Shamoon Abbasi Talks About His Upcoming Projects and the State of the Film Industry

Shamoon Abbasi is one of the busiest actors in the industry right now. He has multiple projects on his plate, one of which he’s currently directing, and all of which he’s acting in. PakistaniCinema.Net caught up with him to know more about what’s in store.

The three projects he’s working in right now are all pretty different. He believes every single one allows him to portray characters that one can easily point to in society. When we asked him to choose a favourite, he refused, saying “I respect and love all my roles”.

One of the project is called “Dhai Chaal”, which is about the Indian Spy Kulbhushan Yadav who was caught by Pakistan a few years ago.

The second is a project called “Delhi Gate” which features Mr. Abbasi as the chief antagonist. He was featured in a first look dressed in gold with a lot of goons surrounding him. It is a romantic film which features a lot of action and twists.

The third, most recently announced, is a film called “Machera”, which is being directed by Jamil Dehlavi, the director of “Jinnah”. Details about the film are scarce right now. The principle cast or the central idea of the story aren’t even known yet. Mr. Abbasi has also been asked not to divulge any details about the film at the moment. He did, however, say that he thought of Mr. Jamil Dehlavi as an iconic director whose “portrayal of stories is always deep and meaningful”. He also spoke highly of “Jinnah”, which, according to him, portrayed the actual narrative of how Pakistan came to be. He looks forward to learning a lot from the veteran director.

We also asked Mr. Abbasi about the commercial side of things. 2019 was a lukewarm year for Pakistani films at best. Last year’s totals didn’t even come close to the mammoth take of 200 Cr in 2018. Shamoon thinks the industry isn’t headed in the right direction, but he says it’s not just about cinema; internal politics also plays a part.

“I would say cinema in Pakistan is more about celebrating stars and launching articles more than making actual global standard movies…”

According to Mr. Abbasi distribution companies should “level up” and help filmmakers grow so that they can make whatever content they want to show.

Another point he brings up is the class divide. Most cinema tickets are unaffordable for the vast majority of Pakistani citizens. Hence, most films never reach the market they are intended to. Even commercial content is rarely so enticing that it brings in the masses in record numbers. On the flip side, the audiences that actually do show up to multiplexes and pay hundreds or thousands of rupees per ticket, are treated to substandard content. This leads to a shrinking audience for Pakistani films.

2020 has brought a lot of hope with it, with dozens of films slated for release. Hopefully, Abbasi’s films will be among them and provide a higher caliber entertainment for a higher caliber audience.

Written by Yousuf Mehmood

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