Instep Today

In conversation with Frieha Altaf

Instep Today
By Maria Shirazi
Thu, 07, 19

Frieha Altaf talks to Instep about the 18th edition of Lux Style Awards, the challenges that come with it, and why she’s interested in acting, again

Former model, PR mogul and CEO/Creative Head at Catwalk Event Management & Productions, Frieha Altaf has long been associated with the Lux Style Awards (LSA) and this year is no different. She returns as the official show director for the 18th edition of LSA 2019 that are scheduled to take place on July 7, 2019 in Karachi.

Instep got in touch with Frieha Altaf to know more about the upcoming awards show, her duties as show director and much more.

“Lux Style Awards is such a massive show. It is my baby as I have been associated with it for 18 years now. The show has become an adult and I’m looking at it as a nurtured show and taking it to the grandeur that everybody is used to seeing,”Altaf told Instep.

Talking about challenges that come with pulling off such a massive, star-studded event, Altaf shared, “There are always challenges involved with a show as grand as the LSAs, as it is a platform that honours excellence from fashion, film, music and television industries. There are busy stars, overlapping schedules, contracts, copyrights, timeline, labour, set, performances, change of performances, missed flights, late entries - everything is possible and it actually happens. So, it is a huge challenge to produce something like this and when it all comes together on the day of the show, it is quite gratifying.”

Being the show director for so many years now, what basics are involved to bring the Lux Style Awards to life, we asked Altaf.

She responded, “It’s not just directing the show, but we do the entire event production, which means everything. We conceive creative ideas and what the overall theme of the show will be; you have to do a lot of research and development over the year and see what has happened.”

According to Altaf, the representation, the work, is celebrated on stage.

“The set ideas are kind of dependent on the venue,” Altaf continued. “So, we try to be creative and different about it. Also performances have to be relevant; it can’t be dated and has to be something that excites everybody because this show is for everyone and we have to cater to everybody.”

According to the industry insider, style is an important component because as the name suggests it is a style show and so the glamour and style quotient is very significant.

“I have to think about all these things, which is a lot, but I am really excited about it as we have a lot of fresh talent performing this year and hopefully everybody will like it.”

Speaking about the criticism and controversy that has surrounded the awards ceremony, Frieha said that most award shows are surrounded by controversies and scandals.

“Take for example the Oscars 2019; it didn’t have a host this year because Kevin Hart made an inappropriate remark. Someone wins, someone loses, someone deserved to win; it is mostly about the awards being given out or things that happen at award shows and all that is impromptu. Things happen at the time, which are not planned. In fact, not just award shows but every event has some controversy or the other, it is part of the process and that’s how it works.”

She added that she always believes in the fight. “It is better to fight for your rights from within the platform. The platform gives you an opportunity to say what you want and do what you want. Last year, the LSAs gave me the opportunity to work on a social cause. The thing is that when you are nominated at an award show but you don’t participate, someone else who might not be so deserving will take your place. So, I firmly believe, it is important to fight for whatever you want from within the platform because than you will have a larger voice and you will have a larger reach,” she asserted.

During the course of the interview Altaf spoke about the #MeinBhi movement she introduced at LSAs last year. She stated that #MeinBhi for her is more about child abuse, minority rights and women’s rights and there is a segment at this year’s award show, which is very relevant. “We have done 17 charity events and speaking engagements this year. I have recently become the ambassador for Aura, which is a children’s rehabilitation centre and I’m helping them raise funds. #MeinBhi is a huge task and an ongoing process. I have also joined Aahung this year and am also associated with Sahil.”

Apart from this, Altaf is all geared for her upcoming film, Parey Hut Love (PHL), which is directed by Asim Raza and written by Imran Aslam and is slated to release on Eid ul Azha.

When asked what made her pursue acting once again, that too after such a long time, she said, “The quality of films wasn’t very good and even television was very disorganized. I didn’t want to pursue acting because I couldn’t sit still for 5 to 6 hours waiting for my turn. But now everything is so organized. I have really enjoyed my experience with Asim Raza in PHL and I would definitely like to do more acting projects. In fact, there is a talk-show in the works and also a sit-com that I’m very excited about.”

As for upcoming projects, Altaf revealed that a child sexual abuse conference is in the works, which is scheduled to take place in August. “We are hoping that the Minister for Human Rights. Dr. Shireen Mazari will be present there. This is the first time we are doing such a conference in Karachi where a lot of celebrities will talk about different topics like child marriages, child labour etc.”

On a parting note, she shared that Beyond Beautiful, which Catwalk introduced earlier this year, is slated to take place in Lahore in March 2020.

“We have another festival planned where we are working with Solis for an EDM concert later this year. I’m doing the PR for Pepsi Battle of the Bands and am also working on the PR of three more films. And then there is a film festival in New York, which is scheduled for October. Moreover, I would like to do more acting jobs; I want to do sculpture again and I will continue with my charities and raising funds for them.”