The times they are a-changin'. At least for the Pakistani film industry.
Audiences don't need to be emotionally blackmailed into watching movies and we don't even have to feel guilty about watching Pakistani films any more.
As a matter of fact, our films are now winning awards at international film festivals. Who could have even imagined that just a few years back.
The upcoming ARY Film Awards is a great initiative to recognize the achievements in Pakistani film scene last year.
2013 was an explosive year for Pakistani film with the likes of Zinda Bhaag, Waar, Chambaili, Main Hoon Shahid Afridi, Josh, Seedlings: Lamha and Siyyah. Waar certainly brought flocks of audiences to the theaters, but no matter which film you consider, the quality speaks for itself.
The age of terrible Lollywood prints is apparently finally over. Perhaps, the inexpensive digital film-making is what the budding filmmakers were waiting for.
And guess what, Islamabad did not do a bad job at all; it's not just about our artists and performers in Karachi and Lahore anymore.
With the prominent Islamabad based actor Hamza Ali Abbasi scoring multiple acting nominations, and Islamabad theater star Hareem Farooq getting nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role against veterans like Mahnoor Baloch and Amina Sheikh, these young artists have certainly put Islamabad on the entertainment industry map!
Hamza's collaborator from Mudhouse and the Golden Doll, the Lahore based Gauhar Rasheed has won a nomination for his part in Seedlings: Lamha. Yes, it's the same film that premiered in the New York Film Festival with the stunning Amina Sheikh earning the prize for Best Actress in a Leading Role.
An exclusively Islamabad based team worked on the film "Siyyah", which is nominated for Best Film. The minor actor in the film Mahnoor Usman won two acting nominations for the same role, which sort of reminds me of The Exorcist. Another prominent Islamabad artist Osman Khalid Butt ( @AClockworkObi ) wrote the screenplay for the film.
Which reminds us of the fact that no screenwriters were nominated in the ARY Film Awards. I wish our media groups would realize how important this aspect of filmmaking is. But well, I guess, our film industry would have to evolve a few decades further before people realize that.
StudioBloop congratulates all the nominees of ARY Film Awards, and especially Hamza Ali Abbasi, Hareem Farooq, Umair Jaswaal, Azfar Jafri and the entire cast and crew of the indie film "Siyyah".
Click here to check the complete nomination list. By the way, you have the chance to vote for your favorite nominees on the official website.
You can also follow the ARY FIlm Awards facebook page here.
The ARY Film Awards will be held on Sunday, April 27, 2014.