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Coke Studio to release Episode Two of Season 12 on 25th October 2019

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Coke Studio is all set to release the second episode of Season 12, featuring Billo by Abrar Ul Haq, Saiyaan by Shuja Haider and Rachel Viccaji, and Roshe by Zeb Bangash. This episode of Coke Studio Season 12 will air on 25th October 2019.

Abrar Ul Haq takes the stage this season in a whirlwind of rap and bhangra, opening a gateway to the past with a remake of the iconic song that started his musical career: Billo.  Released in 1995, Billo took the country by storm with its quirky lyrics that talk about a young man’s infatuation with his Billo; a girl who is famed for her beauty, and whose house the young man is determined to visit. The young man declares his intentions of taking a marriage procession to her home and winning her as his bride, cursing everyone and anything that stands in the way of this pursuit. For Abrar, Billo was the song that changed everything. It brought him overnight fame and turned music from a hobby to a lifelong calling. Abrar has been wanting to take this visit into the past, to recreate this memory using the melodies, rhythms and instruments that now populate the world’s musical canvas. Coke Studio’s rendition of Billo stays true to the nostalgia of the tune, offering listeners a space where they can relive a time in which bhangra-pop enlivened Pakistan’s music channels.

“Music is spiritual. It comes from within a person. Sound can create such a strong impact; this is something you feel in music. You’ll hear something and get goosebumps. If you’re sad, a song can uplift your mood. In a way, it’s a cure. It has the power to induce nostalgic feelings and has a spiritual side to it that brings you closer to God … There’s something extraordinary about music.” says Abrar Ul Haq

Shuja Haider teams up with Rachel Viccaji in Saiyaan, a Punjabi ballad calling back to the glorious Lollywood of the 60’s and 70’s. Woven with Punjabi metaphors, the song features a jilted lover who implores their beloved with a passionate plea, coaxing them to return. The sadness of the lyrics is contrasted with a musical arrangement that is almost playful in nature, illustrating the tension between the two characters in the song. The theme of all-consuming love, which is wrapped in visual metaphors inspired by Punjabi folklore, is arranged over a composition that hints at music from the golden era of Pakistan’s film industry. In this process, the singers deliver an ode to the artists of a bygone era, all the while creating a voice of their own.

“Music has given me hope. What is greater than hope? Who knows? If I couldn’t do music, I couldn’t have done anything else. What would I have? Just imagine. I don’t have a formal education. Where would I work? What would I do? Music is the biggest blessing in my life. Music has given me everything.” says Shuja Haider

“Music is life. Everything around you is music. In a busy street, or on a quiet roof, if you listen closely, you’ll [hear] different elements of sound and they all have a relationship to each other. There’s always music happening around you. We probably got jealous of the birds sounding so beautiful. People probably wanted to curate those sounds, so they said ok we’re going to create our own music. Somebody starts singing and then someone starts drumming and that’s music.” says Rachel Viccaji.

Zeb Bangash returns to Coke Studio this season with a Kashmiri ode to loss: Roshe. The song first caught Zeb’s attention when she came across a video of Ali Saifuddin’s version of it on YouTube. For Zeb, this was the fortunate outcome of an exploration into Kashmiri music that had been sparked when she met a group of Kashmiri students in Delhi, who requested that she perform a song in their native tongue. So began the process, nearly four years ago, of working on the song with house band member Zain Ali, who presented it to Coke Studio this season. For Zeb, this has been an experience of trusting the destiny of a song – that it was meant to happen when the time was right, and when the world was ready for it. The song speaks of love and loss; its poetry was written by the Kashmiri poet Mahjoor, who lived in the early 1900s. Mahjoor was greatly inspired by the verses of Kashmir’s last empress Habba Khatoon – whose own verse has been used in the chorus of this song. Coke Studio’s rendition of Roshe offers an ambient space in which the poetic themes of nostalgia and separation are meant to be contemplated upon. Zeb encapsulates the song’s melancholy feel vocally, while she once again, takes on a language that is new to her repertoire with the meticulousness she is known for.

“I decided to pursue music professionally when I saw how it enables you to connect with people. It’s a beautiful feeling. You can move people; you can talk to them. You sing a song and someone connects to it and you don’t even know about it. That’s really lovely for me. That someone is having their own relationship with a song sung in my voice.” said Zeb Bangash.

Entertainment News

Pakistan International Film Festival Features Animation

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Karachi Film Society announced its second edition of Pakistan International Film Festival which will take place from 25th to 27th October. This year the festival focuses on animated films only. The event will have multiple activities including seminars, talks, workshop and film screenings along with three Pakistan premiers of international productions.

 Karachi Film Society is a non-profit organization and parent body of Pakistan International Film Festival (PIFF), founded by renowned producer/director Ms. Sultana Siddiqui. Other notable members of KFS are Jamil Baig, Ameena Saiyid, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, Sirajuddin Aziz, Javed Jabbar, Ronak Lakhani and Sayeeda Leghari. The festival is supported by the Government of Sindh through its Department of Culture.

The activities of the festival include a seminar scheduled to take place on October 25th on the topic: ‘Potential of Animation in Pakistan – Challenges & Opportunities’. Filmmaker Sana Tauseef who produced animated film ‘TikTok’ in 2018, will be the moderator for the seminar and will be joined by panelists Amyn Farooqui, Co-CEO/Co-Founder & Creative SHARP IMAGE; Daniyal Noorani, CEO – Wakhra Studio /Creator Quaid se Batein; Aziz Jindani, Founder – Talisman Animation Studio, Creative Director ‘The Donkey King’; Arif Jilani, Producer Barajoun Entertainment, BILAL – a New Breed of hero; Imran Ali Dina, Lecturer/ GFX Mentor and Asif Iqbal Bridge Animations &VFX -Chief Executive Officer. The chief guest will be Mr. MurtazaWahab – Advisor to Chief Minister of Sindh on Law, Anti-corruption, Establishment and Information.

Six films will be screened during PiFF: BILAL: A New Breed of Hero (Arif Jilani – producer); ALLAHYAR and the Legend of Markhor (Uzair Zaheer Khan – director, writer & producer); Mary & The Witch’s Flower (English Language producer); Modest Heroes – (Ponoc Short Films Theatre, Volume 1); Kanini & Kanino; created by (Hiromasa Yonebayashi). Life Ain’t Gonna Lose presented by Yoshiyuki Momose, the “right-hand man” to famed animation director Isao Takahata; Invisible drawn and animated by Akihiko Yamashita. The Donkey King (Aziz Jindani – Founder of Talisman Animation Studios and co-producer, co-writer and creative director of The Donkey King) and 3 BAHADUR: Rise of the Warriors (Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy – director, SOC Films).

The Short Films include Global Citizens; Why are sea levels rising; Saif the fisherman and Quaid Se Batein (Daniyal Noorani – Creator). The Workshop will be conducted by Geoffery Wexler. From his work on Studio Ponoc’s debut feature film ‘Mary and The Witch’s Flower’ to his pursuit of storytelling worthy of Isao Takahata’s masterpiece when producing the English-language version of Studio Ghilbi’s ‘Only Yesterday’ will be discussed in the session.

The Festival will be a gathering of professionals, students, academia and enthusiasts of animation in Pakistan. The three-day long event will be the first of its kind in the country and will open new doors for progress in this growing industry.

Entertainment News

Yashma Gill to star in a lead role opposite Faysal Qureshi

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Yashma Gill, who has been unstoppable in 2019 with the launch of her YouTube channel, brand endorsements and coming to our screen in mega projects like Alif, has now signed the lead role in the serial “Shaam Se Pehle” opposite Faysal Qureshi.

The talented young actress would be playing the character of Aniya, an ambitious young girl with a good heart who ends up getting stuck in a complicated relationships. Produced by Aijaz Aslam, the serial is directed by acclaimed director Najaf Bilgrami and penned by Saima Akram Chaudhry

“Very excited about this project, as not only is the character extremely different to what I have done before, I am also getting to work opposite a star like Faysal Qureshi – who is an institution from whom I get to learn so much everyday.” Yashma Gill stated about the project.

The talented young star has made her mark on screen in a short period of time and she can currently be seen on screen in director Haseeb Hassan’s multi starrer “Alif” on Geo entertainment.

Entertainment News

Elysee Productions Launches the trailer of its Maiden movie ‘SACCH’

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Elysee Productions and HUM Films launched the trailer of the upcoming Pakistani movie, Sacch at Nueplex Cinema here in the metropolis. The trailer launch ceremony was a star-studded affair and in attendance were the crème de la crème of Pakistan’s entertainment industry, including the star cast of the film, Elysee Sheikh, Asad Zaman, Javed Sheikh, Fazila Qazi, Tasmina Sheikh, Zulfiqar Sheikh, Nauman Masood, Humayun Saeed and others. The trailer launch ceremony was also attended by the British Deputy High Commissioner Mike Nithavrianakis and president HUM Network Ltd Sultana Siddiqui.

Sacch is produced by Tasmina Sheikh, a Scottish politician of Pakistani origin, known for television productions like ‘Des Pardes’ and ‘Castle: Aik Umeed’. The trailer of Sacch has a perfect blend of thrill, romance and mystery, and from the looks of it, seems to be a love triangle, hence, the tagline: “Love feels like heaven but hurts like hell”. The film also marks the acting debut of Elysee Sheikh opposite Asad Zaman Khan and Humayoun Ashraf. The supporting line-up includes veterans like Javed Sheikh, Nauman Masood, Uzma Gillani, Fazila Qazi and others along with Zulfikar Sheikh and Tasmina Sheikh.

Shot entirely in the UK, the trailer also boasts grand visuals. Music of the film is composed by Simaab Sen and the songs are sung by a mix of Pakistani and Bollywood singers including Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Armaan Malik.

Produced under the banner of Elysee Productions, Sacch is scripted by award-winning Bollywood screenwriter Kumud Chaudhry and directed by Zulfikar Sheikh. Dialogues of the film are by the celebrated Pakistani playwright Hasina Moin. The movie is all set to be released worldwide under the banner of HUM Films on December 20, 2019.

Entertainment News

Zubab Rana’s New Project “Mehboob Apke Qadmo May” to Kick Off on Hum TV

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Rising star, model turned actress Zubab Rana will be gracing our screens once again, in a lead role in “Mehboob Apke Qadmo May”, scheduled to go on air this October.

Starring as Sunaina; Zubab Rana plays an innocent girl who would be stuck in a love triangle with some major twists and turns. The story centers on the evils of black magic, and the consequences it can lead to, turning your world upside down. Written by Imran Nazir and directed by Furqan Adam, the drama is produced under the banner of Moomal Entertainment and MD Productions.

“After the blockbuster success of Bandish, I am excited to be working on another supernatural themed project, and this time for Hum TV where I made my acting debut from,” said the lovely Zubab Rana.

Zubab Rana is currently winning hearts with her performance in the hit drama “Rishtay Biktay Hain” that airs every Monday-Wednesday at 9 pm on ARY Digital.

Entertainment News

Coke Studio announces the launch of Season 12!

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Coca-Cola Pakistan proudly announces the return of Coke Studio for its twelfth consecutive season, with the reveal of an exclusive virtual all access tour of the Coke Studio Season 12 set for the first time ever.

Often credited as the most influential musical fusion project from Pakistan by the audiences and critics alike, Coke Studio Season 12 is all set to launch this October 2019.

Entertainment Trending

Wahaj Ali starrer short film “Doodh Patti” out now

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Rising star of the Pakistan television industry Wahaj Ali presents another powerful act in a made-for-web short film titled “Doodh Patti” opposite Minal Khan released on the YouTube channel Dramas Central.

An adorable love saga between a newly married couple, “Doodh Patti” features Wahaj Ali as a soft-spoken but quirky guy, as he explores the new relationship he is building.

A part of the Aey Zindagi shorts that has been produced by Creators One & Dot Media Republic, in association with Next Level Entertainment, Doodh Patti has been directed by Syed Jari Khushnood Naqvi.

Wahaj Ali is the rising star of the Pakistani drama industry and has been getting tremendous critical acclaim for this performance from the first episode of Hum TV & ISPR’s mega project Ehd-e-Wafa which goes on air every Sunday at 8:00pm PST.

Entertainment Trending

SHARMEEN OBAID-CHINOY reveals her latest animation film “SITARA: LET GIRLS DREAM”

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Two-time Academy and three-time Emmy Award-winning director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s proudly reveals her latest animation film, SITARA: LET GIRLS DREAM which opened in theaters in New York on September 23rd, 2019. The fifteen-minute animated short film chronicles the life of a young girl whose dream of being a pilot is crushed when she is forced into child marriage.

Written and directed by Sharmeen, SITARA: LET GIRLS DREAM takes the audience on a journey through the old city of Lahore where a fourteen-year old girl, Pari, dreams of becoming a pilot. Her story is told through the perspective of her six-year-old sister Mehr, who is unaware of the traditions and barriers that lay in the path of women from her family. It is a story about the burdens of a family and the impact of a culture where girls are still struggling to fully realize their dreams. SITARA is a silent film [no dialogues] which embodies this struggle.

“Young girls everywhere still face considerable hurdles in achieving their dreams. SITARA embodies that struggle, it is a story of Pari, a young girl who dreams of becoming a pilot and is robbed of it. For me, SITARA is more than a film, it is a movement that we want to start across the world, that encourages parents to invest in their girls’ dreams, encouraging them to free their girls from the burdens of early marriage”. said Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy.

The music for SITARA has been composed by Emmy Award-Winning composer Laura Karpman. Recorded and mixed at the world’s most famous and iconic studio, Abbey Road studios, Karpman’s score has been paramount in bringing the film’s story and characters to life.

The film’s Executive Producers include Gloria Steinem, the iconic women’s rights activist, and Darla Anderson, the Academy Award Winning producer of Coco and Toy Story 3.

SITARA: LET GIRLS DREAM, is produced under the banner of Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s animation company, Waadi Animations entirely in Pakistan, from its concept to execution in association with Vice Studios and Gucci’s CHIME FOR CHANGE.

In Pakistan, the Waadi Animations Tea is spearheaded by Art Director Salman Nasir, Animation Director Kamran Khan, CG Lighting Supervisor Adnan Saeed, Director of Photography Faizan Ali, Editor Husain Qaizer, Sound Effects Editor Sameer Khan, co-producer Eleyna Sara Haroun and Associate Producer Syed Ayub with Salman Iqbal, Jerjees Seja and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy as the producers.

Every year, 12 million girls around the world are married off as child brides denying them the right to education and an opportunity to fulfil their dreams. With SITARA: LET GIRLS DREAM, Sharmeen hopes to start a global conversation, encouraging parents and families to invest in their girls’ dreams.

Entertainment News

Pakistan Excellence Awards

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To celebrate 72 years of Independence of Pakistan, the organizing committee of Pakistan Excellence Awards held an awards ceremony here earlier today at Marriott Hotel to pay tribute to the officers of Pakistan as well as veteran showbiz personalities for their invaluable contribution to the industry.

Addressing the audience, the chief guest on the occasion, Minister of Culture, Sardar Ali Shah said, “I salute Pakistan Excellence Awards for honouring people, especially public officers, in their lifetime – something I have never seen before. I hope this will set a trend and will mark the beginning of many such awards in the future.”

The awards were well-attended by media representatives, public officers from various departments, socialites and award recipients. Eminent media personalities like Qavi Khan, Haseena Moin, Zeba Bakhtiar, Behroz Sabzwari, Hina Dilpazeer, Laila Zuberi, Shaman Ali Mirali, Mustafa Qureshi, Sahir Ali Bagga and many more were seen at the ceremony who received Pakistan Excellence awards. Qavi Khan and Haseena Moin received lifetime achievement awards.

Among the numerous recipients of the officers awards in different categories were Secretary School Education and Literacy, Government of Sindh, Qazi Shahid Pervaiz; senior member Revenue Board, Government of Sindh, Shams-ud-din Soomro; secretary transport and mass transit department, Government of Sindh, Ghulam Abbas Detho; additional chief secretary, provincial ombudsmen, Government of Sindh, Mohammed Osman Chachar; secretary livestock and fisheries department, Government of Sindh, Ejaz Ahmed Mahesar, secretary department of empowerment of persons with disabilities, Government of Sindh, Khalid Chachar; deputy commissioner Hyderabad, Sayyed Ejaz Shah, DIG Sindh Police, Nisar Aftab, SSP (AIG Admin, CPO), Sayyed Pir Mohammed Shah; PSP SSP district Thatta, Shabir Sethar; SSP East, Karachi Azfer Mahesar; SSP Sukkar, Irfan Ali Summo; former IG Sindh, Muzaafer Alam Siddiqui; Superintendent Jail, Mirpurkhas, Sayyed Munawer Ali Shah; superintendent Jail, Sayyed Shakir Ali Shah; Additional director FIA, Abdul Hameed Bhutto; Additional director FIA,  Safihullah Jhokio ; Accountant general Sindh, Ghufran Memon; additional IG and executive director State Life Insurance, Mushtaq Ahmed Mahar; programme director US AID, basic education programme partnership with government of Sindh, Agha Faqhar Hussain; Deputy director general IB, Sindh, Shahid Hussain Mahesar; SSP Deputy director (HQ), Nadir Ali Abro; director general Sindh Institute of Animal Health in Sindh Livestock Department, Nazir Hussain Khaloro; (AIGP) DGG ANF, Ghulam Qadir Thebo; additional secretary, Government of Sindh, Abdul Aleem Lashari; and chief administrator Auqaaf, Government of Sindh, Munawar Ali Mahesar.

The evening began with guests assembling at the Red Carpet and having their pictures taken. Once everyone was seated, the show began with the recitation of the Holy Quran and Naat by Qari Mumtaz, followed by National Anthem and a national song by Sabri Brothers.

Chairman Pakistan excellence Awards, Hameed Bhutto said, “While Pakistan Excellence Awards is honouring showbiz personalities for the third consecutive year, this year we have changed the format somewhat to honour seasoned celebrities that have given so much to Pakistan with their talent, and have also introduced Officers’ Public Service Awards in order to recognise the efforts of a sector that normally gets ignored. Pakistan Excellence Awards is presenting a token of appreciation to those who have served Pakistan with their extraordinary contribution. We are looking forward to awarding more and more deserving officers based on merit, so as to improve the bureaucracy of Pakistan hoping that others will also fulfill their duties with responsibility.”

Speaking on the occasion, one of the patrons of Pakistan Excellence Award, Muhammad Iqbal Qureshi said, “Pakistan Excellence Award believes in encouraging good work no matter what field a person belongs to which is why we keep broadening our scope of award winners”.

Chief Patron Anwar Ali Sangi said, “The true expression of our love for our country and its people is to appreciate those who serve our great country well. This award ceremony serves this very purpose.“

Hanif Gohar, patron of PEA said, “It is important that we, being a part of this fantastic country should play a pivotal role in its development. By conducting Pakistan Excellence Awards every year, out team aims to identify individual efforts and services and encourage and motivate them to continue being an active member of the society”.

Entertainment News

MAK by AlKaram hosted a Game Night in Karachi

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MAK by Alkaram hosted a fabulous game night at Mews Café last Saturday which turned out to be a massive success!

The event was arranged to mark the launch of MAK’s latest Mid Summer’19 collection. The Game night was attended by numerous social media female influencers and bloggers like Sabina Ahmed, Mehak Shoakat, Marium Saqib, Fahya from Dr. Madeup blog, It’s Khadeja, Hadia from Blog This Out, Aqsa from Gottablogger, Bakhtawar from The Glam World and many others.

The MAK Game Night was an exciting evening full of fun, games, activities and delicious food with some fantastic prizes arranged as well by MAK.