Of global triumphs and cross-cultural rom-coms

October 2, 2022

The last few months have shown that our artists and creatives have the ability to shine at an international level. Films like the upcoming What’s Love Got to Do with It? will hopefully help continue that trend.

Of global triumphs and cross-cultural rom-coms


f you are passionate about Pakistani entertainment and have spent the longest time frustrated with the quality of our output and feeling like you’re stuck in the timeline that’s meant to cause you maximum disappointment, then you’ll be relieved by the recent developments in Pakistani music and cinema. Turns out you were actually in the most rewarding of alternate universes after all, for Pakistan is having a spectacular moment in global entertainment and it’s absolutely glorious.

Within a span of months, we have been blessed with our very first Grammy winner (Arooj Aftab), our first major superhero gracing the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Ms. Marvel), the global recognition of a local song (‘Pasoori’), and the unprecedented success of the film Joyland that has earned critical appreciation at both the Cannes Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival.

We are on a roll! And it doesn’t stop here.

There’s more on the horizon, including a British movie that pays homage to Pakistani culture. Penned by Jemima Khan and starring talent from both Britain and South Asia, the romantic comedy What’s Love Got to Do with It? takes a cross-cultural look at love and is all set to arrive in cinemas early next year.

Its premiere at TIFF was well-received, and we can see why based on the trailer.

Of global triumphs and cross-cultural rom-coms

The clip introduces us to Lily James’s Zoe, a documentary filmmaker whose efforts to find love on dating apps haven’t yielded the results she would have hoped for, much to the dismay of her mother, Cath (Emma Thompson). When her neighbour, Kaz (Shazad Latif), decides to follow in his Pakistani parents’ footsteps by opting for an arranged marriage, Zoe decides to film his journey, following her childhood friend from London to Lahore to marry a stranger – Sajal Aly’s Zoya – chosen by his parents.

It’s a joy to see Pakistani culture take centre stage in a foreign flick. Jemima Khan has described the project as “a celebration of all things Pakistani, [and] a love letter to my old friend Pakistan”, and given the credentials of its filmmakers, the movie will hopefully take a respectful, insightful look into a very different approach to finding love.

Films like this will hopefully put a positive spotlight on our country and help our talent – both in front of and behind the camera – gain recognition and earn the chance to explore other international projects. 2022 has shown us that we have the ability to shine at a global scale. Here’s to our creatives continuing to impress and making a mark, breaking barriers, and taking our entertainment industry to even greater heights in the months and years to come.

Of global triumphs and cross-cultural rom-coms

Helmed by Indian director Shekhar Kapur and also starring the likes of Shabana Azmi, Asim Chaudhry, Jeff Mirza, and Mim Shaikh, What’s Love Got to Do with It? is a StudioCanal presentation produced by Working Title Films in association with Instinct Productions and will be released in January 2023.

Of global triumphs and cross-cultural rom-coms