Instep Today

A cursory look at 2019

Instep Today
By Maheen Sabeeh
Mon, 10, 19

-- Laal Kabootar, a film by debutant director Kamal Khan, was selected by Pakistan Oscar Committee - chaired by two-time Academy Award winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy - as the country’s official submission for consideration for the year 2020.

-- Pakistani films find success on the international film circuit; Laal Kabootar won Best Feature Film Award at 14th Tasveer South Asian Film Festival.

-- Sarmad Sultan Khoosat’s upcoming directorial venture, Zindagi Tamasha trailer won unanimous acclaim as the film – via its trailer – seems to depict an exploration of disturbing, uncomfortable half-truths and hypocrisy the society is drenched in. Sarmad also confirmed a project featuring Saba Qamar called Kamli.

-- Saakin roped in to produce the music of Zindagi Tamasha after the success of their debut single, ‘Saaki-E-Bawafa’.

-- Indus Blues, a documentary about how local instruments and craftsmen who design them and the traditions they represent are in danger of extinction, premiered just this month at DokuArts – Internationales Festival fur Filme zur Kunst, in Berlin, as the official selection. Produced by the Foundation of Arts, Culture and Education (FACE), in association with Bipolar Films, Indus Blues, among its many achievements, won Best Documentary Feature award at Mind the Indie Film Festival 2019 (MTIFF) in Plovdiv, Bulgaria and premiered in Italy and Pakistan as well.

-- Superstar featuring Mahira Khan, Nadeem Baig and Bilal Ashraf and the all-star Parey Hut Love performed well at the box office even though both released at the same time.

-- A new drama called Alif starring Sajal Aly and Hamza Ali Abbasi has not gone unnoticed by the public with each episode a subject of discussion.

-- Sajid and Zeeshan announce comeback with a new music video and track; Zeeshan Parwez announces he is working on his solo album and was also roped in as the video producer for Coke Studio 12.

--  Pepsi Battle of the Bands dropped ESharp for Aarish from top four – an inexplicable decision – but the other finalist, Auj, made up for it by presenting good songs like ‘Raat’,’Lafz’ and a very likable vocalist to win the fourth season that concluded in 2019.

--  Fawad Khan redeemed himself after last year’s odd world music effort with ‘Uth Jaag’ where he was accompanied by some of the best musicians the land has to offer. Collaborating with Xulfi, the song did have its moments, akin to EP - lyrically, musically and via Khan’s vocals – but also bore a strong resemblance to ‘Resistance’ by Abdullah Siddiqui that he first presented on Nescafe Basement 5, particularly visually.

-- Lahooti Melo 4 took place in Jamshoro this year with its theme being an ode to a liberated woman and some of the most haunting conversations related to #MeToo took place. It also played host to a caliber of music that had the pulse of the attendees, irrespective of them seeing some acts for the first time. International act, FDVM, performed as did Chand Tara Orchestra, Project Zil, Arieb Azhar, Mughal-e-Funk, Jimmy Khan, Mekaal Hasan Band and many more.

--  Usman Mazhar, Ali Gul Pir, Hassaan Bin Shaheen were among comedians who kept the comic relief coming.

-- The Khawatoons, an all-female comedy troupe led by Faiza Saleem, also tickled our funny bone – with consistency and care.

-- Creative Karachi Festival made an appearance in Karachi in 2019 with the tagline: “To Sabeen (Mahmud), with Love)” after a gap of some years and gave creative(s) of all sorts a chance to showcase their art.

-- Khumariyaan  won a Lux Style Award for Song of the Year for ‘Ya Qurban’.

-- After ‘Rung De’, Chand Tara Orchestra released the music video for the splendid ‘Makki Madni’ – earlier in 2019.

-- Poor Rich Boy – with upcoming album Almost Tuesday – will represent collaborations with indie music gems like Ali Suhail, Gentle Robot, Janoobi Khargosh with a song scheduled to release soon ft. Wooly and the Uke.

-- Salt Arts hit the landmark of 75 shows and celebrated with a concert featuring resident DJ Hussain Dossa and hybrid-frenzy creating group, Khumariyaan, in Karachi at the Arts Council. Evolving in three years, in addition to live shows in Karachi and banking on the idea that audience development is necessary and the audience should not be taken for granted, Salt Arts, in 2019, launched a residency program, which took a group of selected creative people to Hunza where collaboration was the key principal. Several residents received funding from various individuals including one female musician, who was backed by Strings.

-- After Islamabad and Lahore, Solis Festival is coming to Karachi on November 16, 2019. To avoid any untoward incident, the event will feature a segregated section for women-only and mixed section for boys with girls.

-- Mahira Khan went to Paris Fashion Week that ran from September 23 to October 1, 2019. Repping L‘Oreal, she turned heads with not only her fashion sense but with a dance with Helen Mirren.

-- The prodigious Abdullah Siddiqui released Metannoya on Sept 20 and won unanimous applause for it.

-- Meesha Shafi gave another iconic performance with the song ‘Leela’ and before that, ‘Mein’ - winning the approval of the audience as the best song to emerge two years in a row.

-- Game of Thrones ended with season 8. Winning Best Drama at the Emmys, the series was criticized for its controversial ending. Chinese authorities censored the series.

--  Peter Dinklage won an Emmy for supporting actor for GOT, making it his fourth consecutive win and a record for the category. 

As Avengers ended, MCU unveiled chapter four starting with The Eternals, which will feature, among others, Angelina Jolie, Pakistani-American actor Kumail Nanjani, and Kit Harrington aka Jon Snow from Game of Thrones.

-- Teefa in Trouble performed exceedingly well at the box office despite releasing on a non-holiday weekend. The film returned to theatres upon demand post-release.