Ramchand Pakistani

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MR NICE

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A saviour of Pakistani cinema?



By Shanaz Ramzi

At a time when cinema owners in Pakistan are protesting against the lack of government support in battling with the forces responsible for the continuing decline in investment, production and exhibition of films, there is welcome, if not surprising news that a major new initiative is in progress to create a Pakistani film for international audiences.

Mehreen Jabbar, one of Pakistan’s outstanding young directors who has directed and produced a large number of highly acclaimed, award-winning TV serials and plays including New York Stories, Pehchaan, Kahaniyaan and Putli Ghar, has recently completed the filming phase of her first directorial venture into big-screen cinema. What’s more, her father Javed Jabbar is the executive producer of the film. It may be recalled that Javed Jabbar wrote, produced and directed the first Pakistani film in English titled Beyond the Last Mountain, released to critical acclaim domestically and in international film festivals in 1976. In the ’70s and ’80s he had also written and direc-ted several award-winning documentaries.

In an exclusive interview to Images, Mehreen Jabbar not only broke the news about her forthcoming film, Ramchand Pakistani, but also disclosed bits of information about it, so far kept a closely guarded secret. She informed that the story-line of the film, as can be guessed by its working title, “is deeply rooted in the complex relationships that characterise interactions between Pakistan and India, and Muslims and Hindus. However, the film is aimed at audiences across South Asia and the world.”




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Nandita plays Champa, a Pakistani Hindu woman who is left desolate when her young son and husband disappear one day from their village at the Pakistan-India border near Nagarparkar, in Tharparkar

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Inspired by actual events, the story is written by her father, while Mohammad Ahmed, who has many popular tele-plays and TV serials to his credit, has written the screenplay and dialogues. “The film is in Urdu, with a Hindi version, but for international audiences it will be sub-titled in English and other foreign languages,” she adds.

Interestingly, the film brings together prominent personalities and professionals from Pakistan, the US and India. In fact, Ramchand Pakistani will possibly be the first Pakistani movie, and certainly the first since 1971, in which some of the pivotal characters are portrayed as Pakistani Hindus. Leading Indian actress Nandita Das, well-known and widely respected for her roles in films like Fire, Earth, Bhawinder, Provoked, Aks, and several others, plays the lead female role in the film.

Nandita plays Champa, a Pakistani Hindu woman who is left desolate when her young son and husband disappear one day from their village at the Pakistan-India border near Nagarparkar, in Tharparkar. Nandita Das is the only Indian, or for that matter, non-Pakistani actor in the large cast comprising well-known Pakistani TV and stage personalities including Rashid Farooqi, Noman Aijaz, Maria Wasti, Zhalay Sarhadi, Syed Fazal Ahmed, (who plays the title role) Farooq Pario, Shahood Alvi, Salim Mairaj, Tipu and Navaid Jabbar (no relation to the producer or director).

Music and background songs are also the collective work of Pakistani and Indian artistes. The music is composed by Debajyoti Mishra from India, whose recent score for Raincoat became very popular and who has a large number of award-winning compositions to his credit. Lyrics are written by the celebrated Pakistani media personality Anwar Maqsood, while the songs are rendered by Shobha Mudgul of India and Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan of Pakistan.

According to Jabbar, filming was conducted entirely in Pakistan in February and March 2007 in different parts of Tharparkar, in rural Mirpurkhas and on a special large set representing an Indian prison constructed in rural Karachi. However, post-production of the film is taking place overseas and is expected to be completed by September this year.

A Pakistan-United States co-production, the film is being presented by two allied Pakistani firms — JJ Media and Project One. One hopes that this film will herald a new wave of quality Pakistani films that will be of interest to viewers around the world.

Posted 03 May 2007

MR NICE says
Its nice to see that at last the talented Mahreen Jabbar has decided to make a full length feature film called Ramchand Pakistani.

I am personnelly not that happy with the subject of the film. Mahreen Jabbar has probably chosen this subject to please the Indians and international audiences. One would have liked a subject which more Pakistanies could relate to.

One would have liked a total Pakistani product but Nandita Dus will play the major role in the film. All the other actors are from TV and no film actor has been taken. In this regard Shoaib Mansoor did the right by choosing Shaan for his film. You need a major actor to create an awareness. The music is given by an Indian also.

Any how all the best and hopes that the film gets a proper release in Pakistan and worldwide. Only then Mahreen Jabbar effort will pay dividends.
Posted 03 May 2007

mr nice u going at pakmusic forum
Posted 03 May 2007

MR NICE says
Actually I read this on Sunday and is taken from the Dawn. Yes I do go on Pakmusic forum. I am basically helping people out with film song requests.
Posted 03 May 2007

OKE
Posted 03 May 2007

yoyo says
good effort but why not a paki actress.

all thought sounds like a good film and could be a boost for the film industry
Posted 03 May 2007

w q malik says

IT SOUNDS PROMISING BUT I DON'T THINK IT WOULD BE ABLE TO CREATE A BOOST FOR THE INDUSTRY AS IT WILL NOT APPEAL TO THE MASSES AT ALL. IT WILL DEFINENTLY HAVE A TOUCHY AND SENSITIVE SUBJECT BUT I VERY MUCH DOUBT ABOUT THE GENERAL PUBLIC RESPONSE. THOUGH IT WILL MANAGE TO GET SOME INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION FOR SURE.

FOR EXAMPLE THE FIRST EVER ENGLISH MOVIE IN THE HISTORY OF PAKISTAN "BEYOND THE LAST MOUNTAIN" WAS DIRECTED, PRODUCED AND WRITTEN BY MEHREEN JABBAR'S DAD, JAVED JABBAR WHO IS VERY SEASONED POLITICIAN AS WELL.IT HAS WELL KNOWN STARS AS USMAN PEERZADA AND SUBHAANI BA YOUNAS BUT ALL THESE ASPECTS COULDN'T MAKE THE IMPACT AND EVENTUALLY THE MOVIE WAS DEAD FLOP!!!!!

ANYWAYS WE MUST APPRECIATE THESE KIND OF EFFORTS."KHAMOSH PAANI", A FILM BY SABIHA SUMMAR IS ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNISED GOOD PIECE OF ART BUT FAILED TO GET THE PERMISSION TO RELEASE IT IN PAKISTANI CINEMAS.

AS FAR AS THE SUBJECT IS CONCERNED IT APPEARS TO BE ABOUT THE TREATMENT OF MINORITIES IN PAKISTAN....WHICH IS WORTH HIGHLIGHTING AS I AM WITNESS OF SOME DISGUSTED SICRIMINATIONARYU ACTS WITH RELIGIOUS MONORITIES IN PAKISTAN. WE MUST HAVE COURAGE TO FACE THE REALITY OF OURSELVES THROUGH THE MEDIA WHICH IS THE ONLY WAY TO LEARN WITH OUR MISTAKES.

AT LAST THE INDIAN ACTRESS "NANDITA DAS"....SHE IS REALLY MATURE PERFORMER ...........BUT........ I WOULD HAVE APPRECIATED MEHREEN IF SHE HAD GONE FOR PAKISTANI ACTRESS. IT IS NOT BECAUSE I AM DISCRIMINATIONG INDIAN ARTISTS BUT THE REAL REASON BEHIND THIS IS INDIAN INDUSTRY HAS ALREADY GOT THE EXCELLENT EXPOSURE SPECIFICALLY NANDITA DAS IN FIRE ETC AND MOST RECENTLY IN 'PROVOKED'. NOW AS A WELL WISHER OF PAKISTANI CINEMA WE MUST TAKE EACH AND EVERY OPPORTUNITY TO HIGHLIGHT OURSELVES ESPECIALLY WHEN WE MADE THE ATTEMPTS LIKE KHAMOSH PANI, ZAR GUL AND RAMCHAND PAKISTANI WHICH GOING TO HAVE INTERNATIONAL ACCLAIM.

CHEERS!
Posted 03 May 2007

its more of a festival film but will be a good different movie for sure.
Posted 03 May 2007

MR NICE says
According to an Urdu Daily the film's budget is 10 crore rupees making it the most expensive Pakistani film ever.

It will be interesting to see what the budget is for Shoaib Mansoor's Khuda Kay Liye.

What for unique for Ramchand Pakistani that is going to be the first Pakistani film shot with latest "HD (High Defination) Camera.

Even in India only one film Eklaya has been shot with this camera.

This is good news but i am still happy with Mahreen Jabbar by choosing Nandita Das for the main role. One thing for sure people are going confuse it for an Indian film.
Posted 16 May 2007

MR NICE says
More on Ramchand Pakistani.

Ramchand Pakistani, which also features actor Nandita Das, is being produced by one of the leading production houses of Pakistan, Project 1 (Pvt) Ltd. It talks of an eight-year-old boy who accidentally crosses into Indian territory. The child’s father goes looking for him but ends up getting arrested, with his son, by the BSF.

The film focuses on the child’s experiences during the few years he spends in a jail in Bhuj, Gujarat, the relationships he develops with the other prisoners and the jailor and his coming of age in the prison.

“I was briefed and keeping in mind the human angle of the film I spent a few days in Kutch and picked up the folk music of that region before composing for the film,” says Mishra, who spent 10 days in March in Karachi with sound engineer Dipankar Chaki to record the songs. “I did not have an idea that they are such enthusiasts about Indian music. The best thing is that I always felt at home there,” he says.

The three songs Meri maati mujhe mera sansaar de (Abida Parveen and Shubha Mudgal), Phir wohi raaste (Shafqat Amanat Ali) and Tera aanchal raha aasman ki tarah (Rahat Fateh Ali Khan), are all melody-based and are a blend of Indian and Pakistani folk mainly from Bhuj, Sindh, Kutch and Rajasthan. The sound arrangement in Pakistan was done by Rahil Hayat, the composer of Rahat Fateh Ali Khan hit song Jiya dhadak dhadak jaye.

“The songs have been written by poet and lyricist Anwar Maqsoodm, who is the father of Bilal Maqsood, the vocalist of the Pakistani band Strings,” says Mishra, who plans to complete his compositions by June.
Posted 16 May 2007

The music seems to be good.
Well not happy for chooosing Nandita Das,but still it will be interesting to see this and Khuda Key Liye.
Posted 16 May 2007

valandrian says
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