Pakistani cinema has achieved a lot: Fawad Khan | The Express Tribune
After his groundbreaking appearance in the blockbuster, The Legend of Maula Jatt, Fawad Khan is ready for his upcoming film, Money Back Guarantee, to be released this Eid. In an interview with Independent Urdu, Fawad talked about his co-stars Wasim and Shaniera Akram and also shared his view on Pakistan’s film industry.
Upon being asked if Pakistani cinema will ever be up to par with the global standard, Fawad said, “I understand there are good intentions behind this question, as we all have hopes for the [film] industry to grow, to have more employment opportunities and an increase in revenue. However, it’s still better if we do not compare ourselves with the world right now since our opportunities are very limited.”
He further added, “You cannot compare a film that has a budget of 15 to 20 crores here with a film with a $500 or 400 million budget. Even if we talk about our neighbouring country [India], they have budgets of 300 crores, 400 crores, or 500 crores.”
Fawad also highlighted that the key to expanding the film industry is receiving a massive return from the projects one does. “The point is that when the market gives you a return, then you invest. So I think the cycle has now started in Pakistan. When this wheel rotates, returns will increase, investment in films will increase, and the industry on its own will expand,” he shared, adding that the growth in a film industry’s market ultimately leads to more people wanting to watch the upcoming films.
“This growth will simultaneously increase people’s desire to watch Pakistani films too. People’s desire to watch films will grow, they will say, ‘Oh, we want to watch it now; this film is greater than the last one!’ Therefore, making this comparison right now is unfair,” said the Ae Dil Hai Mushkil actor.
Continuing the conversation, Fawad showed confidence and hope for the country’s cinema. “I feel that with our limited resources, what we have pulled off, and how much we continue to achieve, it seems that the market [for films] will definitely expand in the future.”
Having worked on numerous foreign films and TV shows such as Khoobsurat, Kapoor & Sons and Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Disney+’s Ms. Marvel, Fawad emphasised the importance of working in the foreign film industry and marketing Pakistani films in cinemas abroad. “We all have worked abroad, we should work there and here too, but marketing our local product [films] abroad is a must as it creates our identity in the global industry,” he explained.
“The key is to also choose quality projects. People would say to me that I’m saying all of this, but I don’t do that much work abroad. However, I do believe the quality of the work matters more than the quantity. We should be constructing our authentic identity like in The Legend of Maula Jatt,” added the Barzakh actor.
Fawad felt that the inclusion of digital streaming platforms will help expand the Pakistani film industry even more. “At the end of the day, everyone wants to make money, so they go to every platform where they are getting work from. If the opportunity is created here, I feel there’s an enormous revenue to be made from this.”
However, he added that for this to happen, the concept of “free viewing” should come to an end. “Reduce the idea of ‘free viewing’ and I am not only talking about piracy. I am saying you take what is owed to you, what you deserve as maker, whether they are making TV dramas or films. And the ex-pat community needs to support that,” added the actor.
Talking about his recent work, Money Back Guarantee, Fawad was asked if the film would be worth the audience’s time and money. “The tickets are expensive? But you won’t get the money back,” playfully chuckled the star. “This film is worth the price, I am giving you my word.”
Fawad then expressed his love for comedy films. “I’m not saying everything is a comedy, but my preference for working on films is always this genre,” he said. “Comedy makes you smile when you come home, while other genres such as thriller, and drama make you feel so many emotions. While doing comedic projects, I feel very comfortable and at home.”
Upon being questioned about his co-stars Wasim and Shaniera Akram, Fawad was full of praise. “Wasim is a wonderful human being and a brilliant individual to work with, and I have a very close relationship with him. It’s a very pleasant surprise, and I think people will really love his performance, it’s very top-notch.”He also added, “If it was Shaniera’s first attempt at acting, she is an amazing actor!”
Fawad went on to conclude by saying,” I feel like I couldn’t have done better than this so I’m really happy. But, of course, everyone can do better, so I can comment on what I can improve after the film’s release.”
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