We reported earlier this month that Nabeel Qureshi and Fizza Ali Meerza’s latest feature film Load Wedding – that stars Fahad Mustafa, Mehwish Hayat, Faiza Hassan and Samina Ahmed in key roles – is headed to China.
The film opened the Asian Film and TV week on May 17, 2019, in Guangzhou and was among the 5 films, chosen out of 60 entries, to open the festivals in different cities of China including Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Xi’an and Guangzhou.
“Load wedding opened the festival in Guangzhou and received extraordinary reception and praise,” producer Fizza told Instep in an exclusive conversation. “The cultural minister of Guangzhou and the heads of China film administration attended the event along with the Pakistani Consulate General in Guangzhou and many other dignitaries including the media. The film was subtitled in Chinese, the hall was full of laughter and anticipating what would happen next.”
Fizza also informed the screening (on May 17) was followed by a Q & A session, which was full of admiration about the content and quality of the film. “We were told that Load Wedding is no less in quality in comparison with the films they import from different countries and people from China would love to experience more Pakistani cinema after watching Load Wedding.”
Director of Load Wedding, Nabeel Qureshi, shared that it was a great experience
while the response was overwhelming.
“Load Wedding was the only Pakistani film to be screened so we felt really good to represent Pakistan at such a huge event,” he expressed. The film revolves around the theme of dowry and an unhealthy obsession with marriage.
“Dowry is prevalent in China as well. However, it is the other way around; the guy gives dowry there but the audience could relate to the concept.”
“People in China don’t know much about Pakistani cinema and Pakistani culture,” Nabeel continued. “Such exchange of films is very important; it helps in learning about each other’s culture and people. I hope these events will create anticipation for Pakistani films among people of China, leading to further collaborations in future.” We also saw Nabeel and Fizza’s pictures with Aamir Khan floating over the internet while the two were in China to attend the event. Aamir Khan’s films Dangal and Taare Zameen Par were also screened during the festival.
When asked how the experience of meeting Bollywood’s Mr Perfectionist was and what his thoughts were on Pakistani cinema, Nabeel responded, “It was a pleasure meeting
Though he didn’t say much about Pakistani cinema, he was very surprised to see Pakistan’s representation at the event. Whenever we speak of films in Asia, India comes to our mind as it has a huge cinema industry but we were also there with our film. He [Aamir Khan] asked about Load Wedding’s plot and told me he will watch our films online.”
On a parting note, Nabeel spoke about cultural exchanges between Pakistan and India but, at the same time, he stressed that our focus should be on bettering our films first.
“We are always open to such exchanges with India but when they come up with a ban or something, we also do the same in response. Since Narendra Modi has won the Indian election again, we shouldn’t have high hopes in terms of cultural exchanges. Let’s see what happens. Collaboration among artists is very important but we should focus on flourishing our cinema,” he concluded.