2016 in focus: A look back at top entertainment stories of Pakistan
The current year is almost gone, and soon we will be welcoming an entirely fresh 2017 with hopes and lots of dreams.
The year 2016 has, so far, been a promising year for the entertainment industry in Pakistan during which we saw new film releases, prestigious international awards and some great performances.
Here’s a look back at the top entertainment news of Pakistan in 2016.
ARY Films’ Ho Mann Jahaan…started year with big win
A joint venture of ARY Films and The Vision Factory Films, Pakistani film ‘Ho Mann Jahaan’ started the year on a perfect note on January 1.
The most happening film of the year featured stunning Mahira Khan, Sheheryar Munawar, Adeel Husain and Sonya Jehan along with many other cameos. The film did so well at the box office that it became Pakistan’s fifth highest grossing one of all time.
Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy brings home her second Oscar
Pakistan’s Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, made a history in February this year by winning her second Oscar for the best short subject documentary film of the year making it a proud moment for Pakistanis worldwide.
Her film, “A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness”, is the story of a young woman who survived being beaten, shot and thrown into a river by her father and uncle after marrying a man without their approval. In 2012, Chinoy won her first Oscar for another short subject documentary called “Saving Faces” on acid attacks in Pakistan.
A debate-stirring Fawad Khan’s character in ‘Kapoor and Sons’
Breaking gender stereotypes, the heartthrob Fawad Khan played a gay character in an Indian flick titled ‘Kapoor and Sons’ and won millions of hearts across the border with his superb acting skills. By playing such a role in the film, the actor certainly showed his matchless capabilities of accepting challenging work and to everyone’s surprise, he was also not afraid of criticism.
“I was not afraid of playing a gay character, “said Fawad Khan in one of his interviews after the release of the film featuring Alia Bhatt and Sidharth Malhotra.
British singer Adele paid tribute to Lahore blast victims during concert
Famed British singer Adele paid tribute to the victims of a deadly blast in Lahore blast that killed over 70 people and injured over 300 people in March at the Birmingham’s Genting Arena.
Adele requested thousands of her fans to hold up torches in a bid to show their support for the victims of the blast. The crowd responded enthusiastically to her request and joined in waving thousands of torches that illuminated the dark arena and sent a strong message for everyone in Pakistan.
Ashir Azeem’s debut film became ‘contentious’
Drama serial ‘Dhuwwan’ famed Ashir Azeem’s debut Pakistani film ‘Maalik’ was set to release nationwide in April this year. However, first the Sindh government and later the federal banned its release, without clearly mentioning the main reasons for doing so and withdrew its censor certificate.
Critics said the film was surrounded by issues owing to its sensitive subject that encouraged the general public to fight against corruption. As per the censor board, viewers’ bad reactions about the film triggered its ban. Later in September, Sindh High Court declared the ban on ‘Maalik’ illegal following which it was screened in cinemas.
Hamza Ali Abbasi remained a controversial character
Famous for his candid views on controversial issues, actor Hamza Ali Abbasi remained in the news throughout the year. Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) in June barred Abbasi from hosting a Ramzan show on a private television channel for holding discussions on sensitive topics including blasphemy law.
Later, the Punjab government sent him a warning letter over negative propaganda against it on social media. The actor in an August 30 post, had claimed that in three months over 900 child kidnappings occurred, which include 400 such incidents from Lahore alone. Abbasi, also a Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) supporter, refused to apologise.
Pak-India unrest troubled artists, entertainment industries
Amid rising tension between Pakistan and India over the disputed Kashmir, Pakistan banned all Indian content on television, radio channels and cinemas in “solidarity” with the armed forces. Earlier, a small filmmakers’ body in India also banned their members from hiring Pakistani actors. Pakistan also ban all Indian content on television and radio channels
However, a right-wing political party in India continued threatening Indian filmmakers for their professional ties with Pakistani actors following which Bollywood director Karan Johar and Shah Rukh Khan had to announce they would not work Pakistani actors again for getting their films – ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ featuring Fawad Khan and ‘Raees’ featuring Mahira Khan – released.
ARY Films’ Janaan…got a warm release worldwide
Another proud presentation of ARY Films, IRK Films and MH Production, Bilal Ashraf, Ali Rehman Khan and Armeena Khan starrer film ‘Janaan’ was released worldwide on September 13.
A rom-com flavoured film was written by the famous Osman Khalid Butt. A Bollywood singer Armaan Malik also made his debut in Pakistan by singing the title track of the film. The film did a great business.
Fun-filled ride of Lahore Se Aagey…went spot on to hopes
ARY Films’ Lahore Se Aagey… hit the local cinemas in the country on November 11 and did a grand business. Starring the incredible Yasir Hussain and bubbly Saba Qamar along with senior actors like Behroz Sabzwari, Rubina Ashraf and Atiqa Odho the film proved to be a refreshing feast for filmgoers.
A joint venture of ARY Films and The Showcase Films, ‘Lahore Se Aagey’ was directed by Wajahat Rauf and written by Yasir Hussain.
ARY Films’ Dobara Phir Se…hit theatres with a bang
Under the banner of ARY Films and directed by Mehreen Jabbar, Pakistani film ‘Dobara Phir Se’ was released on November 25. It was produced by Salman Iqbal and co-produced by Mohammad Jerjees Seja and Mehreen Jabbar.
The film was a love tale that revolved around characters played by Adeel Husain and Hareem Farooq while Sanam Saeed, Ali Kazmi, Shaz Khan, Tooba Siddiqui and Atiqa Odho appeared in important roles. Cinemagoers loved the rollercoaster of emotions with a subtle subversion of widely held ideas about love and marriage.
ARY Films’ Jawani Phir Nahi Ani…becomes hot YouTube video of 2016
Fans loved ARY Films throughout the year and so, made Jawani Phir Nahi Ani that was released on Eid-ul-Azha, one of the most watched YouTube videos of 2016.
YouTube Pakistan released a list of the most watched videos and music videos in Pakistan for the year 2016 and Jawani Phir Nahi Ani grabbed the second spot on the list. The list also featured the wedding song ‘Shakar Wandaan’ from ARY Films’ Ho Mann Jahaan at the ninth spot.
Amid undue pressures, Mahira Khan sizzled with SRK in Raees
The wait to see Mahira Khan with Shah Rukh Khan was over when a trailer of Bollywood film ‘Raees’ was finally released at the start of December. Despite increasing calls to delete Mahira’s scenes in the film by Indian hardliners particularly after Pak-India relations soured over Kashmir, her fans were excited to see Mahira in the trailer.
The film revolves around King Khan portraying as a gangster and also features Nawazuddin Siddiqui as a dutiful cop. The action-packed film is set to be released on January 25, 2017.
Boxer Amir Khan’s family tale became ‘too’ public
British boxer of Pakistani origin Amir Khan had to apologise in public after an embarrassing family dispute was suddenly made public. It started when his wife Faryal Makhdoom claimed on a Snapchat rant that she had been physically and mentally bullied by her in-laws for three years. Khan’s parents condemned his wife for wearing un-Islamic clothes and denied the allegations.
Amir Khan asked them to stop bashing each other on social media and instead of destroying his name, he said, they must keep their family matter private.
Sharmeen surprised again with her three daredevils
Oscar-winning filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid’s 3 Bahadur – The Revenge of Baba Balaam hit the cinemas on December 15 in Pakistan and kids simply fell in love with the film and its characters.
The much-awaited film for children and another stunning presentation of ARY Films for the year 2016 was a sequel to Sharmeen’s 2015 hit animated flick, 3 Bahadur. It featured the three magic kids, Saadi, Amna and Kamil.