Stars talk to us ahead of Pakistan International Screen Awards in Dubai Friday

A stellar cast visited the Khaleej Times office

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Amar Khan, Faysal Quraishi, Faryal Mehmood and Vasay Chaudhry
Amar Khan, Faysal Quraishi, Faryal Mehmood and Vasay Chaudhry

David Light

Published: Wed 3 Nov 2021, 6:02 PM

Last updated: Thu 29 Dec 2022, 3:17 PM

Excitement is building for the second Pakistan International Screen Awards, to be held tomorrow at Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, with the promise of a spectacular evening filled with memorable performances and a glittering award ceremony honouring the best Pakistani talent.

The annual event acknowledges celebrated artists from television, music, fashion and digital content and pays tribute to them on an international platform under the aegis of Mesmerize Events and its CEO and Founder Faisal Khan.

This year’s nominees include actors Bilal Abbas Khan and Mawra Hocane among many others. In a great build up to the event, host and actor Vasay Chaudhry, Best Actor nominee Faysal Quraishi, and actors Amar Khan and Faryal Mehmood visited the Khaleej Times office, giving us a glimpse of what to expect at PISA 2021, tickets for which are on PlatinumList.

Faryal Mehmood: Actor, model and dancer Faryal Mehmood has been a constant showbiz presence over the last eight years, perhaps best known for her role of Mehwish in Geo Entertainment’s Baba Jani. The New York and Karachi resident will be performing a dance number at PISA.

Dancing up a storm

“As a performer, this will be my first time on stage at an award show. Since I was five I’ve dreamed about being on stage and dancing. I love dancing. I cannot wait to just express myself and create magic. We’re rejuvenating who we are as artists and what we do and what we create. Pakistanis here need to be reminded about how talented we are and what we can represent.”

Audience appreciation at a live event

“I think it’s important to be seen on an international level. We get to feel how appreciated we are. When we’re shooting we only receive messages and emails, but this is a chance to actually see those people. It brings us closer and that’s really important.”

Faysal Quraishi: Up for a Best Actor trophy at PISA, Faysal Quraishi is no stranger to the limelight. A television staple for over 20 years, his latest project, movie Sorry: A Love Story, in which he appears and is also the producer is on its way soon.

Looking forward to the show on Friday

“I have heard things from my fiends and it’s going to be crazy – lots of singers and actors and stars. Staying home and in isolation, you’re not attending your offices or anything, so these kind of events are very important. I am nominated for the best actor, but aside from that I’m most looking forward to the songs and performances.”

Scent of a star

“I was sitting at home 10 months ago and thinking what I should do. A friend who has successful fragrance lines in America came up to me and asked me to do a perfume. It’s called FQ. The scent is composed of smells I really enjoy and it will be launched shortly.”

Amar Khan: Writer, actor and director Amar Khan is eagerly awaiting her first self-penned movie, Dum Mastam, to open, having been delayed by the pandemic. She too will be putting on a dance show at PISA.

PISA is an ‘opportunity’

“After Covid and the entire lockdown, now events are happening where we’re globally representing Pakistan and our industry on such a scale! It’s an honour for all of us. I hope PISA and its audience and the film fraternity turn out very well. I’m really looking forward to my performance. I’m giving a tribute to a Noor Jehan song. It’s a ‘hello to the cinema’ number.”

More cinema, please

“During the pandemic, people were pessimistic about cinema and they were talking about cinema diminishing and the rise of OTT. I hated those people. I am a film graduate. I have grown up on cinema. To sit in the dark with a large amount of people, you can’t top that. The loud attitude of the audience is needed. I always want to see a film in a cinema.”

Vasay Chaudhry: Host and noted screenwriter and actor Vasay Chaudhry will be taking on MC duties at PISA. As a seasoned front man for shows including The Hum Awards and Mazaaq Raat, the audience is in for a treat.

On emerging from the pandemic

“Whatever we have gone through over the last one and a half years, it’s special to be back in a place where people are going to be sitting together and we are able to perform and entertain them. The idea is to tell people: ‘let’s get back to entertainment’. The whole world has been very depressed, so everyone is trying to do their bit to get back up. In the film industry, we had a long break, but with cinemas opening up we are trying to go forward one step at a time. You have to move. This award show is a step in that direction.”

The show in Dubai

“There’s a huge Pakistani population in Dubai and in fact across the world. We have had award shows in England and Canada recently. It’s about expanding your culture and taking it around the world. You can perform for your own people but also welcome others. This has happened at Expo here too. I know the Pakistan Pavilion has done a great job. I am most excited about the performances and particularly one from my friend Sajjad Ali. Fans can look forward to all these stars.

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