond jubilee, however it is reported that the first diamond jubilee status was celebrated by the Punjabi film Yakke Wali in 1957.
As political uncertainty took charge of the entertainment industry, filmmakers were asked to consider socio-political impacts of their films as evident by the fact that the makers of Tehzeeb, released on 20 November 1971, were asked to change the lyrics with a reference to ‘Misr’, Urdu for Egypt, that might prove detrimental to diplomatic relations of Eygypt and Pakistan. So vulnerable was the film industry to the changing political landscape that in 1976, an angry mob set fire to cinema in Quetta just before the release of the first Balochi film, Hamalo Mah Gunj, which was to be filmed in the same cinema.
The mid-1970s saw the introduction of video cassette recorders in Pakistan and instantly films from all over the world were copied onto tape, and attendance at cinemas decreased when people preferred to watch films in the comfort of their homes. This ushered the birth of the film piracy industry films began to be copied on tapes on the day they premiered in cinemas.
Javed Jabbar's Beyond the Last Mountain, released on 2 December 1976, was Pakistan’s first venture into English film-making. The film's Urdu version Musafir did not do well at the box-office. While the industry was revolutionising, Pakistan's government was in a state of turmoil. Aina, released on 18 March 1977, marked a distinct symbolic break between the so called liberal Zulfikar Ali Bhutto years and the increasingly conservative cum revolutionary Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq regime. The film stayed in cinemas for over 400 weeks at the box office, with its last screening at 'Scala' in Karachi where it ran for more than four years. It is considered the most popular film in the country's history to date.
President Zia-ul-Haq's Islamisation, Gandasa culture and the downfall (1979–1987)Following Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq's military coup, he began to Islamicise the country and one of the very first victims of this socio-political change included the film industry. Imposition of new registration laws for film producers requiring filmmakers to be degree holders, where not many were, led to a steep decline in the workings of the industry. The government forcibly closed most of the cinemas in Lahore. New tax rates were introduced, further decreasing cinema attendances.
Films dropped from a total output of 98 films in 1979, of which 42 were in Urdu, to only 58 films (26 in Urdu) in 1980. The filmmakers that remained employed flaccid story-lines to present Punjabi cult classics like Maula Jatt in 1979, telling the story of a gandasa-carrying protagonist waging a blood-feud with a local gangster. Growing censorship policies against displays of affection, rather than violence, came as a blow to the industry and as a result violence-ridden Punjabi films prevailed and overshadowed the Urdu cinema.The middle class neglected the 'increasingly dilapidated and rowdy cinemas'. This film sub-culture came to be known as the ‘gandasa culture’ in the local industry.
Where veterans of this culture Sultan Rahi and Anjuman, became iconic figure in the Punjabi films, Pashto cinema took on a contrasting façade. Backed by powerful politicians, Pashto filmmakers were able to get around the censor policies and filled their films with soft-core pornography to increase viewership. This threw away the romantic and loveable image of Pakistani cinema and less people were attracted to the prospect of going to a cinema. Being a female actor associated with film productions became an understandable taboo. Nevertheless influx of refugees from across the Afghani border, who were denied the entertainment in their country, kept the industry strongly active.
When it seemed the industry could not be further deteriorated, following years saw yet another blow to the fatal collapse. Waheed Murad, oft termed the chocolate hero died in 1983 due to alcohol abuse and stomach cancer, some however say he committed suicide. Media attributes the film star's death to his disheartened view in the wake of Pakistani cinema's collapse. Director of his unfinished film Hero, employed cheat shot to complete the last of this legend's memorable films to a packed audience. This enthusiasm soon disappeared and not even Pakistan's first science fiction film Shaani in 1987, directed by Saeed Rizvi employing elaborate special effects could save the industry from failing. The sci-fi film received an award at the Moscow Film Festival and even in Egypt and Korea, but sadly was shelved in its country of origin.
At the starts of the 1990s, Pakistan's film industry was gripped with certain doom. Of the several studios only 11 were operational in the '70s and '80s producing around 100 films annually. This number would lower further as studio went towards producing short-plays and television commercials and let the industry astray in the wake of cable television. By the early '90s, the annual output dropped to around 40 films, all produced by a single studio. Other productions would be independent of any studio usually financed by the filmmakers themselves.
The local industry succeeded to gain audience attention however in the mid- and late-1990s. With Syed Noor's Jeeva and Samina Peerzada's Inteha, it seemed the cinema of Pakistan was headed towards a much needed revival but naught attendance recorded at the box-office for later ventures ushered a complete and utter collapse of the industry. Notable productions of the time include Deewane Tere Pyar Ke, Mujhe Chand Chahiye, Sangam, Tere Pyar Mein, and Ghar Kab Aao Gay, which tried hard to get away from the formulaic and violent story-lines but were not accepted fully amongst the lower middle class cinema audience.
Controversy raged over the filming of Jinnah in the late 1990s, a film produced by Akbar Salahuddin Ahmed and directed by Jamil Dehlavi. Objections were raised over the choice of actor Christopher Lee as the protagonist depicting Muhammad Ali Jinnah and inclusion of Indian Shashi Kapoor as archangel Gabriel in the cast combined with the experimental nature of the script. Imran Aslam, editor of The News International, said the author wrote the script in a ‘haze of hashish’. Of all the controversies and hearsay, the film proved a point that Indian and Pakistani filmmakers and actors can collaborate together on any such cinematic ventures without the ban being lifted. Later years would see more actors travels traveling in and across the border on further cross-border ventures.
Late '80s had seen the death of Murad and towards 1989, Anjuman got married to Mobeen Malik, quitting from playback signing and finally Sultan Rahi was murdered in 1996. The already reeling industry lost viewership not just for its Urdu but Punjabi films following Rahi's death. Director Sangeeta attended to her family life and Nazrul Islam died during the time. The industry was pronounced dead by the start of the new millennium. Syed Noor depressed at the sudden decline of cinema gathered investors for what was considered the only Pakistani film to have survived this chaos.
The year 1998 saw the release of Noor's Choorian, a Punjabi film that grossed 180 million rupees.Directors realised there was still hope and Javed Sheikh's Yeh Dil Aap Ka Huwa released in 2002 grossing over 200 million rupees (US $3.4 million) across Pakistan. The monetary prospects were then realised fully and for the first time in twelve years, investors starting taking keen interest in Pakistani films.
However, the short period of successes in the industry could not keep the cinemas afloat, and the same industry that at one time produced more than a 100 films annually a decade ago was now reduced to merely 32 per year, in the year 2003, with only one partial success called Larki Panjaban (A Punjabi Girl). In August, 2007, a new film titled Khuda Ke Liye was released. It became popular due to its controversial theme of the current problems faced in Pakistan. It was also released internationally, including in India, where it became the first Pakistani film released after four decades
Revival under President Musharraf (2003–2009)In early 2003, young filmmakers took on a stance to demonstrate that high quality content could be produced by the local film industry using he limited resources available. Cinema was declining in all major cities of the nation and a need for revival was echoed in the media. With privatisation of television stations in full swing, a new channel Filmazia was broadcast, primarily to broadcast films and productions made indigenously in the country. It was during this time that Mahesh Bhatt, a celebrated Indian director visited Pakistan looking for talent, particularly singers who could lend their voices to his upcoming films in India. His visit to Pakistan was to attend the third Kara Film Festival, for the screenings of his film Paap in Karachi. Bhatt would later hire Atif Aslam for the soundtrack of his film Zeher and Pakistani actress Meera to play a lead-role in one of his films.
Later in 2005, industry officials realised that the government needed to lift the ban for the screening of Bollywood films in Pakistan. The issue was voiced by the Film Producers Association (FPA) and the Cinema Owners Association (CAO) of Pakistan after the release of the colourised remastering of the 1960 classic Mughal-e-Azam. When the government turned down the request, Geo Films, a subsidiary of Geo TV took on itself to invest in upcoming Pakistani directorial ventures and dubbed their efforts “Revival of Pakistani Cinema” and on 20 July 2007 released Shoaib Mansoor's cinematic directorial début Khuda Ke Liye (In The Name of God). The film would later become the first ever Pakistani film since the imposition of the ban in 1965 to be released simultaneously in India and Pakistan. With its general release in India, the four decade ban was finally lifted. The film was released in more than a 100 cinemas in 20 cities in India.
Unbeknown to the local media scene, a Pakistani horror and gore film was already doing rounds in International film festivals. Another directorial début by director Omar Ali Khan, Zibahkhana aka Hell's Ground premièred at festivals throughout the world gaining repute as the ‘first extreme-horror gore flick’ and received accolade wherever it screened. The film ushered a revival in the horror genre for Pakistani films. The film would also be the first Pakistani film shot on HD. Where the horror genre seems to have been reincarnated in the industry, Freedom Sound, a science fiction film would use the computer-generated special effects for the first time since 1989's Shaani. The recent successes of issue-centered Pakistani films such has Khuda Ke Liye prompted director Mehreen Jabbar to come forth with her instalment with the release of Ramchand Pakistani which will mark the first true efforts of international collaboration towards the revival of cinema in Pakistan.
Next up are filmstar Reema Khan's directorial project based on Paulo Coehlo's Veronica Decides to Die, filmstar Shan's directorial project " Chup" introducing model Juggun Kazim to the silver screen, Syed Noor's " Price of Honor" based reportedly on the Mukhtara Mai Rape incident,Syed Noor and his wife Saima are also working on a comedy "Wohti le ke Jani Hai" after the recorded breaking success of 'Majajan'. Khamaj fame Music Video director Safdar Malik's Directorial debut "Ajnabi Sheher mein" starring Nadeem, Samina Peerzada, Ali Zafar and Model Tooba Malik, Shehzad Gul's "Iman" starring Shan and Nirma, Actor Humayun Saeed debut production BALAA with the support of Vishesh Films(Mukesh and Mahesh Bhatt) to be directed by Script writer of Indian films 'Woh Lamhe' and 'Raaz the mystery continues' Shagufta Rafique(talks are on with Indian actress Tabu for the title role and Iman Ali and Juggan Kazim in Pakistan), Salman Peerzada's "Zargul" a major festival circuit success might also finally see mainstream release. Shoaib Mansoor is to bring his second film 'Bol' with stars Atif Aslam, Mahira Khan and Juggan Kazim. Also Syed Faisal Bokhari's 'Bhai Log',Shehzad Rafique's second film 'Mene Jeena Tere Naal' with Veena Malik and Adnan Khan. Tv Producer Ejaz Bajwa's film directorial debut "Channa Sachi Muchi" starring Babar Ali, Momi Rana and Saima. Indo-Pak-American co production "Virsa" starring Arya Babbar from India and Mehreen Raheal from Pakistan will be releasing in Pakistan and India both after its world premier at the Dallas International Film Festival (the director, Pankaj Batra is Indian). Iqbal Kashmiri's second film 'Devdas' remake of Indian film, Devdas, and bengali novel, starring Zara Sheikh, Meera and Nadeem Shah. Son of Pakistan based on terrorism in Pakistan. Written, directed and produced by Jarar Rizvi. The film features Shamyl Khan, Sana Nawaz and Meera in lead roles. Aamir Zafar, an filmmaking student, debut as director with film Victim which features Humayun Saeed and Irtiza Ruhab in lead roles. Syed Faisal Bukhari's second film "Saltanat" featuring Lollywood debut Mona Laizza who also does an item number, Javed Sheikh and Ahsan Khan. Shaan Shahid's second film, script by Mashal Peezada featuring Vaneeza Ahmed and Natasha