KARACHI: As movie buffs anticipate two major feature films this Eid ul Azha, Team Na Maloom Afraad says it is unfazed about competing at the box office with Operation 021 — the spy action thriller starring ace actor Shaan Shahid.
Speaking at a promotional tour at the Institute of Business Management (IoBM) on Tuesday, the Na Maloom Afraad makers appeared nonchalant when asked if they feared their comedy flick would be overshadowed by the much hyped action film.
Dismissing the star power of the Lollywood offspring, producer Fizza Ali Meerza said the litmus test of films is high production value — not just the inclusion of big celebrities.
“Shaan did seven films last year,” director Nabeel Qureshi said, addressing an audience that comprised students and teachers. “How many of those have you all heard of?” No one seemed to have an answer.
Earlier, however, Nadeem Mandviwalla of Mandviwalla Entertainment had said O21 will do “far better”.
“O21 has what Na Maloon Afraad does not — star power. People will come to watch Shaan, he’ll take the film forward,” Mandviwalla had said while talking to Dawn.
|Actor Urwa Hocaine smiles during an interactive session of Na Maloom Afraad's team with the students of IoBM. — Photo by Muhammad Haseeb Halai|
Speaking at IoBM, Qureshi rejected the perception that 021's same day release would affect Na Maloom Afraad’s prospects. The director said the simultaneous release of two major local films on Eid was a positive sign for Pakistan’s film industry. “For the revival of our cinema, people should extend their support for both the films,” he said.
Along with Na Maloom Afraad and 021, Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif’s Bang Bang is also scheduled for release on the same day, taking competition for the Eid holiday another notch higher. To this, Nabeel said, "We should support our cinema and prove that we are no less than anyone...let’s bang the Bang Bang!”
|Director Nabeel Qureshi answers a question related to the production of Na Maloom Afraad. — Photo by Muhammad Haseeb Halai|
Criticising the government, he added that, "Pakistan should ban foreign films during festivals to encourage local films.This happens everywhere in the world."
Later, the IoBM auditorium echoed with cheers led by charged students as popular TV show host-turned-actor Fahad Mustafa walked in with Urwa Hocaine and Mohsin Abbas Haider.
Mustafa thanked the crowd for the warm welcome, terming it one sign of a thriving film industry. In response to a question about whether he would ever look to Bollywood for a project, Mustafa joked, “Get me a gig there?” much to the amusement of his fans. He added that actors are unfortunately compelled to leave Pakistan for perceived greener pastures.
“Everyone asks me when I am going to India. It’s not us [actors] but the people who compel us to pursue Bollywood films, as the people have made it their benchmark,” Mustafa lamented.
|IoBM's film students pose for a picture with actor Urwa Hocaine. — Photo by Muhammad Haseeb Halai|
Check out the film trailer below