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    Monday, 31 October 2011

    Bhai Log to make a comeback in a sequel

    After the commercial success of gangster action-thriller Bhai Log on Eidul Fitr, producer-director Syed Faisal Bukhari is coming back with a sequel of the film that will be shot in Lahore.
    For years Punjabi-style gangster films, which are more or less similar, have defined the Pakistani film industry. However, with the release of Bhai Log, film enthusiasts were impressed by the contemporary gangster feel of the film and by the clever portrayal of Karachi’s scenic beauty which was part of the film’s aesthetic.
    While talking about Bhai Log 2, Bukhari informs, “This will be a commercial film based on some of the dynamics in Lahore. One positive thing that came from the success of Bhai Log was that the regional film circuit in places such as Gujranwala and Sheikhupura opened up after years.” The director wants to promote cinema culture in smaller cities, where he believes he will find the largest chunk of his target market.
    Bukhari, who started out his career as a cameraman and later switched to production and direction of television dramas, made his directorial debut in Lollywood with Bhai Log. He is currently working on a UAE-funded project Sultanat, which will include Indian artists as part of the cast. The director is also looking to produce another film Chamak Chalo, but will only begin that project once he finds the perfect ‘item girl’ for the film.
    The shooting of Bhai Log 2 is expected to start sometime after Muharram. The cast of the film will include popular Pakistani actors such as Javed Sheikh, Moammar Rana, Shamoon Abbasi and Amir Qureshi. However, Bukhari is also hoping to use the film as a platform to introduce new actors of the industry.
    The general essence of Bhai Log will be presented in a new look in the sequel; however, Bhai Log 2 will be heavily influenced by some of Lahore’s cultural nuances with the dialogues also being delivered in a Punjabi accent. “I made an effort to capture some of Karachi’s old heritage previously and now I want to show Lahore’s beauty in the same manner,” Bukhari adds.
    The director is also is hoping to focus more on the musical side of the film this time around. “I did not give enough attention to the music last time and I would like the next film to have better music,” explains Bukhari who is making sure the film caters to the masses. “The viewing class is not ready for artistic or artsy films which is why directors garnish their films with action, drama and music.”
    Meanwhile, Bukhari believes that the market he is targeting to is not ready for Dolby sound (an advanced sound producing technology). He recalls that nearly 20 years ago, Lahore had a lot of cinemas which enabled the investors to recover their money almost immediately, but things are different now that the quality of films has gone down.
    Due to the lack of quality films, the market (of moviegoers) is divided into lower and upper class, while the middle class usually stays out of the equation now. “It’s a major issue because the middle class used to be an integral part of the industry,” he states. “There isn’t enough support for the film industry but we also know that there is a lot of new talent, which will help bring a change and work towards removing the stigma attached to the film industry.”
    Published in The Express Tribune, October 29th, 2011.

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