The cast and crew behind the new Pakistani film ‘Janaan’ are hoping to showcase the positive side of their country as they look to bolster international investment and interest in the relatively small industry.
In comparison to Hollywood and Bollywood, the Pakistani movie industry is still in its infancy. Films are made with much smaller budgets and are not often premiered on a big scale around the globe.
The romcom ‘Janaan’, which released over the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha, is hoping to change this. It’s already made it to the eighth spot in the UK Box Office Top Ten and was released in 17 different countries.
“The revival is still very, very new. I think it’s going to take time to develop. But just the fact that here we are, competing at an international level, with Bollywood and Hollywood films. Even inPakistan, I think it’s very refreshing,” lead actor in the film, Bilal Ashraf, said.
Ashraf said more people needed to be educated about the Pakistani film industry and that wider support, as well as further development in technology and special effects, would help the industry develop.
The filmmakers behind ‘Janaan’ are a relatively young group of people who want to highlight the positive side of Pakistan.
While the film tackles some serious issues, including child molestation and adoption, it also shows the rich cultural side of the country’s ethnic Pashtun tribe.
“The main purpose behind Janaan was to put a light on the good things of Pakistan, globally, rather than just, you know, showing the negative things,” said Hareem Farooq, a Pakistani actress who is also one of the producers behind ‘Janaan’.
“This is what we want people to see, that we Pakistanis are not just terrorists, there’s more to it. We’re like good people, as crazy as others.”
Shot in Swat Valley, the same area where Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban, the film captures some of the region’s breathtaking scenery.
Ashraf, and the other stars of the film, Ali Rehman Khan and Armeena Rana Khan, all said they’d felt safe while shooting in the area and that security there had improved.