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February 9, 2015

With money a motivation,message of films can be lost along the way


February 9, 2015

The types of films and TV dramas that are produced largely depend on commercial success. If it sells, producers will be willing to bet their money on it. But with money as the only motivating factor, the notion of making movies and dramas that deliver a message for the society could be lost along the way. Besides, the Pakistani audiences’ response to content defying norms and self-perceived standards also determines what is being catered to them.
In a Karachi Literature Festival session, titled ‘Transaction or Transformation in Film and TV’, on Sunday, panellists discussed these problems and explored the possibilities to overcome them.
Indian actor and writer Sanjay Iyer noted that commercial success had forced producers to make films that lacked quality.
“With the exception of films like the Aamir Khan-starrer ‘PK’, there is nothing much to boast about.”
However, he said people interested in making quality films could explore different options.
He mentioned a Kannada-language psychological thriller film ‘Lucia’. After its script was rejected several times, the writer used a blog to seek funding for the film. He managed to acquire that and the movie went on to become a success.
Lollywood starlet and model Jia Ali had no doubt in the abilities of Pakistani actors and filmmakers, and saw no reason as to why there should not be films on diverse topics that could motivate the Pakistani audiences to think critically.
Actor Ali Saleem, of the Begum Nawazish Ali fame, described the difficulties that he faced when he appeared in the role of a flirtatious upper-class widow.
“Poor Ali Saleem suddenly started being perceived as a threat,” he said. “Mothers were afraid that their sons would end up becoming cross-dressers if they watched the show.”
Saleem also criticised the Pakistani audiences for their hypocrisy when they praised Bollywood starlets in item songs and raised eyebrows when their Lollywood

counterparts did the same.
Bollywood starlet Meera, the surprise panellist, expressed her desire to play roles that focused on human psychology. She added that there should be films that focussed on behavioural issues. Filmmaker Farooq Mengal said making a good film in Pakistan was no easy task. “It’s a jihad.”

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