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WATCH OUT

There's much to look out for this season, with most set to release over the next few months.
There's much to look out for this season, with most set to release over the next few months.

With a slew of talents, Pakistan offers some of the best in entertainment - from movies and soap operas to music and talent shows. Here is a round-up of Pakistan's most anticipated offerings for 2020 - a glimpse into the sea of talent from the country



By Swathy Sanjay Sindhu

Published: Sun 22 Mar 2020, 11:00 PM

Last updated: Mon 23 Mar 2020, 1:00 AM

MOVIE-ING FORWARD
Last year, the Pakistan film industry, popularly termed 'Lollywood', saw a release of 23 films that revived the industry. With a sea of emerging and established talent, Lollywood has a line-up of upcoming movies to look forward to, tackling most major genres. Here are a few of them to look out for this season, with most set to release over the next few months
The Legend of Maula Jatt
Following a series of legal struggles of copyright infringement, The Legend of Maula Jatt is finally set for release in May 2020. Starring Pakistani heartthrob Fawad Khan and superstar female actress Mahira Khan, The Legend of Maula Jatt is not for the faint-hearted, with a set of graphic scenes in contemporary storytelling, as never before seen in Pakistani cinema, according to director Bilal Lashari.
Money Back Guarantee
Complete with a massive all-star cast lead by Wasim Akram and Fawad Khan, this political satire directed by Faisal Qureshi is a guaranteed laugh riot, according to Pakistani comedian Mani, who also makes an appearance in the movie.
Kamli
Kamli is a tragic love story in a rustic setting captured with a contemporary, universal sensibility. With a cast lead by Saba Qamar, Sania Saeed and Hamza Khawaja, the film depicts the vibrancy of rural Punjab, its poetic lyricism and love-lore in an international firm aesthetic, according to actor and director Sarmad Khoosat.
Kahay Dil Jidhar
Directed by Jalal Rumi, debuting Junaid Khan as leading man opposite Mansha Pasha, Kahay Dil Jidhar is a coming of age story that tells the tale of two friends trying to carve out their paths for the future, and tackles subjects like power, money, fame and corruption through an entertaining production.
Dum Mastam
A rom-com style offering by director Mohammad Ehtashamuddin, debuting television actors Imran Ashraf and Amar Khan, Dum Mastam is an intense story from interior Lahore, set in the underbelly of the city and told with drama and emotion.
 
BINGE ON THIS SEASON
In addition to Lollywood's upcoming offerings, Pakistan is also producing some of the finest soap operas, providing highly engaging entertainment while also highlighting important social issues. Some of those that make the must-watch list for us are:
Alif
Starring Hamza Ali Abbasi, Sajal Ali, Kubra Khan and Ahsan Khan, Alif is a story of the journey of two rebellious individuals with disturbed pasts, one a film-maker and the other a struggling actress. The premise of the show is on how they crossed paths and try to understand an individual's bond with the higher power.
Thora Sa Haq
A romantic drama series produced by Abdullah Seja, is full of twists and turns of a love story that shows how an unplanned marriage turns affectionate. The series stars Ayeza Khan and Imran Abbas, who make an adoring on-screen couple and have captured audiences' hearts with their engaging performance.
Damsa
Damsa is a crime drama television series that began airing in 2019. Starring Nadia Jamil, Emaan Khan, Shahood Alvi, Gul-e-rana, Sameena Nazir, and Momal Sheikh, the show explores many topics of social relevance such as child trafficking and the operations of mafia groups.
Daasi
With a plot revolving around the lives of a successful businessman and a spirited young woman, Daasi is the story of how they struggle to keep their relationship amidst life's struggles and the disapproval of their families and society. The lead characters are portrayed by Mawra Hocane and Adeel Hussain.
Ye Dil Mera
The plot in this series is the story of the chemistry between two young people with polar opposite personalities - Amaan, a young businessman and Noor, a girl whose past unknown traumas haunt her and an overprotective father who has a dark history of his own. The series stars Sajal Aly, Ahad Raza Mir, and Adnan Siddiqui.

SINGING SENSATIONS
Adding to the entertainment element of Lollywood's cinematic offerings is the inclusion of emotion-filled music. Below are some of the names that have contributed to the flourishing Pakistani music industry:
Ali Zafar
Before becoming a popular musician, Ali Zafar was a television actor, and also had an established career in Bollywood. Besides his acting and singing career, he has also actively undertaken humanitarian work. Zafar has five Lux Style Awards and a Filmfare Award nomination.
Atif Aslam
Atif Aslam, playback singer and actor with many chart-topping songs, is predominantly known for his vocal belting technique and has sung in Hindi, Urdu and Bengali. In 2008, he received the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz, the fourth-highest decoration for civilians in Pakistan, and has received a great number of Lux Style Awards. Aslam was also awarded the Dubai Walk of Fame Star for being the 'Best Singer in Pakistan' in 2019.
Shafqat Amanat Ali
Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan burst into the scene in the early 2000s, following in his older brother Asad Amanat Ali Khan's footsteps. He is a classical singer and was also the lead vocalist of the Pakistani rock band 'Fuzon' until 2006. He was awarded the Pride of Performance Award by the President of Pakistan in 2008.
Aima Baig
Pakistani singer and scriptwriter Aima Noor ul Baig rose to fame in 2016, and has since earned major appreciation for her musical talents. In 2019, she was awarded the highly coveted Tamgha-e-Fakhr-e-Imtiaz for her contribution to the musical arts. Baig's versatility in music is evident from the range of songs she has released, of genres including mellow, upbeat and romantic songs.
Farhan Saeed
Pakistani singer, song-writer, actor, director and entrepreneur Farhan was a former lead of the band Jal and the owner of Café Rock in Lahore. He has sung in Urdu and Punjabi. In 2014, he turned into acting with his role in Hum TV's series Udaaro, and another leading role in series Suno Chanda.
Rahat Fateh Ali Khan
Nephew of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan is a singer of qawwali, ghazal and other light music. He is a popular playback singer in the Pakistan film industry and Bollywood. He became the first Pakistani to perform at a Nobel Prize event, when he was invited to the concert at the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony.
Coke Studio Pakistan
Coke Studio is an international music franchise featuring live studio-recorded performances by established and emerging artists. Coke Studio celebrates the multi-culturalism of Pakistan by promoting diverse genres of music ranging from traditional classical, folk, Sufi, qawwali, ghazal and bhangra music to more modern genres including hip hop, rock and pop.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Last but certainly not least, we have the on-screen personalities of the industry, who grace our screens with their good looks and engaging performances. Here are some of the most currently acclaimed personalities in the industry:
Fawad Khan
Fawad Khan is a film and television actor, singer, and model, and has starred in several acclaimed films in not only the Pakistan film industry but across the border in India as well. In addition to his successful acting career, Fawad Khan has also raised money for charitable organisations throughout Pakistan, and has founded a clothing brand named 'Silk by Fawad' along with his wife.
Junaid Khan
A singer-songwriter and television and film actor, Junaid Khan is known for his performances in various Pakistani television dramas. He is also the lead vocalist of the band 'Call', with two successful commercial albums. In 2012, Junaid Khan was nominated for the Lux Style Awards in two categories - Best TV Actor and Best Album of the Year.
Mahira Khan
Born in Karachi, Mahira Khan began her career as a VJ back in 2006 and later made her way on the big screen in 2011, following her debut in romance movie Bol, which earned her a nomination for the Lux Style Award for Best Actress (Film). In the same year, she made a debut in television drama with Neeyat. She is currently one of Pakistan's most popular and highest paid actresses, and received several awards for her performances.
Imran Abbas
Imran Abbas began his career as a 22-year-old model. Now an actor, singer and television personality as well, Abbas is known for his performances in Pakistani drama serials, with the most famous of his roles being that of Hammad in 'Khuda Aur Muhabbat' in 2011.
Saba Qamar
An actress and television presenter, Saba Qamar is one of Pakistan's highest-paid celebrities. She has received many awards, including four Lux Style Awards, a Hum Award, and a Filmfare Award nomination. She has also received two of Pakistan's highest civilian honours, the 'Tamgha-e-Imtiaz' and 'Pride of Performance'.
Mehwish Hayat
Known for her roles in Load Wedding, Punjab Nahi Jaungi and Actor in Law, Mehwish Hayat was awarded the 'Tamgha-e-Imtiaz' in 2019. This year, she is set to appear in a show titled 'BBC My World', that aims to give young viewers the tools to stop fake news, and is executive produced by Angelina Jolie.


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