Veteran film star Shabnam says she has a great desire to make a comeback in Pakistan’s film industry where she continuously worked from 1960s to 1980s.
Talking to Dawn by phone from Dhaka on Sunday, she said in her times every film used to be message oriented. Cinema is a vital medium when it comes to shaping up the masses’ opinion on different social issues in a positive manner.
“In the recent past I was offered a couple of roles; one in a private TV production, Mohini Mansion Ki Cinderellayain, and the other in a film Aina 2 -- a sequel to her 1977 hit Aina -- abut both the projects later wrapped up.”
Commenting on a film -- Punjab Nahi Jaungi -- Shabnam said it was good, but it looked more like a TV drama than a movie. She said capturing a film remaining in the conventional cinema frame was important to keep the spirit of a cinematic experience alive.
Regretting the present situation of film studios in Lahore, she said: “During one of my visits to Pakistan I visited the Bari Studios and felt so bad about the fact that most of the cinema had gone to go-downs."
"My friends advised I should avoid visiting Evernew or other studios of my times as almost all of them had now lost their element,” she added. Many of her movies were shot at the Evernew Studios.
To a question, she said if some meaty role would was offered to her, either in television or film, she would love to perform because an artiste remains an artiste for life. She was of the view that given the kind of chemistry she had developed with her costar Nadeem in different movies, they both could work again in some film or TV serial.
“I very much belong to Pakistan and its film industry, but my regret is that an actress who won Nigar Award 13 times -- a record till to date, now has no space in an industry that used to be her home”. “I am saying it because people make promises and then break them, they have countless excuses to give. I was offered a few roles, but later there was no follow-up”.
To a question, she said that she kept visiting Pakistan time to time and met her friends here, including actor Nadeem, “It has always been wonderful when I am here in Pakistan and meet my friends,” the actress said.
“Currently, I mostly stay at home, but never miss my morning walk,” she said when asked about her routine back in Dhaka these days. Mentioning some of her favourite movies Shabnam named Gumnaam, Pehchan, AAhat, Doorian, Dil Lagi and Ehsass.
Originally published in Dawn, November 25th, 2019