Lights, camera, action: Pakistani stars head for Saudi cinemas

Some of the Parchi cast in an advert for the film. (Instagram)
Updated 22 December 2017

Lights, camera, action: Pakistani stars head for Saudi cinemas

ISLAMABAD: Forget Hollywood, forget Bollywood — one of the first films to hit Saudi screens when cinemas reopen next year will be from Pakistan.
Parchi is an ensemble action/thriller-comedy starring Hareem Farooq, Ali Rehman Khan and Shafqat Cheema.
“We feel honored and proud that we are among the first, it’s pretty exciting and it is quite an achievement,” Farooq, also a co-producer of the movie, told Arab News.
“We always aim to do something new and expand our reach, not just stick to Pakistan.”
Pakistan is noted for outstanding drama and television plays, but film has lacked investment, storylines, direction and quality content. Now, however, the movie business is enjoying a revival.
The impact of going international is not lost on Farooq. “I think it’s proof that Pakistani cinema has international appeal, it shows that we are on the right track and that we do have a great future.”
In addition to commercial success, films are changing some of the conversation about Pakistan. “We always want to put Pakistan on the global map in a good light, that is what we work for,” Farooq said.
“Cinema is a platform that can change mindsets — it’s huge and plays a mighty role in our image projection abroad. All the world sees is extremism and terrorism, they don’t get to see what Pakistan is really about.
“We are as crazy and as normal as everywhere else.”
The soundtrack from Parchi has been well received, and the first single, Billo Hai, already has more than a million views on YouTube. The movie itself will be released on Jan. 5 in Pakistan and the UAE, and Jan.12 in the US. Cinemas in Saudi Arabia will reopen early next year after a 35-year ban.
Arab News has emailed the Saudi Ministry of Culture and Information for a confirmation about the film but no response has been received by the time of printing. ​

 


German club releases Turkish player over Instagram post

Updated 15 sec ago

German club releases Turkish player over Instagram post

  • Sahin’s existing contract will remain valid, but St. Pauli has given him permission to train and play for other clubs
  • Sahin, who joined the German team from Istanbul Basaksehir in 2016, is reportedly back in Turkey

HAMBURG, Germany: Turkish midfielder Cenk Sahin has been released by German soccer club St. Pauli following his Instagram post in support of his country’s invasion of Kurdish-held regions in northern Syria.
The second-division club said on Monday that “Sahin has been released from his training and playing duties with immediate effect. The prime factors in reaching the decisions were his repeated disregard for the club’s values and the need to protect the player.”
Sahin on Friday wrote on Instagram: “We’re on the side of our heroic military and armies. Our prayers are with you!“
It led to calls from St. Pauli fans for the player to be sacked, and messages of support for the Kurds.
The Hamburg-based club said Monday it conducted an internal review amid further talks between club officials and the player.
“After numerous discussions with fans, members and friends whose roots lie in Turkey, it has become clear to us that we cannot and should not attempt to gauge nuances in perceptions and attitudes from other cultural backgrounds in detail,” St. Pauli said. “That we reject acts of war is not open to doubt or discussion, however. These acts, and the expression of solidarity with them, run counter to the values of the club.”
Sahin’s existing contract will remain valid, but St. Pauli has given him permission to train and play for other clubs. Sahin, who joined the German team from Istanbul Basaksehir in 2016, is reportedly back in Turkey. A switch can only be completed in the winter transfer window.